Pay attention to nutrition labels. Don’t eat complex carbs. Stay away from artificial sweeteners. Limit your sugar intake. How many times have you heard or read all of the above, and so much more? Doesn’t it seem like we are all in an ongoing saga of - what should I consume? We are almost constantly bombarded with a ton of advice and direction regarding diet and nutrition. The question is forever lingering in our minds. When you become more dedicated to your health, it’s essential to stay aware of ingredients and keep yourself in the loop on more suggested options.
All aboard the ongoing health train!
The journey will be ever-evolving, sure. You can most definitely anticipate there will be more to learn next year compared to this year, but no matter what, having a general handle on what could be perceived as more ideal for you, especially when it comes to sugar, sugar, sugar, will promote the balance the majority of us seek.
What is sugar and how does the body break it down?
Simple terms. Sugar is the granular substance that caters to the taste of practically any food or drink and triggers the arousal of happiness that exerts a rise in life that is incredibly undeniable. Just me? Sugar in cakes, and pies, and cookies, and juices, and pop and bread and pastries and coffee, and on and on it goes. Sugar seems to be the thread of goodness woven into the foods and drinks that taste so marvelous. It is the fuel in candy that keeps kids running around for hours too.
In technical terms though, sugar is a substance, particularly a carbohydrate that is digested into our small intestine with a combination of enzymes that helps the sugar to be broken down into glucose. Once the glucose is released into the bloodstream, the thing we call sugar flows into all our tissue and into our organs and muscles to be converted to energy. Energy is what we all desire, typically, but what kind of energy does sugar produce you ask?
According to Better Health, refined or (processed) sugar provides a quick, simple source of energy, but it doesn’t contain other nutrients like our beloved vitamins and minerals.
So what friends, is the issue with sugar?
Well, here comes the situation. I’m sure you know, sugars occur naturally in several healthy forms that our bodies can consume and normally absorb without any issues, if consumed in moderation. The undesired situation arises when we decide to devour and exceed the “empty” forms that have added sugars with a lack of necessary elements our bodies love - vitamins, minerals, and even botanicals. Natural sources like fruit, and even vegetables contain natural sugars, alongside what I like to call “the celebrities of health” - fiber, minerals and vitamins. There is a daily intake of carbohydrates coupled with refined sugars that is acceptable. Experts say, just 10 percent of our nutritional daily value consumed should be designated to the refined sugar category. The point is, many times, we most definitely exceed the daily intake recommendation, and that is an assurance that most likely, what is being consumed is categorized as empty calories, not those “celebrities of health” calories!
What about honey, you ask?
It is practical to assume sugar will be a part of your diet in some form, but remembering the options that could be viewed as a healthier alternative may be a beneficial consideration. In comes honey, specifically clover honey. Clover honey is special because of its creator - bees. Clover honey colors vary based on origin and location. You may have seen water white, light amber, or amber color variations. No matter the color, bees work overtime to produce what could be perceived as an incredible sweetening source.
For those unaware of the honey making process, bees make clover honey by collecting the sugar rich liquid called nectar that is produced by clover flowers. Bees then bring the nectar back to their hives sealing it in their honeycombs. The sealed clover honey hardens over time and becomes a thick wax. Wonderful and crafty beekeepers then harvest the clover honey regularly and after much work to jar the honey, consumers have honey to use as an all-natural sugar substitute - yay!
With so many available sugar substitutes on the market, some artificial, and some plant based, like stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, and many more, it is tough to gather what may be the best selection for you. It’s certainly great to have various choices, while also staying in the know on relevant research so you can make an informed decision. It really is all about what your needs are.
Clover honey is known to not be processed, heated or pasteurized, and studies have shown, if used in moderation, clover honey may have supportive health benefits. From anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties, clover honey is relatively low on the glycemic index. as well. What does this mean? Honey typically does not raise blood sugar levels as quickly, suggesting that honey is a plausible, healthier option to other sugar surrogates.
When you are in the world of the notorious sugar and diet saga, it is all about being proactive in knowing what you like, love, and what your body needs. Reading nutrition labels, taking some time to do some Google research and choosing “healthy options” is a great starting point and an ongoing phase of the health and wellness journey.
If you are ever looking for an all-natural beverage sweetened with amber clover honey to drink before a workout, before a meeting, when you are feeling stressed or even to support a restful sleep, check out Real Good Tea.
Cheers to you on your sugar life-long sugar escapade!