Selecting good sugar
For baking and to scatter over bitter food and drinks choose dark sugars: brown sugar contains molasses, a good source of iron, and is so flavorful a little goes a long way when stirred into deserts, oatmeal, and drinks. By adding the sugar yourself, you can monitor how much you are taking on board. Buy organic and fair-trade if desired. Honey is a sweetener and an antioxidant with fantastic health-giving properties, used in hospitals for wound healing. Studies suggest it may help prevent heart disease and offer anticavity protection for teeth.
Avoid artificial sweeteners
Many popular artificial sweeteners contain ingredients that may be harmful to your health. Check for aspartame (E951), which produces the toxin methanol, which the body can process only in small amounts, and has been associated with headaches and menstrual problems. Saccharin (E954) has been linked with bladder cancer. Acesulfame K (E950) has also been linked with cancer, while sorbitol (E420) and mannitol (E421) are associated with bloating.
Discovering hidden sugar
It’s difficult to keep to the World Health Organization’s recommended daily limit for sugar (no more than 10 percent of your daily food intake) when it appears in so many forms in packaged, processed foods. If any of the following come near the top of an ingredients list or the product contains more than one in addition to sugar, leave that breakfast cereal, ketchup, or diet food on the shelf:
• corn syrup
• HFCS (high fructose corn syrup)