Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Good sweetners

America has a giant sweet tooth. We reward successes, celebrate birthdays, and mend broken hearts with a slice of chocolate cake.

The holiday season also moves people into the kitchen to bake cookies and sweets for friends, family, and colleagues. This isn't fair for our waistlines.

This year think about cutting back on some of those sweets. If you're doing all the baking, replace refined sugar with natural sources. Eliminating processed sugar from your diet will improve your health. Stay away from those pink, blue and yellow packets that reside by the coffee machine. Raw sugar (brown packets) are the better choice, but the sugar is still refined. Drink more water and tea than sugary sodas. These foods are full of icky ingredients like saccharin, high fructose corn syrup and other artificial ingredients.

The best alternatives are fruit, honey, date sugar, molasses, agave nectar, sorghum syrup, brown rice syrup, brown malt syrup, fruit juice concentrate, stevia, xylitol.

A few healthful tips:
Buy plain organic yogurt and sweeten with honey and fruit.
Protein or a 15 minute walk is a better pick-me-up than sugar-laden sodas.
Skip the sugar in your coffee or tea and sweeten with honey or almond milk.
Skip the ice cream and make a fruit smoothie.
Enjoy a bowl of fruit sprinkled with cinnamon and shredded coconut.
Nut butters mixed with raisins and molasses spread onto apple slices are a better, low sugar snack.

Sugar is extremely addictive which is why we crave it. But try to to reduce your sugar intake a little each week and note how you feel. Make goals and try to stick to them. And instead of making cupcakes from the Duncan Hines box, whip up some of these instead.

What sweetners do you prefer?

(Bauman College, NE104 Lecture notes)


Lisa's Cocina said...

Honey is probably my most favorite sweetener. My mom used to make homemade yogurt when I was a child, and we used to always sweeten it with honey -- I love that combination.

Jeremy said...

Not the ice cream!

britt said...

Great Sugar/sweet post lady! I recently (2 months-ish) ago cut soda out of my life. And life is better without it. Mmm Tea Mmm Water

Karine said...

My favorite sweetener is maple syrup :)

You indeed wrote a great post. Sugar is addictive, badly. And bad for our health... but also, unfortunately comforting.

Diane @ Balanced Bites said...

Nice post. I've stopped using agave lately after reading the article on the WAPF website. Maybe check that one out.

I did a 21-day sugar detox with Erin Huggins when 2010 began and it really changed the way I eat! I find that since that detox, I steer clear of sweet things almost all the time now. I rarely get cravings for them, but when I do, I reach for some coconut creme concentrate or something naturally sweet.

It's amazing what some time away from sweeteners does to the palate and the changes them both! I highly recommend that anyone do it. It was no sweeteners or refined carbs (which I don't eat anyway) and no fruit except green apples or green-tipped bananas.

I'll blog about my experience with it soon I think.

Love your blog :) Go Bauman students!

Diane Sanfilippo
Owner, Balanced Bites Holistic Nutrition & Wellness
C.H.E.K. Holistic Lifestyle Coach
Holistic Nutrition Educator student @ Bauman College, Berkeley, CA

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