What About My Sweet Tooth?
By Unite Fitness Retreat Dietician, Brooke Bouwhuis
Many of us LOVE our sugar! It is addictive, totally delicious and everywhere we turn. Sugar is also toxic, inflammatory and the biggest cause of chronic disease.
Empty calories from sugar add up fast and leave us feeling guilty and often physically awful.
We are designed to love this demon from the taste buds on the tip of our tongue to the dopamine centers that light up in our brain when we eat it.
Our problem is not that we adore sugar, our problem is that sugar is everywhere.
75% of all products on a grocery store floor have sugar added to them. Not because the products need the sugar but because sugar is addictive and inexpensive for manufactures to add to their formulas. When we become addicted to these heavily processed foods, we buy more, and product manufactures win.
Do you want to win? Turn that label over to see what on earth has been added to a product. Even if it doesn’t seem like sugar would be added. Stewed tomatoes? Sugar. Peanut butter? Sugar. Crackers? Sugar. Ketchup? Sugar.
4 grams of sugar is 1 tsp. Would you sprinkle 1 tsp of sugar atop 16 Wheat Thin’s? Nabisco does.
Buy products that have the least amount of sugar added to them. Avoid all high fructose corn syrup then look for the least amount of sugar added to that product.
Sometimes that sweet tooth does need to be satisfied. We teach that it’s important to put a fire out if you are craving something. When we demonize foods and make them not allowed, we obsess over them and are more likely to binge on those forbidden foods when we can’t take it anymore.
4 Ways to Satisfy Your Sweet Craving without Sabotaging Your Wellness Efforts:
- Don’t fake it. Use the real deal of whatever it is your having to put your fire out. If you love ice cream, eat the ice cream – get an excellent quality of something you like and enjoy it with friends, mindfully, and on special occasions.
- Dates + Nuts. Medjool (super easy to find in any grocery store) to the more exotic and complex flavor profiles think Delget Noor, Zahidi, Abbada and Blondes (tastes like caramel and butter) + nuts = savory goodness for your sweet cravings. With the added benefits of vitamins, minerals, fiber and they taste amazing, putting the fire out with whole real foods.
- Cinnamon – if you want to satisfy your sweet tooth a few dashes of cinnamon is an incredible way to scratch that itch. You can add it to coffee, sliced apples or pears, yogurt and on anything you smear with nut butter.
- Dark chocolate – 70% dark or greater. Yes, enjoy chocolate! Flavonoids, polyphenols and don’t forget amazing taste make this a no brainer. If you struggle with portion control or having a partial bar wrapper open, buy the little individually wrapped squares and allow yourself to enjoy one and move on, no guilt, no binging..Just a mindful moment of satisfying your sweet tooth.
Awareness of where that sugar is hiding is key. Check those labels, find healthier alternatives to products you normally buy. If you need something sweet give some of our suggestions a try!