It’s that time of year when we decide to start making healthier choices; after the holidays of course! Learning to Eat Healthy is choice and it’s definitely obtainable…
Our memories and senses inhale the baking of fudge, Christmas cookies, pies and vast variety of Holiday Treats. As Todd and I have progressed throughout 2016 and our Self-Care versus Healthcare awareness journey, I’ve recently been learning about refined sugar. When I Googled the definition for refine, the first item that popped up was quite a surprise, sugar was in the description, and, very scary!
Learning to Eat Healthy
“Remove impurities or unwanted elements from (a substance), typically as part of an industrial process.” “Sugar is refined by boiling it in huge iron vats.”
We are intelligent beings and know that too much sugar & sweets aren’t good for us. However, grandma used to make them so good and we want to recreate the memory of Christmas’s past. One won’t hurt right? Unfortunately, it actually can!
Let’s look at what Refined Sugar actually is:
Refined sugar comes from sugar cane or sugar beets, which are processed to extract the sugar. It is typically found as sucrose, which is the combination of glucose and fructose. We use white and brown sugars to sweeten cakes and cookies, coffee, cereal and even fruit. Food manufacturers add chemically produced sugar, typically high-fructose corn syrup, to foods and beverages, including crackers, flavored yogurt, tomato sauce and salad dressing. Low-fat foods are the worst offenders, as manufacturers use sugar to add flavor. Around ¼ of the American diet is compromised of refined sugars, and when you take a look at the foods available at most supermarkets, this fact is hardly surprising.
Grocery store shelves are littered with junk foods–some of which are disguised as being healthy–that contain massive amounts of sugar. In fact, some prepackaged sports foods, like energy bars, contain more sugar than a candy bar! What’s more, many foods contain hidden sugar, or sugar that is masked by other names such as high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, and Sucanat. While Sucanat is probably better for the body than HFCS, the effects of it in our blood sugar and internal organs, are similar.
There are alternatives to refined sugar such as honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, agave, stevia, date sugar, raw sugar and molasses. Refined sugar never goes bad! In fact, it was refined to extend its shelf life. If you want to make some healthy changes for 2017, start slow by switching out the refined sugar in your pantry with one of the options listed and you will notice many positive changes. How long have you had the refined sugar that is in your pantry? Think about that. Real food does not last but only for a short time before it spoils.
Here’s a few other suggestions on how to start small in 2017:
- Switch out regular salt for Himalyan Salt no difference in taste, less sodium.
- Remove all MARGARINE- add in grass fed butter- lots of great flavor. Costco sells it in a 3 pack, reasonably priced.
Have a sweet 2017! Hats off to your new healthy habits!!