Remember running up and down the street trick-or-treating thinking you’d NEVER have enough candy?!!!
Then, decades later – so much fun to watch my kids do the same thing! Those huge smiles, swinging pillow cases (they learned this from a master….those cute little containers your mom gives you DON’T begin to hold what KING-SIZED pillow cases do…..just sayin’)
Now here we are “older & wiser”, right?!
Entering holiday season (which, for me starts at Halloween and just.keeps.going.)
So, I thought I’d share some ideas for taking some of the sugar out of your life for the next few sugar-laden months!
Buckle up – here we go!
- READ your food labels. Pay particular attention to the “added sugars” listing. Aim for products that do NOT have added sugars.
- TRY snacking on dates rather than a candy bar.
- EAT fresh fruit or oatmeal for breakfast – cereals can contain up the 20 grams of sugar per serving!!!! yikes
- KNOW the different names for sugar – Sorbitol, Lactose, Maltose, Fructose, Sucralose. **I am asked all of the time whether “natural” sugars are better – there is NO quick or easy answer here – natural sugar is obviously less processed, but still contain sugar that affects your body and health.
- CUT down or eliminate sodas – try sparkling water and fruit or try infused sparkling waters.
What is really wrong with sugar?
Well, sugar is addictive. This is why.
Dopamine is a chemical that helps control the pleasure and reward centers in your brain. Animal and human research has shown that in many, but not all, individuals, sugar activates dopamine receptors similarly to cocaine and other addictive drugs. The fact that some people feel addicted to sugar while others do not may be based on a person’s genetics, environment, and unique life experiences — much like any other addiction.
Sugar has been implicated in several diseases and health problems, especially when consumed in large amounts. Based on its ability to quickly raise blood sugar, glucose would seem to be the most harmful component in sugar. However, some research has suggested that excess fructose may potentially be more concerning, although data are conflicting.
It’s not exactly clear why various studies report disparate results, but it may have to do with the amount of fructose, the underlying health and activity level of the people studied, and potentially the funding source for the study.
Fructose is absorbed more slowly into your bloodstream than glucose. Unlike glucose,
it is directly taken up by the liver, where it can be converted to glucose or glycogen, the storage form of glucose. However, at typical modern-day intakes, fructose is frequently converted by the liver into triglycerides (fat), setting the stage for insulin resistance, weight gain, fatty liver, and other health issues.
How much SUGAR should I consume in one day?
The American Heart Association suggest women have no more than 25 grams of sugar per day. 38 grams for men.
Sound daunting? I get it. Our families are sitting in front of the fire enjoying ice cream while you suck on ice cubes, right? hideous.
- 2 cups frozen sliced bananas
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk
Place ingredients in high speed blender and blend thoroughly. Pour into bowl or glass and enjoy!
Remember, you can add anything you have on hand – and top with seeds or nuts.
HAPPY SUGAR-FREE SEASON!