Consider replacing man-made, processed, empty calories in your diet with a natural sweetener. Trying to fight your sweet tooth by eliminating sugar from your meals is not smart at all.
Sugars are one form of carbohydrates essential for our body's energy supply. However, excessive sugar consumption is a major contributor to calorie intake and weight gain. It can also deplete your body of several minerals and vitamins, such as vitamin C.
Nutritionists consider Vitamin C to be the single most important supplemental nutrient for the proper functioning of white blood cells and maintaining a strong, efficient immune system and recovering from infections. The white blood cells in our body need high doses of vitamin C to fight viruses and bacteria, and combat illnesses such as the common cold, heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis. Glucose and vitamin C have similar chemical structures, thus when the sugar levels go up, they compete for one another when entering the cells. Hence, as you eat more sugar, there will be more glucose around and less vitamin C will be allowed into the cell, resulting the slowing down of your immune system. Simple sugars found in foods that do not use a natural sweetener thus have been observed to aggravate illness such as asthma, hypertension, arthritis, nervous disorders, diabetes, heart diseases, gallstones, and mood swings. They are certainly not a preferred form of carbohydrates in our meals. If you are one of those parents who naturally try to keep all the candies and sweets away from their young children when they are down with a flu or cough but do not really know the logic of it, now you understand it!
Different types of carbohydrates behave differently in the body and are part of different nutritional packages. Over-processed, factory-made sugars or table sugar, and even raw or brown sugar which do not have any vitamins or whatsoever nutrients may not be the best choice of carbohydrates. In fact, they are foes of the healthy immune system – they suppress immune cells. For instance, a chocolate bar may satisfy hunger because of the high amount of sugar and fat, but it can create a nutrient deficit in the body. That is why there are so many overweight people who are at the same time under-nourished and in poor health. The best types of food not only provide a steady supply of energy, but also bring other nutrients the body needs, for example honey, a natural sweetener which contains the extra nutrition in the form of proteins, minerals, and vitamins. Try raw honey spread on a slice of bread. The plant enzyme amylase present in the raw honey is effective in breaking down and helping the predigestion of the starches in the bread. Taking honey also helps to raise the level of antioxidants required in the body.
Remember, the type of food and the quantity you eat have an impact on your health. "You are what you eat."
So for people who are counting their calories in their diet, the next time you pick up a can of diet drink or a packet of preserved sweets, think twice, and three times, and more, before deciding that it should go into your body. Choose a natural sweetener.