Deciding to quit sugar and artificial sweeteners is one of the best choices we can make for our health. Over-consumption of refined sweeteners can lead to blood sugar imbalances, mood swings and malabsorption of vitamins including minerals and calcium essential for fertility, pregnancy and breastfeeding. That said, it is equally important to indulge in delicious treats from time to time to avoid feeling deprived. Think 80/20: 80% of the time you are following clean eating principles and 20% of the time you are indulging. As you become more in balance, your cravings shift and you naturally tend to indulge in foods and habits that are good for you. Follow these guidelines to choose healthful sweets and experiment with alternative sweeteners in your favorite recipes.
• Use natural sugar sources, such as fruit , and favor low-glycemic organic coconut sugar as a sweetener to help keep blood sugar levels stable and avoid fluctuating hormone and energy levels.
• Eat fruits in their whole form, not as juice. Sweetened juices are loaded with sugar, producing dampness and encouraging yeast formation in the body, and even unsweetened juices lack the fiber that helps slow absorption of natural sugar from whole fruits.
• Avoid foods sweetened with refined sugar, corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. Commercially prepared baked goods, pastries and sodas are generally full of white flour, sugars, or chemicals that disrupt your body’s natural processes.
Natural sweetener substitutes:
Replace 1 cup of refined sugar with:
1 cup organic coconut sugar
1 cup brown rice syrup
½ cup blackstrap molasses
¾ cup raw honey
¾ cup maple syrup
1 cup Xylitol