So it had been a long time since posting about my experience during the 21 Day Sugar Detox and The Problem with Sugar, but I am back with more sugar information! My goal with the sugar information is to make it clear that you can enjoy things in life, but make them healthier for yourself and even better, learn more about what you’re eating! Today I am going to chat about the scary world of sweeteners…
We know that sugar is found in far more things then we think about, not just candy bars and pops, but finding that sugar additive can be tricky business. That is because sugar can be transformed, giving it many different names to go by on food labels. Instead of just looking for the word “sugar” (which you will find a lot) there are many other things to keep an eye out for when trying to avoid sugar.
Here is a fantastic guide to sweeteners, it contains really great information about what kind of sweeteners you should avoid and consider eating.
Now go read some fod labels, check out your tomato sauce, look at everything "healthy" you
While this list seems unapproachable, it is not, many of these sugars will be found at the end of a laundry list ingredient list, so if you stick to things that have a few (say 5-7) ingredients, you will likely not see a lot of these things. What makes sugar avoiding easy, is that if you avoid processed foods, and eating a whole, nutrient dense diet, you wont be seeing these crazy things in your foods at all. Your best option is to pick foods without an ingredient list, or just simply 1 thing listed (think “ground turkey” or “whole almonds”).
Now I am NOT saying to not have any sugar, or that eliminating it for life is a good goal. I sure don't eliminate it completely, but when I do try to do it choose the best possible sugars to have in my diet, like I said, the unprocessed and more natural sugar sources.
Some of the best sugar sources that I recommended, especially if you are adding your own sugar to something like baking are: honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, coconut nectar, molasses, dates and fruit juices. These sweeteners come from much more natural sources and are a better option that can truly satisfy a sugar craving and they have some more nutritional value.
One addition tip is to reduce the sugar or sweeteners you use everywhere! If a recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, try reducing it by a 1/3, try to reduce the sugar in your coffee by a little bit, stop adding sugar to naturally sweet things like fruit (sugar on strawberries anyone?). Going on a sugar detox is a great idea too, it helped me taste the real sweetness in foods, even things like unsweetened coconut turn into delicious sweet treats!
Do you think reducing your sugar intake is a good idea? Do you read food labels carefully? What is your usual go to sweetener choice?
Amanda is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist out of Southwest Middlesex, and London ON. She works with clients to help them achieve their health and wellness goals!
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