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Starts at $9.98 per contact hour
Min. Hours $$/Hr
4 hours $8.98
8 hours $7.98
12 hours $6.98
20 hours $5.98
30 hours $4.98

Natural Sweeteners: Healthy Options for Your Sweet Tooth

1.5 Contact Hours
Target Audience: Nurses, healthcare professionals, and interested individuals
Purpose/Goal: The outcome of this course for the learner is to describe an historical overview of the role of sugar in the American diet, the various definitions of sugar, glucose metabolism and the health effects of too much dietary sugar, the glycemic index, artificial and natural alternatives to sugar, and methods of reducing dietary sugar intake.
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Most Americans consume far more sugar than they require, and this contributes to obesity as well as many types of diseases. The role of sugar in the American diet is an important one, and understanding its effect on the body and its role in inflammation and disease can significantly affect one’s health. Alternatives to refined sugar are numerous, but are they safe and effective?

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Describe the historical role of sugar in the American diet.
  • Define sugar.
  • Describe how glucose is metabolized in the body.
  • Identify the health effects of sugar on the body.
  • Explain the glycemic index.
  • Compare and contrast artificial and natural alternatives to sugar.
  • Identify methods to reduce dietary sugar intake.

Alexander Pushkin once said, “Ecstasy is a glassful of tea and a piece of sugar in the mouth” (Thinkexist.com, 2015). For those who enjoy sugar (and who doesn’t?), finding healthy options was once very difficult. Today, however, there are many natural options from which to choose. This is important because the consumption of sugar is at an all-time high, and it is affecting the health and well-being of millions of Americans.

Human beings are born with an innate craving for sweets. This craving has existed for millions of years, ever since the very first humans tasted honey or a delicious ripe apple. Our ancestors used sugar in many forms to provide them with quick energy, which was needed for survival if they had to flee an enemy or a potential predator (Pappas, 2011; Sohn, 2010).

Approximately 15 million years ago, a dramatic change occurred in the way our bodies metabolized and stored calories obtained from sugar. Our ancestors developed genetic mutations that made it easy for them to store calories and gain weight when they ate fructose (the sugar commonly found in fruit). These mutations allowed them to survive seasonal periods of famine when there was no fruit or other form of sugar. The genetic mutations had another effect, too. They led to an increase in the amount of uric acid in our bodies and the amount of time that uric acid remains in our bodies after eating fructose (or other forms of sugar). High levels of uric acid can lead to diseases such as gout, kidney disease, diabetes, and hypertension (Sohn, 2010).

The genetic mutations that allowed our bodies to metabolize and store sugars in a more productive way served us well when we lived in a hunting, gathering, and physically active society. However, the ancient mutation that once supported our very survival no longer supports health in our modern times. Along with the easy availability of great amounts of food and sugar as well as a more sedentary lifestyle, our genetic ability to store calories from sugar may actually contribute to illness and disease instead of saving our lives (Sohn, 2010).

Complete the course post exam (CE Test) with a score of 80% or greater. Complete all fields of the course evaluation form. Certificate of Completion is provided once the course post exam is passed per criteria above.

  • American Board of Managed Care Nursing
  • ANCC - American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • AOTA - American Occupational Therapy Association
  • ASWB - Association of Social Work Boards
  • California Board of Behavioral Sciences
  • California Board of Registered Nursing
  • California Department of Health, Aid, and Technician Certification Section
  • District of Columbia Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing - Certified Nursing Assistants
  • Florida Board of Respiratory Care
  • Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition
  • Florida Council of Licensed Midwifery
  • NAADAC - The National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors
  • NCBTMB -National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
  • Florida Board of Massage Therapists


Practice Level:


Content Focus:

Occupational Therapy Process

Course Expires:

July 11, 2019

  • Cyndie Koopsen, RN, BSN, MBA, HNB-BC, RN-BC, HWNC-BC
  • Caroline Young, MPH
Jurisdictional Requirements:

Continuing education (CE) licensing requirements vary by jurisdiction, are not well defined, and may change. These CE requirements may vary in terms of the number of hours required to the types of courses that must be taken. ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC recommends you contact your licensing board or accrediting organization for the latest continuing education requirements of your state or territory. Compliance with CE requirements is the responsibility of the individual health care provider. Health care providers must understand the CE requirements in their jurisdictions, and be sure they are up-to-date on any rule changes that affect their license. For further information, please see our Accreditation Information.

Accommodations for Disabilities:

Every effort will be made to accommodate your special needs. To request accommodations, please contact us.

Conflicts of Interest and Relevant Financial Relationships:

The authors/planning committee members have no conflicts of interests or relevant financial relationships to declare relevant to this activity.

Commercial Support:

No commercial support has been received for this activity.

Non-endorsement of products:

Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing nursing education only and does not imply ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC approval or endorsement of any commercial product.

Off-label Use of Products:

None of the authors intend to discuss off-label uses of drugs, mechanical devices, biologics, or diagnostics not approved by the FDA for use in the United States.