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Sugar: How to Avoid It, Get Around Cravings and Use Herbal Sweeteners

So what's a savvy consumer like you to do?  It's hard enough to fight an enemy you can see.  It's harder yet to combat an enemy that you can't detect.  But you can still do your part to lower your sugar consumption.  And we'll give you some simple tricks:

 

Start by eliminating all sugary drinks from your diet.  Not only do sodas and powered drinks contain sugar, but so do those supposedly health sports drinks and even those fruit 

juices. Replace those sugar-laden drinks with water. Focus, instead, on drinking more water. Remember that health experts recommend you drink a minimum of 8 eight-ounce glasses of water daily.  You can easily replace any of these with water. Bored with plain water?  Treat yourself and put a slice of lemon in it.  This adds to the flavor without the dangers of the sugar.

 

If you know that a food contains sugar, limit your consumption to three times a week.  This is, without a doubt, one of the very best techniques to beat the craving for sweets.  Other effective methods to reducing your sweets craving is to eat healthy, balanced meals.  You need to start your meal off with a protein, preferably a complete protein.  A complete protein is any food that comes from an animal. 

 

Then, add a natural source of carbohydrate to it.  This could be a vegetable, a legume, or even a properly prepared whole grain or a fruit.  But wait, you're not done yet.  Next you need to include some good fats to your diet.  These include butter, coconut oil, canola oil or olive oil.  These fats are much more important than you think.  They slow down the entry of sugar into the blood stream, preventing those miserable mid-morning and afternoon crashes.

 

Your next step in reducing your sugar consumption is to replace refined sugars with natural ones.  There is, indeed, a difference.  Refined sugar products include white sugar like you may put in your coffee or you put in your cereal.  Refined sugar also comes in many other forms, though, so you have to read food labels carefully.  Other names refined sugar goes by include corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, and sucrose.  You also want to eliminate as much as possible all artificial sweeteners. 

 

Instead, you want to become familiar with products such as maple syrup, molasses and raw unfiltered honey.  Many health food stores offer products made with these natural sweeteners.  You can even find cookies and ice cream made with these.  This is a great introduction to the natural alternative that replaces refined sugars.  When you begin to switch from refined sugar to natural, go slowly and be patient with yourself.  Sugar is a powerful addiction!

Herbal sweeteners

There are two more natural sweeteners that deserve your attention as well as an herb that can help reduce your cravings for sweets.  The first is Rapadura.  This is the commercial name for a whole organic sugar and is an unbleached and unrefined sweetener.  It is native to South America, the Caribbean as well as India where it has been used this for thousands of years. 

 

Rapadura is the only sugar in which the sugar stream is not separated from the molasses.  This means that Rapadura retains most of its essential nutrients.  It has a mild, caramel-like flavor making it a perfect sweetener for baking as well as for sweetening foods and drinks.

 

It's laden with minerals especially silica and iron.  If you plan to replace unrefined white sugar with Rapadura you would use the same amount.  One cup of Rapadura equals on cup of white sugar.

 

Another natural sweetener you might want to look for is stevia.  This, too, comes from South America, where it has been used for more than 1,500 years.  It's difficult for us to imagine, but it contains no calories.  On top of that it's 300 times sweeter than sugar.  With all of this, you might think that it's as bad for your system as refined sugar, if not worse.  But, research has shown that stevia can actually regulate your blood sugar.  Across the continent of South America, this natural sweetener is sold to those individuals with diabetes and hypoglycemia to help normalize their conditions. 

 

You can find it in liquid, tablet and even powered form. But, who won't find it labeled as a sweetener. Instead, you'll find it called a "dietary supplement" thanks to the maneuverings of the Food and Drug Administration.  Many people use stevia as a coffee sweetener instead of table sugar.

 

You may also want to consider using the little known herb gymnema sylvestre.  This herb's active ingredient, legendary in India and parts of Asia as a natural treatment for diabetes, is culled from the leaves and the roots of the plant.  It helps to balance blood sugar levels.

 

Scientifically speaking, the unique contour of the gymnemic acid molecules is similar to those of the glucose molecule.  This allows it to fill cell receptors in the lining of the body's intestines.  And this prevents the uptake of sugar molecules.

 

Gymnema sylvestre is an extremely useful herb even if you don't have diabetes, but you just want to stop those uncontrollable sugar cravings that come over you.  Some experts say you should take this herb with a high-carbohydrate meal or even a meal that contains plenty of sugar.  In this way it can help the body by passing through the sugars. This makes the carbohydrates in your body burn more quickly.  Otherwise they would be stored and would quickly turn to fat.  The other advantage is that it helps your body build lean muscle mass.

 

[Source: www.wisegeek.com]

 

How to get around dugar cravings

 

Sugar addiction.  You may not have thought of yourself as an addict.  Think again.  It may be that you became an addict unwittingly, but you still may be one.  Most of us are.  And overcoming this addition is just as difficult if not more so than tobacco or alcohol. 

 

Interested in reducing your reliance on sugar through the substituting of good, wholesome foods?  It is possible.  While it may take some discipline and time, you'll find it's worth the both the time and effort you put in to it.  Not only will you be decreasing your chances of developing some of the most devastating degenerative diseases, you'll also be increasing your energy level and your quality of life!  Now, isn't that worth it?

 

Eat sweet vegetables.  You have probably already guessed that the best way to beat the sugar craves is through a sensible diet.  But to help your taste buds and your brain transition, try eating sweet veggies.  Root vegetables are especially valuable.  Try increasing your intake of yams, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets and believe it or not even onions.  These provide you with a sweet flavor while at the same time helping to reduce that nagging craving for a sweet dessert.

 

While you're munching down on those vegetables, include some green leafy vegetables as well.  This will help replenish those essential nutrients that sugar has been stripping from your system.

 

Add some high-fiber foods to your diet as well.  Apples are especially valuable here.   They not only keep those sugar cravings at bay, but since they require more "chewing time" they give your body the valuable time it needs to realize that it's not hungry any more.  And that means you're less likely to overeat!  And that helps if you're trying to lose weight as well.  A Brazilian study recently discovered that just by eating three small apples throughout the day while eating a well-rounded diet can help you lose significantly more weight than those individuals who didn't eat apples.  Not a bad bonus!

 

Don't limit your fruits though to just apples.  Look at what you could be eating instead of those two chocolate sandwich cookies.  Those cookies have the same amount of calories as 1 cups of melon or 2 cups of strawberries. 

 

Those types of servings will not only make you feel full, but they also provide your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs.  But the greatest aspect of fresh fruit is that it's energy food.  You'll feel a little more energized after eating fruit.  After you finish the cookies, your body feels more drained and lifeless.

 

If you think you can't live without ice cream, then replace it with a puree of frozen fruit with just a dash of fruit juice concentrate.  You might also want to make a smoothie with frozen sliced bananas and diluted peanut butter or even almond or cashew butter.  Put all this in a food processor or a blender.  You'll want about one tablespoon of the nut butter.  Add a tablespoon of water and one-quarter teaspoon of vanilla extract.  And here again, it's an energy-giving food instead of an energy-depleting one.

 

There are plenty of ways to kick the sugar habit.  You just need a little determination and some imagination.  In no time at all you'll feel healthier and more energetic.  And decrease your chances of developing a whole host of health problems in the process!



Note: Some statements in this article may not be approved by the FDA. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice.

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Birth, Joy, & Raspberry Leaves
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of The Compleat Mother

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