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What is Refined?
Sugar Rollercoaster
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A refined sugar is a sweetener that is high in calories and low in nutrients, usually because the nutrients (including the fiber which is important for your health) have been removed in processing.

This includes sugar in any form, which may be called cane sugar; light, medium or dark brown sugar, maple sugar, and beet sugar.

It includes syrups, which may be called maple syrup, brown rice syrup, cane syrup, or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

You should also stop using artificial sweeteners.  Artificial sweeteners like aspartame, Sweet and Low, etc. have no calories, but they also have no nutrients and they are composed of chemicals that do not occur in nature.  They are excessively sweet and may cause some people to crave sweet things.  The full picture of their health effects is not known.

Some sweeteners are naturally refined (rather than refined by processing) such as honey and agave nectar.  Although they are excessively sweet, they appear to have some useful nutrients.   My recommendation is that you avoid them entirely for at least two weeks, until your blood sugar is more stable. 

Once you know what it feels like to live with only moderate swings in blood sugar (fewer mood swings, fewer wild swings in energy levels, etc.) slowly reintroduce the naturally refined sugars to your diet and if they don't put you back on the blood sugar roller coaster, you can use them in moderation.  This means that you can use them in your dessert after you have eaten a full meal, but never on an empty stomach.

In the meantime, if you feel that a couple of servings of fruit a day are not enough sweetness for you, or if you need a sweetener to put in your coffee, I recommend Stevia.  Stevia is a zero calorie sweetener made from an herbal plant.  You can grow the plant yourself, if you like, and dry the leaves to use as a sweetener.  But that is not necessary.  Stevia is available in the supermarket in powered or liquid form.

 
 
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