The other day I went to buy some of the individual bags of flavored waters for my kids. I was thinking that they would be preferable to the no-sugar-added juice boxes I normally offer to hydrate them in the car. Water, I reasoned, is always a healthier choice than juice.
What a surprise, then, to see that one of the most popular brands of these water bags listed high fructose corn syrup as the second ingredient and sucralose as the fourth!
Some believe our current epidemic of obesity and skyrocketing health problems including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer can be directly traced to the abundance of high fructose corn syrup in our packaged foods. It is a highly processed sweetener, one of the many synthetic sweeteners available that fool the body into secreting extra hormones and packing on the pounds.
Results from an 8-year study of more than 1,500 people by the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, suggest that those who drank diet sodas gained more weight than those who didn’t.
Organic, unrefined, unbleached sugar from sugar cane is always a more health-conscious choice over high fructose corn syrup or other artificial sweeteners such as saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame-k and sucralose.
Additional healthy options to satisfy a sweet tooth might include locally-collected honey, real maple syrup, nothing-added fruit juices and brands of chocolate syrup that don’t contain trans-fats or high fructose corn syrup.
Here’s a tangy recipe that uses citrus and honey to be sweet and healthy without resorting to synthetic ingredients to cut calories.
Citrus-Ginger Chicken with Root Vegetables