Eating Well,  Good Health

Healthy Cooking – The Pleasures and Perils of Sugar

NE-sugarsSugar is definitely an area where most of us tend to have too much of a good thing. Your brain needs to have sugars in order to function. But this doesn’t mean you need to have that doughnut!

Eating processed sugar provides a great jolt that makes you feel fantastic while it lasts, but then leads to a crash as blood sugar levels drop right back down again.

Some people are more sensitive to this than others. I personally have felt a natural sugar crash from eating a whole apple by itself. Having some protein tends to moderate this for me. Maybe have some cheese with that apple? Children seem to be particularly sensitive.

Try different types of sugar

The types of sugar that you eat can make a difference. Eliminating processed sugars can be a great boost your health and, yes, your brain’s ability to function efficiently.

Ingredients such as white granulated sugar, brown sugar, and powdered sugar are certainly tasty, but they aren’t the best choices for healthy eating. Instead, try to get your sweetness fix through more natural ingredients.

Honey, molasses, and maple syrup are more natural sources of sugar. Raw cane sugar is another natural source of sugar. While these choices are natural and less processed than other types of sugar, you’ll still want to use them in limited quantities. A little goes a long way.

The best choice is to learn to enjoy the wholesome sweetness of fruits. They naturally contain sugar that will satisfy your sweet tooth while still delivering nutrients to your body.

The sugar you get from strawberries, apples, or grapes provides satisfying sweetness and also the fiber and vitamins that are essential to a healthy diet.

If you are diabetic though, any type of sugar is dangerous. Even that big plate of pasta is full of hazardous carbohydrates that can do some serious damage to your body if you overindulge.

Stop drinking empty calories!

In addition to getting sugar from sweet foods, many people get a lot of sugar from the drinks they consume. Sugary sodas, sweet teas, and juices can give you a lot of calories but little or nothing in the way of nutrition. This is a great place to start eliminating sugars from your life.

Switch to water with lime or herbal teas that are flavored naturally. If you want to add sweetness, try a natural sweetener such as stevia. Other calorie free sweeteners can be less healthy.

There are many dessert options using fruits and other healthy ingredients that can help you to get the sweetness you crave without sacrificing your health.

A good strategy is to gradually train your body to do without all that sweetness. As you eliminate sugar, you’ll get to a point where you really don’t crave it as much.

It’s so much healthier to enjoy the natural sweetness in the food itself.

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