Most of us have at least a little bit of a sweet tooth. I’m no different and find it hard sometimes to pass up that piece of cake or that cookie. This is partly because sugar is as addictive as cocaine. Processed food manufacturers count on that and add one of several unhealthy addictive sweeteners to their products that make us want to eat more and more. This addiction helps them sell more product! This is one of the reasons diabetes and obesity are rampant in this country.
For example, most people choose pop to drink at a restaurant and think nothing of ordering pop for their kids. What does the waitress say when she comes to your table? “What would you like to drink?” “We carry Coke products” or “We carry Pepsi products”. Like everyone is expected to order a soda pop. Well, remember this the next time you order a drink at a restaurant. A 20-ounce Coke contains 16.25 teaspoons of sugar in the form of genetically modified, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). This translates to 240 empty calories and a dose of toxic chemicals. So, if you drink 2 Cokes a day, that’s nearly 1/4 of your daily calories, with no nutritional value for your body. The other thing to consider is that the restaurant makes lots of money charging you a dollar to two dollars for a pop that costs them just pennies. Order water with lemon next time!! Save calories, eliminate toxins and save some money all at the same time.
Processed sugar, HFCS and artificial sweeteners like aspartame, have no place in our diets. They have no nutritional benefit and cause no end of harm. Artificial sweeteners are neurotoxins that kill brain cells. They are chemically engineered to make you hungry and crave more. That diet soda is NOT helping you lose weight!! Sugar beet sugar and HFCS are genetically modified. Your body doesn’t know what to do with genetically modified products, not to mention the fact that they are doused in cancer-causing chemicals. White cane sugar is bleached and processed so that it contains no nutrients, whatsoever. And all of these sweeteners have a very high glycemic index that raise your blood sugar and stress your pancreas and this can lead to diabetes. Sugar makes our bodies acidic and cancer and inflammation thrive in an acidic environment. So it’s best to greatly reduce or eliminate sugar intake and limit our sugars to natural, lower glycemic sweeteners.
So what do we do about our sweet tooth? What I do is consider what’s in that piece of cake and what it will do to my body. And then I remember that there are many natural sweeteners that not only don’t cause spikes in blood sugar, but also add nutrients your body can use. Some of these are maple syrup, raw honey, coconut sugar, monk fruit, stevia and xylitol. Some fruits are also great sweeteners. Dates, raisins, prunes, applesauce and bananas are all wonderful natural sweeteners.
There are many recipes for healthier versions of those sweets we love. It just takes a little shift in thought process. Before you reach for that soda or sweet dessert, consider a healthier alternative like this recipe for a delicious chocolate pudding that contains no sugar and no diary. It’s a healthy dessert you can even eat for breakfast.
Raw Chocolate Pudding – Yields 4 Servings
1 Ripe Banana
1 Ripe Avocado
4 Tablespoons Cacao powder
½ teaspoon Allspice
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
10 soaked Deglet dates (soaked in ¼ cup warm water at least 1 hour. Reserve water)
-Put all ingredients, except Granola, in a blender.
-Pulse to blend. (You may have to scrape down the sides.)
-Process on high until smooth.
-Serve immediately, topped with Granola, if desired. Store covered for 4 days.
Dates may be soaked overnight. If using Medjool dates, fewer dates may be used.
*Article previously published in the Carthage Press, April 2016*