There was a video posted on youtube, by comedian Jimmy Kimmel where he asked parents to tell their kids that they ate all their candy and video tape their reaction. In a funny mean way, every kid burst into hysterical tears. We watch it, and we may think it’s a little funny (and yes, mean) but there is so much truth in there that it’s scary.
Sugar, my sweet coconut lovers, is a drug. A delicious one, but a drug all the same. We get hooked as kinder and we stay on the substance all the live long day- only until we grow old enough to add caffeine to the mix. Getting off processed or even natural sweeteners is one sweet challenge.
Some argue that refined white sugar is the most addictive substance on this planet. You might even admit this yourself. You have a little, you want a little more and than you find yourself needing your daily fix, whether it be in your coffee or tea, soft drink, muffin, breakfast cereal, bread, pasta sauce, salad dressing, fruit juice or after dinner cookie. Sugar is in everything and we are consuming more than we think.
The average person now consumes roughly 135 pounds of sugar per year. Holy moly! A person’s weight in sugar? Hello obesity epidemic and hello cancer! Sugar is the number one fuel for those pesky cancer cells.
Now my sweet little nutritionista/o health food loving readers, let’s not think we are all high and mighty as we shake our heads in disbelief and munch down on our honey sweetened granola sitting in a bowl of cane-sugar sweetened almond milk, topped with apple juice sweetened cranberries and maybe we are washing it back with a carrot/beet/apple juice thinking (now get into a hoity toity English accent) I don’t eat refined sugar…
Granted, white sugar is more refined than some of the others but brown sugar and “Sugar in the raw” is not much different. And then we get into the “healthy” sugars. What is your sweetener of choice? Honey? Maple syrup? Molasses? Cane sugar? Date sugar? Beet sugar? Palm sugar? Coconut sugar? Agave?
We love the taste of sweetness. Sweets are the flavour of the heart. They make us feel good, feel love and often, when we are tired and crave that sweetness, foods that are high in sugar can give us a quick burst of energy. We are so hooked on the sweet taste that there are massive industries built up around this addiction. My take on artificial sweeteners is posted in length here. And then we have the more natural versions like xylitol and stevia. I use stevia on occasion but am still suspect of both for these reasons. 1) I don’t trust foods that start with an ‘X’ as in Xylitol and 2) stevia is a concentrated white powder than comes from a very green leaf.
But we like to have our cake and eat it too. We are hooked on sweets, want sugars that won’t affect our blood sugar levels, and we want to find healthier sweetener options.
Meghan’s 10 Best Baking Tips For Cutting The Sugar
- Use apple sauce in place of some of the oil and sweetener. Has a natural sweetness to it.
- Speaking of natural sweetness, anything with coconut in it will also help add the sweetness.
- Any recipe that calls for white sugar, cut the amount in half and replace with a natural sweetener.
- Use low glycemic dried/powdered fruits such Lucuma Powder or banana sugar (a little harder to find though)
- Mash up banana and include in place of some of the oil and sweetener.
- Use pureed sweet potato to add moisture and sweetness.
- Eat less sweet foods! Obvy. The less sweetened foods you eat, the sweeter things like apples and oranges become.
Question Of The Day: What are your tips for reducing the edible sweetness in your life?