Are you a like me? There is nothing that I like better than chocolate, cookies, cake and well you get the idea. I would rather eat dessert than just about anything I think. However, I understand that my sugar intake has to be in moderation if I want to be healthy.
Studies show that the sweeter your diet, the more nutrient deficient it is. The average North American consumes about 150 pounds of sugar per year, no wonder chronic disease is on the rise. Try to cut back on refined sugar and artificial sweeteners that serve up nothing but . Instead, choose that offer some beneficial, health-promoting properties. Honey , contains vitamins, minerals and enzymes, plus antioxidants that protect against illness. Honey won't raise your blood sugar either, because it has a moderate effect on insulin. Another great choice is molasses since it is grown in mineral rich soil. It contains the valuable b vitamins and other important nutrients, like iron. Of course no post on sugar substitutes would be complete without me adding how much I love Stevia (an all natural sweetener that you can get at Whole Foods-it does not raise your insulin levels either so your body does not freak out and think it needs to store fat).
If you are having a hard time cutting out the sweets I recommend giving fruit a chance. Yes fruit has sugar but it comes in the form of high fiber and fiber lessens the blood sugar peaks, hormonal havoc and weight gain. Raspberries, blueberries, pineapple, grapes and bananas are all great choices that I personally enjoy when I feel the urge to make a dash for my favorite chocolate bar. Most fruits are high in fiber, low in calories, high in water content, great tasting and convenient. They contain disease-fighting antioxidants and the hundreds of beneficial plant chemicals that scientists have recently discovered protect us (kinda like the phytochemicals in plants protect them).
I know there are days that you just really need that sugar fix and nothing else will do so I say on those days indulge yourself and then go in moderation the rest of the week. I have days that if you even think of taking my chocolate away you might want to turn and run in the other direction.
There are lots of substitutes for sugar that are very satisfying so give those a try-your body will thank you.
Reference-Eat, Drink and Be Merry by Janet and Greta Podleski