Halloween is over and the Holiday Season is starting. I am a bit of a sucker for this time of the year. The leaves are changing, the temperature is cooler, holiday lights are being put up, and the best part – holiday foods! Honestly who doesn’t think about food at this time of year?
There are whole articles on line and celebrations about Pumpkin Lattes, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin cookies. This tends to be the time of the year when all of those “once a year” foods are everywhere. And what is the common denominator in these foods? Sugar! While we all must eat and cannot avoid food all together, we can make better choices now as well as throughout the year. Consider some of this information about sugar…
In 1820’s the average American ate about 20 lbs. of sugar a year.
Today the US Department of Agriculture estimates the average American eats about 120-150 lbs of sugar a year. This is a huge jump!
Why the big change and what is the big deal? Sugar tastes so good and comes from a plant! Why shouldn't I eat it? Here are some things to consider the next time you reach for a treat containing refined sugar….
Refined Sugar or Glucose :
- Is the #1 fuel source for cancer
- Sends our emotions, blood sugar, and energy on roller coaster ride right after enjoying the treat as well as the next day (if you don’t believe me, give a 5 year old about 5 cookies and watch what happens.)
- Dehydrates our bodies
- Creates inflammation that can lead to disease progression as well as pain, especially join pain.
- Tells your body to excrete nutrients
- Creates stress within our bodies leading to increased hunger, weight gain, and cravings
- Disrupts and reduces the quality of our sleep.
If you do nothing else for your health right now and throughout the year, I would encourage removing refined sugar as much as possible. Now removing refined sugar doesn't mean you can never eat anything sweet again, but, instead, you can make better choices. Here are some healthier holiday sweet alternatives to get you started.
- Roasted apples with cinnamon and coconut whipped cream
- Roasted or grilled pears with roasted walnuts drizzled in local honey
- Coconut milk based pumpkin ice cream
- Goat cheese stuffed dates drizzled in honey
- No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake – I have been dying to try this recipe from Detoxinista! http://detoxinista.com/2013/10/no-bake-pumpkin-tarts-vegan-paleo/
Do you have healthy holiday foods or dessert your enjoy indulging in? Please feel free to share!