“He who controls the sugar, controls the universe”. This is a famous quote from Frank Herbert’s “Dune” and come to think of it, it was actually about spice, but it applies to sugar nonetheless. Sugar is one of the most powerful substances known to mankind and I’m not even exaggerating. It is one hell of a drug and we are all hooked on it, very often without even being aware.
Sugar in its various forms is the main source of energy for every cell in our organism. One of the most energy-demanding organ in our body is the brain which uses up nearly half of the total sugar energy in our body and sugar levels are closely linked to brain functions. While sugar is nothing to worry about in small quantities, today more than 70 percent of packaged food and beverages contain way too much sugar than we actually need to function properly and it is so easy to get addicted to it. Some would even say that it is as bad as cocaine and should be regulated like alcohol and tobacco. Yes, the sweet stuff we all love has a dark side. Too much of it can have a devastating effect on our health. It leads to weight problems, tooth decay, it wreaks havoc on our liver, messes up our metabolism, leaves us susceptible to hearth disease, impairs our brain function, and may even cause cancer.
So, how can it be so bad when it feels so good? Yea, that’s what all junkies say. The truth is, we get hooked on sugar from the very first bite. When it gets in contact with our taste buds, sugar sends a message that activates the reward system of our brain. This is manly connected with the release of a chemical in our system called dopamine. Dopamine is what causes the “high” we experience when consuming sugar by sending our dopamine receptors into overdrive that causes us to constantly seek that effect. It is the the same, though less extreme, reaction that occurs with people dependent on addictive substances such as drugs, alcohol, and nicotine.
Luckily, thanks to countless research, we now have healthy ways to satisfy our sugar craving without consuming actual sugar. Introducing the natural sweetener erythritol. Out of all the sugar substitutes available on the market, natural sweetener erythritol is probably my favourite one. Although erythritol sound like something that came out of a mad scientist’s lab, do not be intimidated by the name. It is, in fact, a hundred percent natural sweetener contained in various fruits and vegetables and is made through the process of fermentation. It has a clean sweet taste nearly 70 percent as sweet as regular sugar. Erythritol contains virtually no calories and has a zero glycaemic index. This means that it doesn’t raise insulin or plasma glucose levels and it is suitable for diabetics and people on a no-sugar diet. It also has a high digestive tolerance and doesn’t encourage the growth of oral bacteria that causes tooth decay. It is available in various forms and is already used in a number of beverages, chewing gum, bakery items, ice-cream and so on. Overall it is a great sugar substitute, perfect for people with a sweet tooth that sill care about their health.