Today, I decided I needed to create a post about nutritional matters that I've been thinking a lot about.
Which sweeteners are considered "healthy"?
You read so many different things from so many different articles and then you hear so many other things from other people. I don't know who I'm supposed to believe. I do know, however, that plain white sugar is BAD. Ok, good, we've gotten that far. I've heard from different sources that agave nectar, "raw" sugar (turbinado), brown rice syrup, maple syrup, and stevia are the healthier sweetener choices to make.
Recently, however, I've read that agave nectar is not so good, due to its high fructose content. But that's good for diabetics, right? I'm not diabetic, but I've read that it has a very low glycemic index. So what's better: low glycemic and high fructose? Or low/no fructose? Is fructose bad, just because HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) is bad?
And how can I tell what and how a sweetener has been processed? It doesn't tell me on the package. I've read that some makers of agave nectar have actually replaced the content with HFCS!! And that some agave is actually raw....or is it??
I did switch over to agave nectar and now I'm not sure that's such a great idea. I do also have some turbinado sugar in my kitchen, which I don't use very often, as well as some maple syrup, which is used only occasionally. I do try to use dates when I make desserts in my food processor. Are dates the healthiest choice because they're in their most natural state??
I'm so confused! And stevia is so new....is it really the best and healthiest option? I don't think it has any calories either, which makes it an even better looking choice for a lot of us. So what if it's from an herb....all the other sugars are from plants as well....agave plant, sugar cane, beets, dates.....all plants. So I guess it's all about HOW it's processed before it gets to my kitchen, right? I don't think I can grow sugar cane on my patio (although they do grow a ton of sugar cane down here) and there are no maple trees to tap. Should I just grow my own stevia plants? Then do I crumble up the leaves? Can I buy unprocessed stevia sweetener? Or are ALL sweeteners processed in some way or another?
I'd really love to hear your comments and suggestions because I'm kind of at a loss right now. I don't consume a ton of sweetener, but I'd really like to know what the healthiest options are. Or is there no correct answer? Please share this post with your friends, because I want to hear from as many people as possible.
I'm also putting a poll about sweeteners on the righthand side of this page....please fill it out if you have the time (it's very quick).
Vitamin D: How do you get yours?
We've recently been tested for Vitamin D and my husband was very low. I haven't gotten my results yet, but I'm assuming mine will be as well. Of course, our doctor recommended a Vitamin D supplement via prescription. It's 50,000 Units per week for a month, then 50,000 units per month. That sounds awfully high to me. What are your thoughts on amounts? I think there will be a new RDA coming this year, so I'll be interested to see what that is.
We walk several times a day.....we thought we were getting enough sun that way (especially living in the south). That doesn't seem to be the case. I've also read that most people (not taking supplements) are deficient in Vitamin D, although vegans and vegetarians are even more deficient than non-vegetarians. I guess that's why doctors are now screening for it.
There aren't really any food sources of Vitamin D for vegans, are there? I recently found a company online: Monterey Mushrooms. They've grown mushrooms with extra light, to add Vitamin D! That's pretty clever, no? However, I've never seen those mushrooms and I don't know if they're available anywhere around here. I'd rather not take supplements if I don't have to.
So where do YOU get your Vitamin D? Again, I'd love to read your comments about this and there will be a quick poll for you to answer on the right side of this page.
UPDATE: Here's another interesting article on Vitamin D2 vs D3.
Thanks for listening! And pass this along to your friends!