Dr. Joy’s Myth Busters: Trick the Sugar Monster 

 December 17, 2020

By  Dr. Joy Lasseter

We love sweets. But the constant intake of high glycemic sweeteners, cane sugar, sucrose, glucose, dextrose, maltose, and lactose (in milk products) really switches our body functions off the health track and derails us onto the side track of weight gain, high blood sugar, inflammation, heart disease, and diabetes! With a few food hacks you can lower your risks and increase your health!

I am on a mission to convert my favorite holiday recipes by switching out the high glycemic sugar ingredient for low or net zero glycemic sweeteners. And I am looking for the natural sweeteners not the chemical ones made in a lab!

I avoid the sugar monster that makes
me crave more carbs and gain weight!


Natural ones are easier to find now. The low or net zero glycemic index natural sweeteners have made their way into the larger grocery stores in the bigger towns. Call around first to locate them. If not available, you can order them online.

I prefer to support local businesses and contribute
sales tax to the running of my city, county and state.


In most recipes, cane sugar is used as the default sweetener. You can convert your favorite recipes and family traditional dishes by following the guidelines written on the package of the alternative sweetener you buy.

Remember that the sweetness level will not always be the same cup measure as your old recipe sugar called for. Therefore be careful that you don’t over-sweeten your new recipe by forgetting to make the conversion! Another issue will be whether your recipe requires a dry or a wet sweetener. Paying attention to these details will make a big difference in the success of your conversion.


Here are the healthy types of sweeteners available locally for home use.

High Caloric Natural Sweeteners: honey, coconut palm sugar, maple syrup, sorghum syrup, unsulfured black strap molasses, barley malt syrup and brown rice syrup.

Zero Net Calorie Natural Sweeteners: Luo Han Guo (also called Monk Fruit) and Stevia.

Stevia usually has other ingredients added. Check the package. Some people notice an aftertaste with stevia products. I don’t notice it.

If you plan to use sugar alcohols as sweeteners beware of the side effects of some of them!

You may recognize some of these if you read your food labels: mannitol, sorbitol, maltitol, lactitol, isomalt and xylitol. Do you know which one has none of the side effects of gas, bloating, diarrhea or stomachache? It is xylitol.


When I bake I prefer Monk Fruit sweetener. Fortunately it is now easier to find in larger grocery stores. I use the Lakanto brand. I like the golden and the white granulated for most of my baking recipes. Xylitol is added to Lakanto for net zero carbs. Many natural sweeteners have different ratios of conversion to the standard recipe. Lakanto has products 1 to 1 ratio, and 2 to 1 ratio. Always check the package before you bake. They have a variety of products and their products have O Glycemic Index and net zero carbs.


Eating low glycemic foods and cutting back on everyday carbohydrate

consumption helps reduce belly fat and gradually melt those pounds off.


Of course, you do have to also exercise daily. Gyms closed? Bad weather? Exercise at home. Keep moving!

Circulation is good for your body, mood and brain!


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