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Truvia, Honey or Sugar...I need to know!

I often get asked about sugar. Then come the questions! How much to eat...then when I say well not much because you know sugar is hidden everywhere...blah blah blah... WELLL, what about aspartame, truvia, etc!

Sugar and artificial sweeteners is a debate that has raged for decades. This is not something that will be solved with my simple blog. But I will do my best to give you some facts so you can make your own decision.

Fact 1: Americans consume A LOT of sugar in any form- artificial or otherwise. The average American consumes 150-170 lbs of sugar a year. (that's a whole person). We are in good company along with Germany, Netherlands,Ireland, Australia, Belgium, UK, Mexico, Finland, and Canada.

You should consume between 6-9 tsp for women and men respectively per day. Ugh some of us already blew that getting a large coffee- a caramel iced coffee with cream has 9.8 tsp of sugar- whole day of sugar gone in one drink.

Fact 2: Sugar/ sugar substitute is in foods you wouldn't imagine. Salad dressings, flavored water, yogurt, ketchup, crackers, instant oatmeal. We have a taste for sugar. You may have seen research that says you can be addicted to sugar. This was from a 2012 article in the journal Nature that pointed to the fact that sugar in ANY form is harmful to the body.

The main take away for me was and has always been PORTION control. Limit your sugar intake.

Fact 3: All "sugars" have issues. Each one has pros and cons. There is no way to have a sweetener that is a freebie.

Seven are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are acesulfame K (Sunett, Sweet One), aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet), monk fruit extract (Nectresse), neotame, saccharin (Sweet’N Low), stevia (Truvia, Pure Via) and sucralose (Splenda). (Sidney Stevens)

The pros: low calorie or no calorie

good for diabetic or weight management

The cons: The sugars are replaced by chemicals so that could be a risk for cancers, neurological problems, and making the liver work harder to process all of this. I stick with things like honey, raw sugar, etc? Sure but you have to limit portion because these pack a lot of calories leading to weight gain. This sound familiar. You have to use it sparingly.

Fact 4: Getting off sugar is really hard! Most people do crave sweets and seeing how sugar is hidden in foods you wouldn't think of you are eating more than you think.

61 Names for Sugar (

Agave nectar

Barbados sugar

Barley malt

Barley malt syrup

Beet sugar

Brown sugar

Buttered syrup

Cane juice

Cane juice crystals

Cane sugar


Carob syrup

Castor sugar

Coconut palm sugar

Coconut sugar

Confectioner's sugar

Corn sweetener

Corn syrup

Corn syrup solids

Date sugar

Dehydrated cane juice

Demerara sugar



Evaporated cane juice

Free-flowing brown sugars


Fruit juice

Fruit juice concentrate


Glucose solids

Golden sugar

Golden syrup

Grape sugar

HFCS (High-Fructose Corn Syrup)


Icing sugar

Invert sugar

Malt syrup





Maple syrup



Palm sugar


Powdered sugar

Raw sugar

Refiner's syrup

Rice syrup





Sugar (granulated)

Sweet Sorghum



Turbinado sugar

Yellow sugar

Find a processed food product and check it out. Chances are one of these is on of these in it. it.

Back to what to do??? I want to lose weight and get healthy. Start by really looking at how much sugar you eat.

1. Stop adding sugar to food. You probably are eating more than you think in your processed foods already.

2. Limit your portions of sugary foods.


Sweetened cereals

White bread


Granola/energy Bars

Juice and other sweetened beverages

Bakery Items (muffins, cookies, etc)

Frozen yogurt and ice cream.

3. Make your decision to use artificial sweeteners wisely. Consider the pros and cons and your OWN health issues. For example, if you have diabetes, it may make perfect sense for you to use an artificial sweetener. But in general we can't have our cake and eat it too. You have to remember it is all about portion and control.

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