I used to eat sugar cubes by the handful. I have since learned the effects of sugar and now I make sure to have good quality sweetnes whenever I can.

There are so many alternatives to white sugar and I am wondering how they are made and what the differences are.  Here is the first of series of sweet posts.

Since studying at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition I have become increasingly curious about how food ends up on the shelves at the super market, and which products are the best for my body.  So let’s start with what nearly every American consumes daily:


Refined White Sugar:

It begins with sugar cane (or the roots of sugar beets).   The tall grasses have stalks filled with cane juice.  The  juice is released and then there is the boiling, filtering, evaporating, crystallizing, separating from the molasses, washing, and de-coloring process that produces the fine white sugar crystal that we all know and sometimes love (or hate that we love).

All the trace minerals and nutrients are stripped away during this process.  You end up with a powder that spikes your blood sugar and leaves you hungry for more sweetness once you crash, and the crash is inevitable.  This is why sugar is so incredibly addicting.

Enter big gulps, and bite sized candy that you can never just have one of.  I do my best to stay away from sugary processed foods, because otherwise a fun size bag of kit-kats will be gone in one afternoon.

Now I wonder what goes into making brown sugar, sucanat, turbindo, stevia, coconut sugar, or agave and if they are any better.

Stay tuned.  There is tremendous power in being informed.