Friday, 3 June 2016

Sugar, You Are Sweet Enough

We have all read many articles telling us that we should cut down on refined sugar. The list of negative effects on the body is endless (digestive issues, weight gain, acne, pre-mature aging,  insulin resistance etc). We know it is harmful to our health and waistlines, but why do we still want it so bad??!!!

When we crave sugar our bodies are trying to tell us something. In times of stress, our body goes into survival mode. Even though we are not in physical danger or starving, our hormones get out of whack and we start craving the sweet stuff. If we have skipped a meal or ate a meal that was not balanced with the correct macro-nutrients, we will crave sugar too! Some of us are literally addicted, so these cravings are produced from poor eating habits that include increased sugarconsumption on a daily basis.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Obviously something is going on. You never "NEED" a cookie. You need to de-stress, drink some water or eat a meal. What usually helps me is having a protein shake sweetened with stevia (like this one) , or eating a healthy fat like an avocado or sunflower butter on rice cakes.

Some great sugar alternatives are fruits, which have natural sugar to give you a quick boost, but also have fibre to keep you full. Pairing fruit with protein or healthy fat like nuts or seeds will help maintain your blood sugar levels between meals. Most people who eat 3 meals a day and 2 snacks are able to avoid cravings because there hormones are balanced and they can maintain their blood sugar at a healthy level.

One of my favourite ways to replace sugar in baking is using a stevia sweetener. Flavorall is a liquid
stevia sweetener that comes in many flavours. You can add it to shakes, yogurt, oatmeal, coffee and/or tea. Quitting sugar cold turkey can be tough, so I find the stevia really helps. In baking I also use apple sauce, (very ripe) bananas, dried dates or protein powder.

Like any bad habit, cutting out sugar can be difficult, but not impossible! Slowly cut down your sugar consumption and get honest about how much you are consuming. Always prep meals and snacks when you leave the house to ensure you will be making healthy choices when you are on the go! Sugary treats are delicious, but in moderation. Remember there is always a healthier option and if you can't buy one, you can definitely create one ;)

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