Sugar has risen to no.1 on the Dangerous Foods List around the world. Here we take a look at some healthy alternatives?

First off, sugar is not the problem, overeating sugar is. The good news is that we trained ourselves to overeat sugar, so, if we decide we do not want the rotting teeth, obesity and risk of fatal heart or liver disease, we can train ourselves to let sugar go and have health instead. 

 

What Helps*?

 

1. Consume in Moderation:

Not all sugar is automatically bad for us—sugars naturally found in fruits, veggies, and whole grains make up a crucial part of a healthy diet. Where the problem lies (and the risk of heart disease and obesity come into play) is the amount of excess added sugar[4] in our diets.[5]

2. Switch to Natural Sweets:

Start looking at naturally sweet foods. Fruits are an obvious choice, but there are plenty of sweet vegetables too and eating these on occasion are a good way to help transition your taste buds off of refined sugar. Carrots, beets, sweet potatoes and organic peas are all sweeter than most other vegetables and provide some great nutrients to boot!

Natural sweeteners such as steviahoney and cinnamon deserve special mention as a sugar substitute.

3.  Eat Healthy Fats.  

Avocado, nuts, salmon, olive oil… there is a long list of healthy fats. We often turn to sugar when we are hungry and if you don’t have enough healthy fats in your diet, you’ll find that those cravings happen often. Healthy fats keep you feeling full, help you develop muscle tone and you will be less apt to want to grab a candy bar an hour after lunch.

4. Have an Emotional Emergency Kit

Sugar often feels good when we are feeling stressed, bored or emotional.  Stress and upset in our lives will change our body chemistry in ways that make some of us crave sweets.  Instead, create a self-love kit to help you feel better when you’re down. Make sure it includes things you can use “on the go”, like a playlist on your phone or iPod, anything that will change your mood. Schedule an indulgent bath or massage once in a while. Love yourself, from the inside out and reduce your stress to reduce your sweet cravings.

5. Get Sleep.

The connections between lack of quality sleep and how it leads to sugar binging are multi-faceted. Suffice it to say that if you’re not sleeping well at night, or you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re going to be looking for the sugar as fuel to keep you going, which ultimately leads to crashes leaving you more tired and wired.

The negative effects of this seemingly harmless sugar indulgence are big!!! Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer are on the list of health woes that can be fed by sugar. But the list doesn’t end there. A great documentary on what sugar does to the body can be found here.   

Here are some Sugar Alternatives, try them out and see which ones work for you: 

 

1. Cinnamon

2. Honey

3. Stevia

4. Dates

5. Blackstrap Molasses

 

 

Ease into it. This is a transition worth doing on many levels and benefits both your physical and your emotional health. If you find yourself unable to break the habit, seek help from a Nutritionist or Health Coach that can provide you the tools for success.

 

You’re worth the effort to make a change and YES it can be done!

 

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* As always consult with your registered Health Professional before making any changes to your diet and lifestyle.

 

[1]  (Source)

[4] Consumption of added sugars and indicators of cardiovascular disease risk among US adolescents. Welsh J.A., Sharma A., Cunningham S.A.,et. al., Nutrition and Health Science Program, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, GA, Circulation. 2011 Jan 25;123(3):249-57.

[5] High-fructose corn syrup: everything you wanted to know, but were afraid to ask., Fulgoni V 3rd, Nutrition Impact, LLC, Battle Creek, MI, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2008 Dec;88(6):1715S.

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