I make this statement probably three or four times a day:
“Oh, no thank you, I am sweetener free!” Oh, the looks I get when I say I am “sweetener free”. I used to say sugar free but that does not really make a true statement. Also sugar free reminds me of diabetic candies from the 70’s that were so unpleasant and not even worth unwrapping to eat.
People are always offering me sweets, chocolates, pastries, condiments and more and I say it more to remind myself then to tell them. See, I don’t do anything “sweet”. Not in my tea, desserts, sauces, condiments or anything. If I do happen to buy something that contains a sweetener it won’t be sugar but it also won’t contain over 2 grams of sweetener in it
Plus, to say I was sugar free was really not giving people the complete idea, what I mean to say is I don’t consume:
- Maple Syrup
- Brown Sugar
- Cane Sugar
- Palm Sugar
- Cane Juice
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- any Syrup
- Corn Syrup
- Malt Syrup
- Raw Sugar
I think you get the idea, I don’t do it.
However I am a realist and realize as much as we cannot be toxin free I have to give myself a bit of leeway. I allow myself up to 4 grams of sugar in a product if I NEED to have it and yes, sometimes this girl NEEDS a cookie, or a cracker or I have to use that restaurant ketchup on the table. So I give myself a little bit of leeway.
As a tea influencer I realize there are just some teas that need a bit of sweetener and others that people just want to make sweet. So, what’s a tea drinker to do?
First thing not to do it artificial sweeteners. While you may believe these will help you loose weight, facts have always shown us that artificial sweeteners do more damage then not.
So while we desire sugar in our teas we have to realize the effect that sugar has on our bodies.
- When you eat too many sugars and carbs at snacks or meals, your blood sugar rises too high.
- This causes your body to produce huge amounts of insulin to get the inflammatory sugar out your blood stream.
- The insulin brings the sugar to your muscles for energy (HINT: you very often don’t need it) and the rest is carried to your liver to be converted into body fat.
- The flood of insulin you overproduced pulls all of the sugar out of your bloodstream too rapidly Your brain actually picks up on this and sounds an alarm…
- The alarm signals to your entire body that your blood sugar is dropping dangerously fast. Hormones are produced that increase your appetite (even though you JUST ate an hour ago).
- Your body also produces loads of cortisol, a stress hormone, that breaks down your muscle tissue, suppresses your immune system, and increases fat storage.
- The next thing you know, despite having had lunch an hour ago, you’re heading to the kitchen for chips, sugary energy bars, or you’re off to Starbucks for that sugar bomb latte.
And then? Your blood sugar shoots back up to the top of the rollercoaster, and the vicious cycle begins all over again…
Your body does not NEED sugar, it want’s it.
But what about those somewhat bitter teas? The teas that infuse some fruits that may need just a little bit of sweetener.
The two choices I find the best fit for teas are:
- Monk Fruit is my number one choice for sweetener. Monk fruit is a fruit. Monk fruit is also called Luo Han Guo. It gets its name by the monks who used the fruit and cultivated it as early as the 13th century. Monk Fruit is a product of China.
- Monk Fruit was brought to North American in he 20th century. All monk fruit must be grown and manufactured in China. Monk fruit does not raise the glycemic levels and therefore is a great choice to sweeten your tea.
- Honey would be my second choice. Honey is an incredible choice and has been a companion of tea for centuries.
If you must sweeten your tea (or other things, in fact) these are my choices. Monk Fruit and Honey are great choices as sweetness not only to sweeten your tea but also great choices for your body.
Both healthy choices and both giving the desire to have that little bit of sweetness to enhance our tea and our palate.