With today’s overly saturated market of sugar and spice and everything nice, it can be difficult to tell a bunch of bologna from the real deal.
Manufacturers are able to throw keywords around like “natural”, “real”, “Zero calorie sweetener”, and “no artificial ingredients” without batting an eyelash. I have news for you if you didn’t already know…THEY LIE. They tell all these little white lies, which then add up to GIANT ones in the future. Your future, to be exact.
Here’s the 411:
What’s a natural vs. artificial sweetener?
Well, just like anything else that says natural…it occurs it nature. Most of today’s natural sugars are from plants. (There are some gray areas for the term “natural”- which I’ll get to below.) Artificial means it’s most likely made out of the same stuff they used in the labs to create agent orange. BAD. BAD. BAD.
Stay away from: Aspartame, Sucralose, HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) These are commonly found in processed/packaged/convenience store foods. Anything that claims it’s ZERO calorie usually is a RED FLAG. Use your eyes and READ!
-Some beg to differ and include AGAVE in the above group as well. Since I don’t consume it every single day, I don’t consider it as abusive/abrasive to our bodies. It’s derived from the agave plant and also a great option for those with diabetes as it contains a lower glycemic index than most regular sugars.
Use these (in moderation): NATURAL honey (I recommend buying from an actual farm as you never know with food labels these days.) Light brown sugar, pure cane sugar, Stevia and Xylitol can be added here as well. I also use medjool dates, sweetened shredded coconut flakes or coconut sugar (in baking, oatmeals, or pancakes) too!
The great thing about America is we have freedom of choice and freedom of speech so if you disagree with an idea, thought, or opinion, you won’t have your tongue or fingers cut off in doing so.
Personally, I feel that all of these manufacturer monopolies are creating a domino effect in our society. About half of people today are visual learners, (me being one of them), so naturally seeing/reading is learning and believing. Many people in a grocery store pick up whatever is appealing and fail to read further into the labels. What they fail to realize is the only one who truly cares about your health is you. The FDA and rest of America sees dollar signs.
In this case though, it can be tricky, as I said up top these nutritional labels can easily mislead you. Even a person who does their homework (like me), can browse over a label and be lead to believe it passes the test to be consumed. Why? Because the FDA doesn’t require ALL ingredients to be printed on labels. In some cases, products are missing about half the ingredients they were made with! (EEEK!) I won’t delve off topic, that’s all for another post and another time for another opinion. (I have many when it comes to this subject.)
Enter quick recipe to sweeten and start your day. I don’t even know if it’s worthy of being called a recipe, maybe a modification? Yes, we’ll go with that. Sounds more sophisticated.
Okay, so how many of you use creamers/sweeteners in your coffee or teas? Me, Me, and Me! I used to use about 2-3 creamers when I first entered my coffee drinking phase last summer. I procrastinated on label reading. Then I realized the creamers were nothing more than starchy, cancer causing chemicals. NO BUENO.
I switched to just a few drops of milk and agave sweetener a few months ago and have never been happier! Last week, I experimented with my new ice cube trays and created this little number.
Agave Ice Cubes
-ice cube trays
-a smiling face 😀
It’s pretty much a no brainer from here on out. Simply fill half your trays with water, then add agave to fill the rest. Place trays in freezer (I left mine overnight) and in the morning have yourself a nice COLD cup of iced coffee!
*I’m sure you could try this with liquid stevia too, if you aren’t an agave fan.*
What’s the verdict on sweeteners for you? Are you a label checker/manufacturer doubter like I am when purchasing processed products?
Peace, love, and sweetening safely!