What is a natural substitute for sugar?
What we put into our bodies is the most important
factor in finding relief from the symptoms
of Parkinson’s. It is no secret that sugar is not good for
our bodies, right?
Sugar is a neuro-toxin. You know this. I know this.
Everyone knows this.
Do you ever eat sugar? You can not see me now, but
I am raising my hand at the moment. I eat sugar
sometimes. OK. Sometimes I eat too much sugar.
Why? I am filling a hole deep inside. I can’t get enough.
You know the list. Whatever.
No matter how much work I do “on myself” I still
eat sugar. So, if I come to the realization that my
preference for sweets will not abate anytime soon,
what can I do about it?
There are alternatives to sugar. Why not investigate
the alternatives that can be used in place of using raw cane
sugar. Then start using an alternative to pure sugar
that is right for you?
Know in advance that you may not be able to
tolerate one or more of the alternatives. That is,
the alternative may be worse for you than raw sugar
itself. But why not celebrate in advance
how much your body will thank you if you can find
a natural and safe substitute for sugar that your
body can tolerate?
Three natural alternative substitutes for sugar are
agave, stevia and zylitol. Here is a sketch of
information about each of the three alternatives.
Agave syrup is a sweetener commercially produced
in Mexico. Agave syrup is sweeter than honey,
though less viscous. It consists primarily of fructose
Agave has a fructose content that is higher than is found
in high-fructose corn syrup. Agave is notable in that its
glycemic index and glycemic load are seemingly lower than
most other natural sweetener alternatives.
Stevia is native to subtropical and tropical South America
and Central America. Known as sweetleaf, stevia is
used as a sugar substitute. The taste has a
longer duration than that of pure sugar. Stevia however
can be associated with a bitter after taste at high
Zylitol sounds like an expensive prescription
medication, but it is not. It is a five-carbon sugar
alcohol that is used as a sugar substitute.
Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener that can
be found in the fibers of fruits and vegetables such as
berries, corn husks, oats, and even mushrooms.
It is extracted from corn fibres, birch trees, raspberries,
plums, and even corn. Xylitol is by all accounts as sweet
as regular sugar.
Zylitol has been around a long time. It is used as
a sweetner for diabetics in some countries and it
is used in various products like gums and toothpaste
to reduce tooth decay.
Check out the possibilities. Do an extended search on
the internet for more information. Talk with your doctor.
You can buy zylitol, stevia and agave from most
health food stores, food co-ops and even some grocery
I think a safe and natural food sweetener is a delightful
choice for people like myself who love to eat a delicious
dessert every now and then. If you are like me, consider
a switch from sugar to a natural substitute.
There is no direct research evidence to indicate that using
alternatives to sugar will help relieve the symptoms of
Parkinson’s. Base on pure logic, it makes sense to me that
using a natural substitute for sugar has the potential to
help unclog neural pathways.
Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
© 2008 Parkinsons Recovery