Big business sure doesn’t make cutting the sugar habit easy does it? Even when you attempt to make an effort to avoid sugar, it pops up in the strangest places and bites you in the behind, sabotaging your good intentions.
There is no doubt about it, sugar is a massive money maker, a cheap, empty calorie filler and a known addictive substance. That’s right, sugar plays games with your brain and makes you want more and more.
Sadly, Americans consume 13 percent of their daily calories in the form of sugar – or about 130 pounds per year. Of course, we have reported plenty on the dangerous effects of sugar on your health and wellbeing.
Food manufacturers are sneaky
Food manufacturers don’t want us to know what really happens to our bodies when we consume sugar. Most of us associate sugar with energy – and rightly so, it provides an immediate source of energy. However, unless you are an elite athlete, which most of us are not, this can be a major problem.
When sugar is consumed, the bonds between glucose and fructose are broken and the fructose goes straight to the liver where it is absorbed. If there is not an immediate need for energy, the fructose is stored as fat. The overconsumption of sugar also causes insulin resistance and completely turns our internal balance upside down.
In addition, every time fructose is processed, hydrogen peroxide is released inside the cells. While hydrogen peroxide on a cut may be a good thing, it spells disaster to our cells. In fact, it kills our cells and accelerates the aging process.
Of course, the health implications of sugar are well documented. Here are TEN reasons why you should avoid it completely:
- Sugar suppresses the immune system.
- Sugar elevates blood sugar.
- Sugar disrupts mineral balance.
- Sugar disrupts digestion.
- Sugar causes tooth decay.
- Sugar contributes to obesity.
- Sugar can cause heart disease.
- Sugar can cause food allergies.
- Sugar can cause depression.
- Sugar increases the risk of certain cancers
Suffice it to say, sugar can kill you.
What do you do if you still enjoy a little sweetener from time to time? You can try these homemade sweeteners that not only will give you that little pick-me-up you are after but also help you squash your sugar habit for good!
Super Easy Homemade Vanilla Bean Coconut Crystals
These rich and tasty crystals are a wonderful addition to your hot oatmeal cereal, organic yogurt, coffee or gluten-free baked goods. Hint: This makes an excellent gift for friends and family.
- 3 cups of coconut crystals
- 1 vanilla bean pod
- Small mason jar with lid
- Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise to expose the contents and then cut the bean into one inch pieces and place in the mason jar.
- Place the coconut crystals in the mason jar on top of the vanilla bean pieces.
- Seal the mason jar lid and let sit for at least one week before using.
- Use the coconut crystals as the sugar replacement (not the cut up vanilla bean).
Honey Infused with Cinnamon
The health benefits of both raw honey and organic cinnamon are well known. Honey is a miracle gift from the bees that is loaded with antibacterial and antioxidant properties.
Cinnamon is respected for its ability to lower blood sugar, reduce joint pain, lower cholesterol and improve memory, amongst other things. Raw honey is sweet but the body can easily digest and use its goodness for energy. Try this infusion in tea, coffee or even as a sweet treat on its own.
- 1 cup of raw honey
- 6 sticks of cinnamon
- pinch of ground cinnamon
- Pour the raw honey into a medium saucepan.
- Add in the cinnamon sticks – be sure they are submerged under the honey.
- Heat the mixture on low heat for about ten minutes.
- Allow mixture to sit for about 2 hours.
- Strain and store in a glass jar.
Coconut Vanilla Date Syrup
This syrup is perfect for vegans and made from the delicious and nutritious date fruit. Dates provide a quick burst of energy, making them an excellent snack before a vigorous workout.
Use this syrup to thicken a smoothie, as a dip for fruit, in tea and coffee or as a topping for organic yogurt or oatmeal. This natural sweetener has the added bonus of being made with coconut water – full of its own health promoting properties.
- ½ cup coconut water
- ½ cup of pitted dates, any type
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Add vanilla to the coconut water and stir.
- Place the dates in the bowl of water, cover and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
- Stir a few times throughout the day.
- The dates will dissolve, leaving behind a rich and delicious syrup.
-The Alternative Daily