We all know that sugar is not healthy for your body, so Dr. Matt has some better ingredient options to improve your health and boost your weight loss.
Host: Well the numbers are frightening -- by 2020 50% of Americans will be diabetic or pre-diabetic. By 2030 44% of Americans will be obese. Our first guest says that's why people need to look for better ways to feed their bodies. Welcome Dr. Matthew McAlees from the Align Weight Loss. Dr. Matt, how are you?
Dr. Matt: Very good thank you.
Host: I'm glad we're talking about this. You say the fact that so many of us consume so many foods with chemicals and so many processed, prepackaged foods, is a huge part of the problem.
Dr. Matt: Yes, it's in everything. I mean there's a reason why those statistics are the way they are and it's not like that in most other countries around the world.
Host: It's alarming when you start reading labels.
Dr. Matt: Yes, the trends are scary, like that that one you shared: 50% of kids will be diabetic by the year 2020. That's not genetic, that's things that are happening here in our country.
Host: Okay, so there are ways around this and you want to help people make some substitutions.
Dr. Matt: Absolutely.
Host: Our first sugar alternative you want to talk about is stevia.
Dr. Matt: Yes, now a lot of people have been hearing about this. You can find this in just about every local grocery store but these are really two brands of stevia that are great. You've got to read the label because some stevia products still have sugar in them as the first ingredient. So you've really got to read the label. It's zero calorie, it's 100 - 300 times sweeter than sugar, and you can see there's a liquid form and packets that you can use. And it's just a much better substitute so you're getting zero sugar but your drinks could be sweetened, your cookies, whatever you're going to use it in.
Host: So if you have a recipe that calls for sugar, you can substitute with stevia?
Dr. Matt: Yes, now it's not the best (the next product really is the best) but for drinks and things that you need to carry with you all the time this is really the best alternative.
Host: Like if you're a sweet tea addict, one of those people?
Dr. Matt: Exactly, so instead of using artificial sweetener or sugar this is perfect.
Host: Okay I like stevia very much, I've been using it, I like it. Okay next is xylitol.
Dr. Matt: Yes, now this is something you're going to have to find in a health food store. You're not going to find this at a Harris Teeter, or anywhere like that. This is a 1-to-1 for sugar. It's a vegetable-based plant sugar. It's good for your teeth and you can use this as a 1-to-1 for sugar. The great thing is if you just simply switch to this you'll cut your sugar intake by about 1/2 to 1/3.
Dr. Matt: Yes, just by switching to this.
Host: And we know that sugar is the enemy right?
Dr. Matt: Oh yeah.
Host: We don't like sugar.
Dr. Matt: It ages your body, adds fat, it destroys you.
Host: Okay Dr. Matt, why are these good though? Can you explain for people who have never used stevia or even heard of xylitol, why these are acceptable, why they're okay for our bodies?
Dr. Matt: I can, but the better thing to discuss is why sugars bad. So these are healthy because they don't do what sugar does, which is increases cortisol, which is your stress hormone, which ages your body breaks down collagen, adds fat, destroys lean muscle, feeds cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity. So it doesn't do all of those things, which is why they're so great.
Host: Okay, I use this too. I use xylitol too. Okay the next thing you want to talk about is almond flour.
Dr. Matt: That's right now most people are used to using flour when they cook but almond flour is something that's really easy. It's just a substitute instead of the other types of flour you use, you can use almond flour. The great part is it's got a ton of protein and good fat and about half the amount of carbs. So you're getting protein and good fats, half the amount of carbs, it's just wonderful. This is again something you're gonna have to find at a health food store like a Whole Foods, something like that. But it's great. Again these are all just what we call horizontal shifts so it's not that you're taking something away, you just replace it with something that's really easy.
Host: And people won't notice a difference in taste?
Dr. Matt: You know, this is a little bit more like cornmeal, but as far as taste goes, no there's no taste difference. And there's another one, coconut flour is about the same also.
Host: Okay speaking of coconuts, coconut milk.
Dr. Matt: That's right, now this is the last one. Now this is something you'll find in just about any grocery store. It's got about 1/10 of the sugar that normal milk does. Now this is something that most people don't know is most milk has more sugar than a soda or a Pepsi or anything like that. So this is about 1/10 and the key is it's got good fat which helps you burn fat. So everyone's scared of fat out there but...
Host: Yes, Dr. Matt if I may interrupt you there, people see the fat content of coconut milk and get a little bit scared but again it is the good fat like an avocado or...
Dr. Matt: Exactly so it actually helps you burn fat, increase your energy, balance your hormones. The stuff is amazing -- it comes in sweetened and unsweetened and also even for your coffee there's coconut milk creamer.
Host: Isn't that nice it comes in sweet and unsweetened. How do you use coconut milk? Would you pour it over cereal?
Dr. Matt: You can use it every way that you would use regular milk. I think the unsweetened is sweet enough but if you're making the transition and it's not quite doing it, then you could go with the sweetened version for a while. Baby steps.
Host: Yes, what about almond milk do you like that, too?
Dr. Matt: I love it, that's another one. Almonds and coconuts, if you can work them into your diet that's a great way again to really focus on getting your body healthy and staying away from the preservatives and staying away from the diseases that are linked to lifestyle induced like cancer, and heart disease, and obesity.