Sugar addictions sounds more evil than it actually is. You see, our body naturally craves and needs sugar to survive. Our ancestors climbing up trees would’ve loved a ripe banana! And for good reason too! The sweetness of that delicious fruit would provide great calories for him, as it does for us. Sweetness attracts us to juicy, ripe, plums, peaches, bananas, strawberries, and so much more.
So why is sugar “bad”? Well, you can blame it on technology, as the saying goes, one step forward, two steps back!
You see, the sugar that we most often consume today is refined sugar, meaning it’s processed. Its highly concentrated, and usually in an unnatural state. What that means is, our body is not sure how to process it. Unnatural sugars give us a variety of symptoms:
- Infamous Crash– Feeling great eating that muffin, than BAM, your a zombie in need of a dire nap!
- Immune System Compromise– Did you know that drinking the equivalent of two and a half 12-ounce sodas compromises your immune system’s ability to fight germs by as much as 40%?(1)
- Obesity and Diabetes- Sugar makes your body go out of wack, especially in high doses, and continued high doses. Excessive, high consumption leads to insulin resistance, increased glycemic load, β-cell dysfunction, and inflammation.
- Heart Disease– Affecting the ratio of lipids (fat) in your body, heart disease is another concern with consuming high levels of sugar.
- Alzheimer’s Disease– Also a surprise to me, increased levels of sugar contribute to Alzheimer’s Disease! (2)
So we know that there more than enough reasons to stop consuming excess artificial sugar- but how do we do it?
Well the good thing is, it doesn’t have to be too hard!
Let me first start by saying, Artificial Sweeteners such as Splenda ARE NOT AN OPTION! Your better off eating regular, refined sugar instead of artificial sweeteners, which, did you know, was originally created as a pesticide!
So Here is what you can do!
- Use Raw Agave as a sweetener– Feel guilt free. Made from agave nectar, it’s time released so your body does not get an overdoes of sugar at once, it tastes sweeter than regular sugar, and it’s ‘natural’. Your body can handle and process it better! It’s still a sugar but a healthier and more enjoyable alternative. I guarantee you will feel a difference after consuming Agave instead of regular Sugar. Try it out. I use it in my smoothies and such, and even my tea.
- Stevia– It’s actually made from leaves, or the leaves themselves are used. It’s been used for over 1500 years by the people of south america. It’s also much sweeter than table sugar yet it has a 0 glycemic index!
- Honey– Get real honey, and use it in moderation. It is also a better alternative than table sugar when not used in access amounts.
When you go shopping for cookies, muffins, or other sweets, try to find ones that are not made with regular sweeteners- and if you can’t, you don’t have to beat yourself up, set yourself up for success instead! When you buy ‘regular’ muffins and such, buy smaller quantities that will still satisfy you and make you happy.
Place your sweets out of site, in a cabinet or drawer!
Place your refrigerated sweets in the very bottom of the fridge, and/or in the back.
Creative, Delicious …and Healthy?
Replace your desserts with real fruits. Have you had a real, ripe, organic banana? It tastes so creamy, vanilla-y, and delicious- and it’s guilt free. It’s amazing. Grab some bananas and make yourself eat some instead of a muffin or cookie next time you get the urge. And don’t limit yourself, eat as many as you like. Remember, eating muffins, cookies, ice cream and then a banana does NOT make it healthy!!! 🙂
- Organic Banana for dessert
- Get a blender (I love the Ninja) and make smoothies using fruit (frozen perhaps), agave nectar, and either water, almond milk, or a good juice- if its fresh juice all the better.
- Make smoothies.
- Make bakeable deserts (mushed bananas, pecans for crust, and agave for sweetening, super simple and sweet, and healthy! Yay)
- Get a juicer
- Make your favorite sweet juices with your own sugar control, and sugar alternatives. The best part about all these methods is that you don’t have to control your sugar urges any longer, they will be in tune with you and you can go with it because they are all healthy sources. Imagine the freedom in that!
- Buy popsicle makers. Perhaps no more than 5 bucks at Walmart, you can make juice, add honey or another sweeter, and voila! My son and I had these for breakfast- and they’re healthy! Yay!
Once you make a few of these adjustments, you no longer need to ‘control’ yourself.
All your options will be beneficial to your health! You will be free of self-judgment
And even if you do decide to eat a cupcake now and then, you know you are surrounded by healthy alternatives in your home, and that’s what counts!
PS- if you have people in your house who are adamant to regular muffins/brownies, etc, make your own delicious varieties. People don’t complain when things taste good!
- Cao, D.; Lu, H.; Lewis, T. L.; Li, L. (2007). “Intake of Sucrose-sweetened Water Induces Insulin Resistance and Exacerbates Memory Deficits and Amyloidosis in a Transgenic Mouse Model of Alzheimer Disease”. The Journal of Biological Chemistry 282 (282): 36275–36282.doi:10.1074/jbc.M703561200.