One of the hardest things for me when it comes to a fitness plan is the dietary side of it. There are many aspects of this that could be covered, but I am going to focus on the biggest addiction that I have that is hard to shake. That is the false lifeline that sugar plays in my everyday life.
I grew up in a household that always had junk food close at hand. It was easily accessible and was used as a treat for good behavior or finishing the foods that were supposed to be consumed. I can safely assume that my need for sugar was developed at an early age.
Team Duwe Fitness at Home program outlines that 25 grams of sugar should be consumed a day for a healthier you. It can be daunting when scouring the nutritional labels for sugarless foods that most of us did not even take time to think about before.
I know many out there are like me in the fact that we like our sweets. I wanted to share a few of the sugar replacements that are healthy that help me in satisfying any sweet tooth.
Honey is a good substitute for sugar as there are many health benefits that studies have shown. Honey has antioxidants that help in reducing the chances of heart attacks as well as some forms of cancer while reducing the blood pressure.
When using honey in your recipes, it is recommended that for every cup of sugar used, to substitute it with honey at half to two-thirds cup.
Honey can be used in coffee and tea as an alternative sweetener. Additionally, this potion could be added to your tool belt when you are suffering from a persistent cough. There are studies that state that the honey and coffee combination have better results than using oral steroids.
While honey is a good substitute, it should be noted that it contains fructose, so it is still considered sugar. Honey should be used in moderation.
Like honey, this is a great way to cut some of the sugars out of your diet. A true unprocessed relief to your diet has benefits infused in it as well. Maple syrup contains manganese. Manganese can assist it reducing inflammation, promote proper bone health, and helps to regulate blood sugar levels.
Like Honey, the substitution ratio is nearly the same reduction. Use three-quarters of a cup of maple syrup instead of a full cup of white sugar when replacing in your baking recipes. Maple syrup is very sweet and makes for a good baking substitute, but when doing so it should be noted that liquids and baking temperatures need to be reduced.
Jams, cookies, brownies and even ice cream all can have a substitution made to help benefit to achieve reducing sugar intake.
Stevia comes from a plant that is grown in Brazil and has a more intense sweetness than sugar. It has many health benefits including the fact that it has zero calories. Because of that, those that have diabetes can look to expanding their food selection. Having zero calories curbs the weight gain associated with a high calorie intake.
Stevia is much sweeter than sugar that in comparison to using stevia for baking, a teaspoon is all that is needed instead of a full cup of sugar. As with any of the examples, it has a wide range of uses.
Stevia was not looked upon favorably for a period of time by the FDA, but since 1995 has gained even more momentum as many more products are marketed using Stevia. Give it a try in your coffee or other baking recipes.
Why Make the Switch?
Sugar is linked to inflammation, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Eliminating sugar or greatly reducing the in-take can help in the road to a healthier you. I have personally noticed how my historically sore knees have appreciated the reduction in sugar consumption over the past few months.
There is still room for improvement that I can still take. After looking closely at the nutritional labels of the things that I eat, it is eye opening to say the least. Things such as ketchup, to sports drinks contain sugar.
Recently there have been many articles and blogs comparing the addictive powers of sugar to drugs. That puts the use of sugar into a perspective that I never would have imagined. Like many of you that have grown up with sugar laced candy and baked goods we treated them as treats. As we move forward in making the healthy changes to ourselves, it is equally important to change the way we raise our children and give them a better foundation to live a healthy lifestyle.
As you go through the Team Duwe Fitness at Home program, remember that there are many pieces of having a healthy lifestyle. Take it one piece at a time. Trying to make too many changes at once will feel overwhelming and intimidating. Eliminate the frustrations of fitness programs by taking it one step at a time. Master one, and then start to introduce other factors as you progress.
Tell us some of the things that you may use to substitute sugar. Do you have any recipes that you would like to share that use any of the above substitutes or whatever you may use? Let us know in the comments below.