Are you cutting back on sugar, but don’t want to use the artificial sweeteners?
Well, here are some easy tips to keep life sweet without adding sugar.
Never Add Extra Sweeteners
Don’t use any added sugars at all. You can learn to be satisfied with the natural sweetness of food.
The more natural and raw your food is, the sweeter the taste. Even vegetables are sweet – pay attention the next time you eat a garden cucumber or a carrot.
Did you know that one medium raw carrot contains about 5 grams of sugar with 31 calories, while a stalk of celery has 0.4, grams of sugar and 7 calories? Red and green bell peppers contain less sugar than carrots.
No added sugars are needed with fresh foods. Fresh is always the best option!
So, if you really want to cut down on your total sugar intake, consider eliminating all added sugars — white, brown, powdered, raw, and even honey.
Limit your intake of foods high in sugar to just once a week if you are having sugar cravings, rather than eating sweets daily. Enjoy a cup of ice cream or a piece of pie on a “cheat day” once a week.
Use More Spices
Use more spices and herbs when preparing meals instead of adding extra sweetness. (This works with salt, too.)
You’ll be surprised how far spices can take your taste buds. Fresh herbs and spices are always the best to use, but if you buy spices and dried herbs, make sure to buy pure forms with no additives.
Some of the best spices to use in eggs, on salads, and on vegetables are:
- Apple Pie Spice (This is a combination of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and ginger.)
- Bay Leaves
- Chili Powder
- Cinnamon — ground or stick
- Curry Powder
- Dill Weed
- Garlic Powder
- Ginger — ground
- Nutmeg — ground
- Onion Powder
- Black Peppercorns (whole and grind your own)
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Vanilla — extract or beans
I often hear concerns about the sugar in fruit, but instead of eating a dessert, choose a natural fruit instead.
Apples, cheese, grapes, fruits, and nuts are common desserts in European countries. These are better choices as opposed to ice cream, candy bars, cakes, cookies, or pie.
Yes, fruit contains fructose and glucose, just like processed sugar, but most fruits have 40% to 55% fructose, while table sugar is 50% fructose and 50% glucose.
An important fact to remember: “In natural foods, like fruits, fructose is almost never found in an isolated form – it is typically combined with other sugars and digestive enzymes.”
When people eat something sweet, they typically have a spike in their blood sugar levels. Those with diabetes are all individual and respond to natural sugars differently, so always take precautions, but commonly, most everyone, including people with diabetes, can benefit from eating more fruit.
Honey can be used to replace sugar in a recipe:
- 3/4 cup of honey can replace one cup of sugar in a recipe.
When you sweeten with honey, reduce any liquids by one-half cup for each cup of honey you add to a recipe, though.
Bake With Less
Another significant reduction in sugar can be made by adding only one-half to one-third the amount of sugar or honey called for in a recipe. You will be surprised how good cookies taste with half the sugar. There are also many healthy recipes out there that call for no added sugar at all!
Give Up Gum
Chewing gum isn’t what it used to be, and should be avoided today.
Modern gum is made with gum base, sugar or artificial sweeteners, softeners/plasticizers, flavors, colors, and, typically, a hard or powdered polyol coating.
If it isn’t loaded with 2 g of sugar per stick, it has one or more artificial sweeteners in it.
So, what can I say other than don’t chew gum.
Instead of trying so hard to sweeten your food, wouldn’t it be refreshing if you were satisfied with berries or a simple piece of fruit? Make it your goal to return your taste buds to normal stimulation.
Tonight, have an apple or a cup of berries before you grab the sugar!
If you want to learn more about the sweeteners, contact me at janethull.com. Remember that you are never alone when you are looking for good health!
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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and is educational in nature. The FDA may not have evaluated some of the statements. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please discuss with your own, qualified health care provider before adding supplements or making any changes to your dietary program.
Before taking vitamins, consult your doctor; pre-existing medical conditions or medications you are taking can affect how your body responds to multivitamins.
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