I know some people think I am crazy that I'm not a fan of fruit, BUT fruit sugar is a fructose which is metabolized differently in the body.
Why FRUCTOSE is so harmful:
1. Fructose can only be metabolized by the liver; glucose on the other hand can be metabolized by every cell in the body. Fructose raises triglycerides (blood fats) like no other food. Fructose bypasses the enzyme phosphofructokinase, which is the rate-limiting enzyme for glucose metabolism. Fructose is shunted past the sugar-regulating pathways and into the fat-formation pathway. The liver converts this fructose to fat, which, unfortunately, remains in the liver = FATTY LIVER DISEASE. Consuming fructose is essentially consuming fat! This is why I see so many children with fatty liver disease...they aren't drinking alcohol, they are drinking sodas, juices and consuming too much fructose!
2. Fructose reduces the sensitivity of insulin receptors, which causes type II diabetes. Insulin receptors are the way glucose enters a cell to be metabolized. Our cells become resistant to the effects of insulin and as a result, the body needs to make more insulin to handle the same amount of glucose. We also start to produce insulin as a defense mechanism even if we don't eat and sugar or starch. YIKES! This is why we should allow our children to eat so much sugar and starch either...even though they are thin and active, you are setting them up for an adulthood where they can't enjoy a dessert without reaping the adverse effects. I grew up on Fruity Pebbles and skim milk for breakfast, Cocoa Pebbles for dinner, which is why I am so sensitive to glucose.
3. Fructose is high in uric acid, which increases blood pressure and causes gout.
4. Fructose increases lactic acid in the blood. High levels cause metabolic acidosis especially for those with conditions such as diabetes.
5. Fructose accelerates oxidative damage and increases aging. Fructose changes the collagen of our skin making it prone to wrinkles.
6. High consumption of fructose leads to mineral losses: iron, calcium magnesium and zinc, which can lead to low bone density (osteoporosis). It also interferes with copper metabolism. This causes collagen and elastin being unable to form, which are connective tissue that hold the body together. A deficiency in copper can also lead to infertility, bone loss, anemia, defects of the arteries, infertility, high cholesterol levels, heart attacks and inability to control blood sugar.
7. Fructose has no effect on our hunger hormone ghrelin and interferes with brain’s communication with leptin, which is the hormone that tells us to stop eating and you CAN become leptin resistant! (please read the chapter on HORMONES in Secrets to a Healthy Metabolism for charts on FOODS to Eat and FOODS to NOT EAT to balance your hormones properly.)
Is an apple the downfall of American's weight issue, no, BUT if you are already insulin sensitive a jicama would be a healthier alternative that has a texture just like an apple.
1 large jicama, cut into 1 inch squares
6 tbsp butter
1 cup Swerve OR Just Like Sugar OR xylitol
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Crushed nuts OR my "Healthified" Granola
First off make the caramel sauce.
Using Swerve OR Just Like Sugar: Before you begin, make sure you have everything ready to go - the cream and the butter next to the pan, ready to put in. Work fast or the sweetener will burn. Heat butter on high heat in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart (2 L) or 3-quart (3 L) saucepan. As soon as it comes to a boil, watch for specks of brown (this is brown butter....so good on veggies!). Immediately add the Just Like Sugar® and the cream to the pan. Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, and then pour into a glass mason jar and let sit to cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
Using Xylitol: Again have everything ready. Wear oven mitts; the caramelized sugar will be much hotter than boiling water. In a heavy-bottomed 2-quart (2 L) or 3-quart (3 L) saucepan, heat sweetener on moderately high heat. As it begins to melt, stir vigorously with a whisk or wooden spoon. As soon as it comes to a boil, stop stirring. You can swirl the pan a bit if you want, from this point on. As soon as all of the xylitol crystals have melted (the liquid should be dark amber in color), immediately add the butter to the pan. Whisk until the butter has melted. Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat. Count to three, then slowly add the cream to the pan and continue to whisk to incorporate. Note that when you add the butter and the cream, the mixture will foam up considerably. Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then pour into a glass mason jar and let sit to cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Dip the jicama squares into the caramel. Roll in nuts (I used my granola recipe). Set on parchment paper. Enjoy!
NUTRITIONAL COMPARISON (per 2 TBS)
Traditional Caramel Sauce = 130 calories, 24 carbs, 0 g fiber
“Healthified” Just Like Sugar = 51 calories, 12 carbs, 12 g fiber, (0 effective)
“Healthified” Xylitol Caramel = 60 calories, 1 carb, 0 fiber (1 effective)
1 cup apple = 65 calories, 18 carbs, 3g fiber
1 cup jicama = 45 calories, 11 carbs, 6.5g fiber