Too Much Sugar, Even Natural Alternatives, Is Not Healthy
If You Think Artificial Sweeteners Are the Answer, I Have Bad News for You!
In the juicing world added sweeteners are rare because most recipes are naturally delicious without adding sugar.
Smoothies are different. In the smoothie world, added sweeteners are the norm because using the entire veggie or fruit – skin, seeds, and all – while adding nutrition and fiber, also adds tartness to the taste. Added sweeteners make smoothies taste good.
We try to add only ‘healthy’ sweeteners such as agave nectar, raw (turbinado) sugar, honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar. We also use ‘natural’ low calorie sweeteners such as stevia, xylitol, and yakon syrup. This is because they are much healthier choices than any artificial sweetener. More and more research indicates that artificial sweeteners are linked to obesity and diabetes.
The Hard Truth
Sugar, whether it’s white or one of the healthier alternatives, is still sugar. And those of us who live in the US have a real sugar problem. We eat too much of it. On average each American eats 19 teaspoons or more of added sugar every day for an additional 285 calories.
- Related Articles
- Juice and Smoothie Benefits
- Juice and Smoothie Risks
- Juicing for Your Blood Type
- Grow Your Own Wheatgrass
Health experts say that’s just too much. According to the American Heart Association a healthy amount is 6 teaspoons daily for women – 100 calories – and 9 for men which is 150 calories. For comparison, a can of Pepsi or Coke is a bit over 9 grams of sugar.
Read the Labels
These common sweeteners are all sugar even if the label doesn’t call them sugar:
- Agave nectar
- Brown rice syrup
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Evaporated cane juice
- Malt syrup
If the label lists a sweetener in the first few ingredients it’s probably too much! Same goes if the label says more than 4 total grams of sugar.
Cut Out Added Sweeteners
Fresh juices and smoothies can be absolutely delicious without added sweeteners. So many of our natural foods are packed with healthy sweetness. A carrot is sweet but only about 25 calories. A beet is about 60. An apple 90, banana 100, orange 45. So let’s go natural with no added sweeteners.
Juice and Smoothie Recipes
This is why I do not offer any recipes with added sugar, even my smoothie recipes. I keep tweeking a recipe until it tastes delicious without added sweeteners. My recipes have absolutely no added anything but the fruit, veggie, green, herb, and spice. Nothing else.
Personally, I’m so concerned about the ill effects of too much sugar, I encourage you to consider taking a further step beyond no added sweeteners in your juices or smoothies. Try using less fruit, the sweetest of our foods, in juices and smoothies to reduce your overall sugar intake!
What Do Added Sweeteners Do To Your Body
Take a look at this excellent brief video for what exactly sugar does to your body and why too much is so harmful.