The holidays are upon us, along with the onslaught of Christmas cookies, cakes, breakfast strudels and eggnog.
Sweet wonderful sugar. We’re hardwired to crave it. Sugar stimulates the reward system of the brain making us crave even more. Chances are your diet has a lot of sugar in it and you don’t even know. How would you? It has over 60 different names…
Every day foods like granola, yogurt and flavored coffees are loaded with sugars, and you’re probably eating more than you should. However, it’s unlikely the majority of us will refrain from indulging in our favorite treats during the “sugar season.”
Holiday baking was a tradition when my boys were young. Nothing says Christmas better than Christmas cookies. Over the years, I carried on the tradition with the grandchildren. However, the epidemic of childhood obesity and diabetes, prompted me to question the wisdom of preserving our time-honored practice.
If you plan to bake with sugar this year, I hope you’ll at the very least, buy organic. Non-organic sugar is often genetically modified and replete with chemicals. Organic sugar in bulk is relatively inexpensive and you can also use it to make your own powdered sugar (another common gmo food product) and easily make your own brown sugar. Check out our Make Your Own recipes for healthier brown sugar and powdered sugar.
Not So Sweet
Why should you reduce sugar when it takes so good? For your health’s sake and the health of your family. Sugar consumption has been linked to virtually every “dis-ease,” that is plaguing the western world (and those who have adopted the Standard American Diet). From diabetes to cancer, sugar has a long history of being a killer. And please, throw out the artificial sweeteners such as Truvia. Although Truvia contains the natural plant-based sweetener, stevia, it also contains a potent insecticide and genetically modified ingredients.
The number 1 reason to get your sugar habit under control? Sugar undermines your health and causes disease. Sugar destroys Vitamin C and without it your immune system is weakened making you vulnerable to a host of illnesses. In essence, without adequate Vitamin C you are likely to develop heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, or a host of others problems and catch every bug that comes your way.
Get on Track
To reduce your daily intake of sugar you must shift how you see food. You wouldn’t intentionally feed your family foods that would make them sick. When you rethink the foods you choose, you can make healthier choices. The American Heart Association recommends children eat no more than 3-6 t. of added sugar per day. Most cereals eaten with fruit juice contain 11 t. or more of added sugar.
I always say, “The proof is in the pudding.” Do you or your kids tend to get colds, flu, stomach aches or other “dis-eases?” If so, you’ll want to look at your diet. Unhealthy processed foods (that’s everything from frozen chicken to breakfast cereal) are anti-nutrient foods and cause nutritional wasting.
Don’t skip the greens, broccoli or other “live” foods, especially during the “sugar season.” Then you can enjoy your traditional holiday favorites, guilt-free.