Sugar is also marketed as an impulse purchase in the checkout line at the grocery store, so although you have resisted picking up sweet treats while doing your shopping, there is a final temptation as you cross the finish line.
Research shows that sugar is highly addictive in the chemical reaction our brain has in response to its consumption. The reality is, sugar is hidden in everything! This is because it's a very cheap ingredient and we love the taste. There are over 50 names that sugar is disguised as in premade, processed foods such as dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, lactose, fructose, and evaporated cane juice to name a few. Part of the reason for these names is because when reading labels, companies must list ingredients based on greater quantities to lesser. So if sugar is always the first ingredient we see it might deter us from purchasing a product. However, if we see it listed in a couple different formats it will be lower on the list of ingredients and hidden behind "dextrose".
It is important to limit, if not eliminate sugar from the diet as it does have an impact on our overall health being linked to obesity, and heart disease as well as energy levels. Eating sugar provides a spike in blood glucose [sugar] levels which is soon followed by a crash. Ever feel like taking a nap under your desk after lunch? For many people who eat a diet high in refined and processed foods, they are chasing each drop of energy [sugar crash] by eating more sugar to pick them up and push through the day.
Natural sweeteners such as dates, maple syrup and apple sauce are better substitutes to use in baking as they offer the body nutrients. They do, however, still result in spikes and drops in blood sugar levels. Focus on getting good quality complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal, brown rice and quinoa in your diet to avoid the ups and downs in energy levels for a steady release of energy.
At Fresh Fit Foods, we do not use any added sugar in our meals. When necessary, we sweeten some meals with pear puree or a little bit of honey. Try our 21 Day Challenge if you are looking for a "sugar detox" this spring!