KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A spoonful of sugar has always added a little sweet to life.
"Sugar is a feel good addiction," said Dr. Pete Sulack, America's Leading Stress Expert. "Once we have it, we want more of it. We crave it."
In America, Dr. Pete said we eat too much of it.
Dr. Pete explained the average American eats nearly 150 pounds of sugar each year. That is nearly a buggy cart full of it.
According to the doctor, that has to change.
"Sugar is going to cause obesity. Sugar is going to cause tooth decay," said Dr. Pete. "Sugar is really going to wreak havoc on your overall health."
Worst of all, he added sugar will suppress your immune system.
"Decreasing the body's ability to fight off germs and infection," said Dr. Pete.
Dr. Pete suggested minimizing your sugar intake and switching to a different sweetener.
Dr. Pete said all sugar substitutes aren't the same. He added some are natural and others are just detrimental as real sugar.
"They're consuming a lot of artificial sweeteners like Splenda, Sweet'N Low, which according to the FDA are safe for you, but all the side effects are proven very detrimental on the body and overall health," said Dr. Pete.
At home, Dr. Pete uses five natural alternatives that will still sweeten up your life. He said you can get all five of these at a place like Whole Foods.
1. Raw Honey
2. Greenleaf Stevia
3. Dried Fruit
4. Coconut Sugar
5. Organic Pure Maple Syrup
Instead of adding sugar to your coffee or tea, drizzle some raw honey or a bit of Greenleaf Stevia.
"Raw honey is rich in phytochemicals that helps heal the body," said Dr. Pete.
Try using dried fruit, like dates, apricots, or raisins.
Take your favorite cookie recipe and simply replace that real sugar with coconut sugar.
According to Dr. Pete. these alternatives are much better on your body.
"I'm not gonna get the big energy crashes," said Dr. Pete. "I'm not gonna get big insulin spikes that's proven detrimental to diabetes and so forth."