Monday, October 31, 2011

Keep That Sweet Tooth in Check!

By Danielle Felip from Body by Nature 

You know what’s scarier than ghouls and ghosts on Halloween?  Fluctuating blood sugar levels!  This is what gives you that afternoon crash that leaves you craving sweet treats.

Have you ever tried to justify to yourself that it’s okay to eat 5 mini chocolates because they practically equal 1 full-size bar?  Or that you’ll stop eating licorice and ju-jubes as soon as the last of the Halloween candy is done?

Keep yourself out of a sugar coma and in check with these sweet tips!

1.      Stay hydrated, you will be less inclined to crave sweets if your body is well-hydrated.  Add lemon, apple or strawberries to your water for flavour.
2.      Sweet fruits like pineapple, bananas and dates are great replacements for sugary candies when you feel that 3pm craving coming along.
3.      Try raw cacao, it’s chocolate before it’s been processed meaning it’s full of valuable nutrients and tastes great.  Add it to a smoothie for a delicious alternative to caffeinated beverages.
4.      Consume complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and buckwheat that provide slow burning energy and won’t spike your blood glucose.
5.      And lastly, if you really want the candy bar, have the candy bar.  But limit your intake to 1 or 2 mini chocolates.

Did you know that 20% of the calories Canadians are consuming is from sugar?1  Most of these calories come from beverages and processed foods.  Avoiding refined sweeteners will keep you feeling great!  Instead choose to use natural sweeteners such as;
Maple syrup – A Canadian favourite!  Maple syrup is the boiled sap from Maple trees and is one of my personal favourites! 
Stevia – This is a plant-based sugar which has very minimal effects on blood glucose levels.  A great substitute for white sugar in baking but has a slight aftertaste.
Coconut sugar – Made from the flowers of the coconut tree.  It is low glycemic and has a slightly caramel flavour.
Sucanat – Comes from whole cane sugar and still contains all of the cane’s natural molasses giving it a nice brown colour.  Is also a source of chromium which helps balance blood sugar.Keep in mind that natural sweeteners are still sugar but are a far better option than white sugar and in moderation are safe. 

Want to learn more about how to use healthy sweeteners to create the most delicious and heavenly guilt-free desserts? Check out Two Girls Cooking Workshops!

1.      Canada.  Statistics Canada.  Sugar consumption among Canadians of all ages.  21 Sep 11.  29 Oct.
      Danielle (Dani) Felip is a Certified Personal Trainer and studying Applied Holistic Nutrition at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition in Toronto, Canada.  She changed her life by changing her diet and lifestyle to a whole-foods, plant-based diet and aims to educate and inspire others to empower themselves to make conscious choices with what they eat and how they live.

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