Sugar cravings? Here are some better alternatives.
We crave it. We love it. But it isn’t doing our bodies any favors.
It can adversely affect your mind
Your body weight
I could keep going on, but that’s just a few of the many areas that can be crippled by the increase of sugar in your diet. The sad thing is that we don’t even realize how much sugar we eat! Sugar pops up in a lot of unusual places because it makes things taste better and people who make the food that lines our grocery shelves know that. Producers will add sugar to their food products knowing that people will like the flavor better, but also because they know sugar is addictive. It’s their goal to keep you coming back and buying.
Your best option is always to make snacks and sweets at home. When you make it yourself, you can control the amount of sweetener that’s added. If you don’t have the time and can only purchase pre-made, be a label sleuth and know how much sugar the product really contains. Even savory snacks can be loaded with sugar, so be aware. And sugar has lots of different names.
Evaporate cane juice
High fructose corn syrup
It goes by many more, but despite the different names, it all comes down to just being sugar. Get familiar with the names and keep your eyes open for them to pop up on food labels. Even if a product calls itself healthy or organic, that doesn’t mean it still won’t be loaded with some type of sugar. Awareness is the first step towards making a difference in your health.
But I understand that there are times when you just need something sweet. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a treat every once in awhile. Instead of reaching for the nearest cookie packed with white sugar, utilize a better alternative. Here are a few healthier options that you can use to replace white sugar, but will still give you a sweet lift in your day.
Benefits: There are countless benefits of honey, but one really interesting property research has found is that honey can heal infections. It is like giving your body a dose of healing superpowers. And not only can it tackle infections, but it can also actually help to improve your allergies, too. And another cool thing about honey is that it not only has great benefits for you internally, but you can also slather it on your body to heal wounds and burns.
Uses: I love to toss a little bit of honey in a smoothie or on top of oatmeal. A little bit goes a long way. Just a drizzle over peanut butter on whole wheat toast or over apple slices can feel like a delightfully sweet snack.
The sad thing is that we don’t even realize how much sugar we eat.
Benefits: Dates pack a powerful punch. They are loaded with fiber and vitamins. But more than that, research has shown that they are a great way to take in more antioxidants and they have immune-boosting properties. They may look small, but they have a lot to offer your body.
Uses: I find dates are great to throw into smoothies, too. Also, because they are solid, yet sticky, they work great for making cookies, granola bars, and other solid “baked goods”. I have been know to use them in healthy brownies and the crust of healthy pies.
Benefits: Here again we find another healthy sweetener that is loaded with antioxidants. It could potentially have up to 20 compounds related to our health. Now, we aren’t talking about just any maple syrup. You have to make sure you are buying 100% pure maple syrup. Many of the brands on the shelves aren’t actual syrup, so be careful when choosing.
Uses: It goes without saying that this is a morning staple for pancakes and waffles. But you can also use it in baking and for flavoring oven roasted veggies.
Making healthy changes isn’t always easy. Saying no to your favorite sweet can feel like torture. But instead of completely denying yourself, find new ways to get the same enjoyment, but with more of the health benefits. Be aware of the how much sugar you eat on a daily basis and be on the look out for new recipes that bring a little extra sweetness to your life, while helping you achieve a healthier self.
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