Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Stevia, Agave, Honey or Splenda, Which Will You Choose?

As a certified colon therapist it is imperative that I educate my clients on what they put in their mouth for it all ends up in the colon.  Certain sweeteners can be quite harmful whereas a few can actually be beneficial.  Sugar feeds bad bacteria and yeast forms including fungus most commonly known as candida.  Candida is a normal resident in the colon in small quantities but it has a tendency to grow out of control if given the right climate.  Antibiotics and steroidal drugs will contribute to a lessening of beneficial bacteria allowing candida to get the upper hand.  Many people will have sweet cravings while on antibiotics or right after a course of antibiotics because the candida wants to be fed and it loves sugar. The more sugar the person eats, the more the candida grows which in turn can cause a host of health problems. Interestingly, stevia which is also found in Truvia, can help deter candida.  Its source is from a plant, ( I have grown it in my garden).  It looks much like a tall mint plant.  It is calorie free as is basil or thyme or any plant we like to use in our food.  There is no down side actually, in fact it is also safe for diabetics since it doesn't raise glucose levels.  

Agave is an interesting middle ground sweetener.  I have a recipe that Wholesome Sweeteners has on their website using raw agave.  
If a person is battling candidiasis, agave is not for them because it can feed the candida as sugar does.  The benefit of agave over sugar is that it has a low glycemic index which means that in moderation it can be used by diabetics.  

Raw honey can feed candida if it is already a problem and it does not have a low glycemic index BUT it is great for allergies if purchased from a beekeeper in the sufferer's area.  I know this firsthand because my husband is a beekeeper. My clients with allergies have purchased it and swear by its benefits.  As for the outside of the body, it is a great antiseptic and can be used on wounds for healing.  Buyer beware though of funny honey!  Yes, you read right.  Only about 5 states in the US prevent stores and even the small street vendor from selling funny honey.  If you ever wondered why honey doesn't taste like it did when you were a kid well its because it's not real honey.  There is usually some honey in it but it is mostly made up of corn syrup, chemicals and preservatives.  When you taste the real thing again it will bring you back to those childhood days.  Real raw honey is delightful to the palate and varies greatly depending on where the beehives are placed.  My husband placed his amongst our 2 plus acres of perennial gardens.  Our bees have a flower feast.  It is fascinating to taste the four harvests in a year.  The color varies from very light yellow to amber depending on the flowers that were in bloom when the bees gathered the pollen.  As you taste it you can detect peonies, daffodils, rhododendron, irises, lilies, delphinium and many other flavors from mild to bold.  To taste such honey is like tasting fine wine.  A neat fact about real honey is that it is the only food that never spoils!

Artificial sweeteners such as Splenda do not raise blood sugar but the operative word here is artificial.  Should we be putting artificial anything in our bodies?  I have stressed this to those of my clients addicted to diet soft drinks.  After eliminating them from their diet they noticed headaches go away and energy improve.  As close to nature is always a better rule to live by.

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