When I say things like "Sugar is probably one of the hardest addictions to break" people think I'm belittling addictions to drugs and alcohol. I'm really not. I think kicking a habit like alcohol or heroin is damn hard and sometimes impossible. But what a lot of people don't realize is...so is kicking the sugar habit. There are very few other substances out there that are so highly addictive and yet in EVERYTHING we eat on a daily basis. We're constantly bombarded with advertising to consume more sugar. And when I say that sugar is in everything, I mean it's in just about everything: from medicine to bread. And it's almost impossible to kick this habit. Almost
What you'll hear when you talk to people who have kicked the sugar habit (usually these are folks who are type 2 diabetic, or are on the Atkins, Paleo or Primal diets) is that it was the worse week of their life. Common signs of withdrawal from sugar include:
- Aches and pains over the body (much like the flu)
- Constant thirst
- Dramatic mood swings
- Shakes or tremors
- Nervousness or severe irritability
But what's scarier still, is that people don't think it's that bad. If you stop a person on the street and say "Hey, which is worse for you: Two pieces of bacon or this 6oz glass of orange juice?" almost 99% of people are probably going to say the bacon is worse for you. What they don't realize is that the nutrients and vitamins in a glass of orange juice are relatively small (tiny even) compared to the sugar load. Despite all the research, all the evidence, and all the science to back it up people still believe the lie that fat will make you fat. Fat will not make you fat. Fat will not clog your arteries. Fat will not make you diabetic. Fat will not give you a heart attack. The simple and scary truth is that sugar, this innocuous looking granular substance that makes things taste delicious, is the evil-doer behind the recent spike in obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and arterial disease. If you're a visual person, like me, click on over to massive health and see their infographic.It's eye opening to see how sugar really does kick the cycle of fat production into over-drive.
Okay! Sugar=Bad! So what can I eat instead?There are a lot of sugar substitutes out there that are either really scary and fully of chemicals or are all natural and actually have some nutritional value to them aside from calories. Here's a few to start you off:
This sweet syrup comes several different ways and is actually packed with some micronutrients (read: good for you stuff).
- Comb honey. This is honey packaged exactly the way it comes out of the bee hive, still in the bees’ wax comb, and completely unprocessed.
- Raw honey. This honey has been filtered of its wax chunks and large particles but is not pasteurized (heated above 120 degrees Fahrenheit to extend shelf life). Raw honey usually contains some residual pollen and small particles of wax.
- Chunk honey. Similar to comb honey, this product consists of a few chunks of wax comb surrounded by liquid honey.
- Strained or filtered honey. This honey is similar to raw honey, but has been filtered through a finer mesh material to remove all wax. It still may include pollen.
- Ultra-filtered honey. This honey has undergone fine filtration under high pressure and heat (over 150 degrees Fahrenheit) to yield a very clear and longer lasting product.
Maple SugarThis stuff is granular gold in my house. It tastes a little like brown sugar, has a lower carb count, and is packed with minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and phosphorus. The down side is that it can be kind of expensive. A 6oz bag of maple sugar starts at $5.99. If anyone has seen it anywhere for cheaper, PLEASE let me know.
Coconut SugarI like coconut sugar simply because it hasn't been refined. But, it's also chocked full of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Down side? Same carb load as table sugar. But with a lower glycemic index, it could go either way. Get more info at livestrong.com .
SteviaThis is the new fad in the low carb and sugar free world. I'm okay with stevia in baked goods, but in drinks and the like I think it tastes kind of funky. But, whatever floats yer boat, right? This herb has a low glycemic index and low carb count. Some sources state it has micronutrients, but after processing and packaging the end product you and I buy does not have any. It's still a pretty good sweetener, though.
XylitolThis sugar alcohol is a naturally occurring chemical in hard woods and some fruits. While it is good and tasty to humans, it is HIGHLY toxic to pets. It has a zero carb count per serving and a low glycemic index. The downside? Too much can land you in bathroom for a long period of time.
The best part: Coconut Cutout Cookies (Gluten and sugar free)These cookies actually survived the ultimate taste test: kids. This recipe calls for Truvia, which is a name brand of stevia. From http://ketocook.com
1/4C (28g) coconut flour
1/4t (0.3g) baking soda
1/16t (0.3g) sea salt
2T (28g) butter
1T (14g) coconut oil
2T (27g) Truvia
1/2 (25g) egg
1/4t (2g) vanilla extract
Mix coconut flour, baking soda, and salt. set aside.
Using a mixer, mix butter, coconut oil, Truvia, egg, and vanilla extract. Mix in the flour mixture. Blend well.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30minutes, or until easy to handle.
Place the dough in-between two sheets of parchment papers. Roll out the dough to 1/4inch thickness.
Cut out to desired shapes.
Bake at 325 for about 5-6 minutes, until edges are golden brown.
Let the cookies cool completely as they will harden as they cool.
You can save the dough for later use (i have only tried 3-4 days) by storing in a ziploc bag, after wrapping well with a plastic wrap.
You can increase the coconut oil to for better ratio