There are so many wonderful sugar substitutes that you can add into your daily routine, so that when you give up the real stuff you can survive.
My new favorite is Stevia Extract (the liquid one). I mix it into my green tea daily; it's so good and zero calories!
Stevia: vegan, all natural herb sweetener, zero calories, comes in powder or liquid form, generally a lot sweeter than sugar (so I only put a few drops into my tea). Stevia is not a good option for baking, but is great mixed into salad dressings, smoothies, and into hot/cold beverages.
One of my other favorites is Agave Nectar. I bake with Agave, use it in my oatmeal, yogurt, salad dressings, drizzled over berries...yum!
Honey: a form of sugar that is the nectar from different flowers, flavors of honey depend on the nectar source, healthy glycemic index rating (sugars are slowly absorbed into the blood stream), great for baking, salad dressings, mixed into smoothies, hot/cold drinks. 64 calories in 1 Tablespoon.
Fruit: Sweeten baked goods with applesauce, or pureed bananas. There are some great "ice cream" recipes where you puree bananas add milk, and vanilla then freeze it. I haven't tried this fake ice cream yet, but I liked the idea. I try to use berries to sweeten my oatmeal, yogurt and some salad dressings.
What sweeteners should you avoid?
High Fructose Corn Syrup: This product is cheap, convenient for large food companies and it's a very deadly, creative ingredient that was invented in a lab. By NO means is this a natural ingredient, nor is it healthy/safe to consume. HFCS spikes blood sugar levels, spikes insulin levels while also causing insulin resistance, leads to Diabetes, Obesity, and Liver problems...I wonder why the US is facing such a huge obesity epidemic. (Let's find a way to get rid of all this extra corn that we produce. We can make up some chemical, extra sweet syrup, hide it in everything, and get people/the whole United States addicted to it. Those people's bodies won't be able to break it down, so in turn it will foster disease. While we can get rich off of this "natural sweetener").
*It is almost in every packaged product that you buy from a regular grocery store: cereals, cookies, baking crumbs, crackers, capri suns, sodas, chocolate milks, lemonades, teas, breads, waffles, ketchup, miracle whip, Powerbars, pop tarts, nutri-grains, cough syrups, yogurts, cottage cheese, baked beans, soups, tomato paste, applesauce, jelly/jams, meats, and salad dressings.
*To view the whole list please click here.http://www.accidentalhedonist.com/index.php/2005/06/09/foods_and_products_containing_high_fruct
*Avoid HFCS, read your labels and do NOT feed it to your children.
Splenda and the Artificial Sweeteners that end in "tols": Sugars that are modified in a lab to be sweet and zero calories are NOT good for you. Again, our bodies do not know how to break them down. They cause bloating, cramping, headaches, IBS, and most people are allergic to them. Anything created in a lab will have addictive qualities. Scientist want you to like it and to become dependent on it. Then you add in the marketing team that says that Splenda is just a form of sugar.
*Isn't it funny that there are more diet products available than ever before; yet America is getting fatter and fatter by the second.
* Cancer, depression, anxiety, weight gain, headaches, birth defects, infertility, Alzheimer's Disease, blurred vision, loss of hearing are all linked to artificial sweeteners.
The bottom line is that you are either eating a diet that creates health, or disease and the same goes for the health of your children. I would never feed my daughter artificial sweeteners and I try to limit her sugar to Agave Nectar, Stevia and Honey.
Try Stevia in place of the artificial zero calorie sweeteners and you will be surprised at how great it is. A little goes a long way so add drop by drop if you are using the liquid form.