The Sweet Stuff

Tip #13:  Cut back on added and refined sugars

The typical American diet is full of added sugar, processed foods and soda.  If this sounds like you, try challenging yourself by limiting your intake of added sugars.  This will mean lots of label reading since refined sugars make their way into so many foods.  Watch for the sugar content in items like salad dressings, ketchup, pasta sauces, soups, nut butters, juice and cereals not just “sweets”. 

So why is a diet high in refined sugar bad?  First off it raises the body’s insulin levels which depress the immune system, causes the body to store more fat, can upset the body’s mineral balance, and sends energy levels on a rollercoaster of highs and lows. 

I’m not against eating sweets but there are better ways to sweeten foods than refined sugar.  Try Sucanat which comes from cane sugar but is not refined and therefore still contains beneficial vitamins and minerals.  Honey, molasses and pure maple syrup all work well in place of white sugar.  These are typically sweeter than sugar meaning you can use less and provide some nutritional value.  Stevia is another calorie free option.  Or to satisfy a sweet tooth reach for fresh fruit, dried fruit (dates tastes like candy if you ask me), or dark chocolate w/ little added sugar.

Speaking of things that taste delicious without added sugar…

Fresh juice!  This morning’s cup was a blend of fresh lemon, ginger, 1/2 a cucumber, 3 carrots and 1/4 of a beet.  The carrot adds the perfect amount of sweetness and the lemon and ginger give it that “wake me up” kick. 

Yoga Pose of the Day:  Bird’s Wing   This gentle pose is a great way to start your day by opening up the chest/ heart center, improving confidence and posture.

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