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Food & Nutrition

Check Your Sweet Tooth: Natural Sugar Alternatives

sugar

By Lindsey Smith

Okay, so I admit. I used to be a sugar addict. It all started with those watermelon gummies. Quickly, I upgraded to Twix bars, and eventually I found myself hooked on Chocolate Brownie Frappuccinos. It seemed like every year, I upgraded my addiction to the newest sugary treat.

After all, sugar consumes us on a daily basis. It is in almost everything we eat or drink. Sometimes it is seen as the basic word “sugar” and sometimes it is disguised as high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, lactose, sorbitol, or sucrose — just to name a few! Despite the many names, the verdict is still the same — it’s all sugar!

Sugar, in a refined form, can take our body on an emotional roller coaster ride. When we first digest it, we get this jolt or high. We may become extremely anxious or excited. Then, the ride dips and our anxious or excited emotions turn to depression or fatigue.

In order to get out of our slump, we often will again, turn to sugar to give us a quick fix. This is a continuous cycle of junk foods and junk moods.

Even just a small amount of sugar makes us desire more. Overconsumption of processed and refined sugars can lead to weight gain and other serious health conditions.

So instead of using table sugar or even artificial sweeteners, try slowly swapping out for natural sugar alternatives when you are cooking or baking. These alternatives are still sugar at the core, but they have a slower absorption rate in your body, so you most likely won’t experience the emotional roller coaster ride that processed sugar takes you on.

Here are some natural sugar alternatives to try:

·      Stevia
·      Honey
·      Date Sugar
·      Agave Nectar
·      Brown Rice Syrup
·      Barley Malt
·      Maple Syrup
·      Molasses
·      Unsweetened Applesauce
·      Fresh fruit juices

Sweet Note: These sweeteners are still to be used in moderation and merely as an alternative. The overall goal is to start to eliminate the constant need for sugary treats. These alternatives are a great way to help you wean yourself off the highly processed, refined sugars. However, the overall goal is to start appreciating the sweetness of life, the sweetness of real fruits and vegetables, and the sweetness of being you. Eventually sugar alone will no longer be your main source of sweet.

Lindsey Smith, known as the “food mood girl” works with people who have a habit of looking to food for all the wrong nutrients: comfort, reward, fun and acceptance. Through speaking and coaching she motivates, equips and inspires people to sort out their relationships with food so they can live a healthy, balanced life. She is also the author of “Junk Foods & Junk Moods: Stop Craving and Start Living!” Connect with Smith via her Web site, www.FoodMoodGirl.com, on Facebook and Twitter @LindseySmithHHC.

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