Im not going to sugar-coat it for you!
As we are SLOWLY redefining our understanding about FAT and it's crucial role in a healthy diet and metabolism, the advice that was given to us over the last 30 years, to avoid fat at all cost, continues to contribute to the obesity crisis we are facing.
We were bombarded with low fat, skinny and no fat products and added sugar, sugar, sugar! As we slowly befriend fat again, there is one important thing to remember.
Medical experts may at times disagree about what constitutes a healthy diet, most agree, however, on one sure thing: SUGAR contributes to disease.
From obesity, diabetes, heart disease to cancer, it's inflammatory and robs our body of vital nutrients. However, not all sugar is created equal! The bad guys I'm talking about here are the white table sugar and high fructose corn syrup that virtually find their way to most processed foods on the supermarket shelf - sodas, juice drinks, cereals, flavoured yoghurt, sauces, soups, deli meats, hot dogs and breads.
Many of the artificial sweeteners out there are not only dangerous to health if used long term but are found to contribute to weight gain, not reduce it! So you may be wondering WHAT'S LEFT!? A sweet tooth myself, I understand your frustration. I'm also a mum of a 5 yr old little girl who very much enjoys sweets like her mama!
I had no choice but to find healthy alternatives! Here's what I found.
COCONUT SUGAR - also called coconut palm sugar, it gives stable energy and less violent blood sugar swings due to it's nutrient profile - potassium, zinc, magnesium, vitamin B1 and C, and has a lovely caramel flavour.
MAPLE SURUP - research identified 54 nutritional compounds in maple syrup that were shown to inhibit inflammation, cancer and diabetes. However, we are talking PURE maple syrup NOT maple flavoured products!
RAW HONEY - unprocessed honey has a great nutrient profile too. Additionally, honey fights bacteria and viruses, soothes coughs and respiratory infections.
STEVIA - contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and ZERO calories! Does not raise blood sugar levels either. Can have a bitter or licorice-like aftertaste and make sure to use sparingly as it's 400 times sweeter than sugar!
BLACKSTRAP MOLASSES - contains iron, magnesium and B6.
Give them a try! Finding a nutritious alternative to your regular, processed sugar will benefit the health of your whole family.