I am a sugar addict. I love sweets. More specifically, I am a chocolate-anything addict. As many times as I’ve tried to cut back on sugar intake either to lose weight or just be healthier, I always fail.
We’ve all heard about high fructose corn syrup, and its dangerous effects on our health. Many people have begun to try to avoid it. But have we switched to anything better? Really, any refined sugar (including raw sugar, which I often use in baking) is not great for us. And don’t even get me started on artificial sweeteners…. They’re worse than any refined sugar out there and we’re starting to see the long-term health risks associated with these sweeteners.
So what can we do to satisfy that sweet tooth in a healthier way? Although I haven’t had success in cutting sugar completely out of my diet (and let’s face it, what kind of life would that be?), I have made some significant improvements in the types of sugars that satisfy my sweet tooth. There are plenty of nutrient-rich options out there. Yes, they can be more expensive than refined sugar (which really doesn’t make sense, since more labor has to go into processing them!), but that only helps me out in reducing my sugar intake!
Fruits and veggies – Yep! They have natural forms of sugar in them. You can’t go wrong there.
Raw honey – With it’s anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties.
Pure Maple Syrup – A natural sugar that is abundant in this part of the country!
Sucanat/Rapadura – This is dehydrated cane juice and is less processed and refined than other cane sugars. It also substitutes very easily for sugar in recipes.
One of my favorite bloggers has a much better article on natural sweeteners and has researched this subject a lot more than I have…take a look at her thoughts!