One of my healthy living goals for our family this year is to cut back on the amount of sugar we consume. Sugar consumption has been in the news recently because we eat A LOT of it! And the consensus is that it is definitely not good for us!
I know, I know. You’re probably be thinking,“Aw, come on! What’s so bad about added sugar? We can’t completely deprive our kids of sweet treats! Stop trying to spoil our (their) fun!”
However, the reality is the average American child consumes 21 teaspoons of added sugar per day, just 1 teaspoon less then the average adult! And the recommended daily consumption for a child is just 4 teaspoons of added sugar, and 4 to 6 for adults. So clearly our sugar consumption is a little out of control!
And sugar is definitely not on the list of healthy foods for the New Year! Here’s just a few of the 21 reasons you might want to think about cutting back on your family’s sugar consumption, from the Sugar Detox Challenge:
• Sugar is commonly known as an “anti-nutrient,” meaning it uses your body’s stores of essential vitamins and minerals during digestion. So, even when you think you are eating enough healthy foods, you’re really losing more than you’re putting in if your diet contains a lot of sugar.
• Sugar contributes to weight gain, not only because of the empty calories, but also because when your body responds to a rising blood sugar level, it produces insulin to bring it back down. Once it comes down, it drops too low, signaling you that you need to eat in order to bring it back up to functional levels. So, you may be eating even when your body doesn’t really require nourishment.
•Sugar also feeds yeasts in the digestive system, including Candida. This causes everything from lowered immunity and general fatigue to eczema and even depression.
So while it’s obviously important to kick the sugar habit, I do agree with you that it’s nice to have a sweet treat every now and then. (Or lets be honest — every day!) And it’s not really a great idea to just replace sugar with artificial sweeteners either. Your best choice to to choose treats that are naturally sweetened with fruit or use healthier natural sugars, like raw honey.
Fortunately for us, there are plenty of UH-mazingly delicious no-sugar-added desserts and sweet treats! Here are a few of our family favorites!
1. Chocolate Pudding
1 can of coconut milk
4 to 6 pitted dates
Put a can of coconut milk upside down in the fridge overnight, or for at least a couple of hours, so that all of the coconut cream sinks to the bottom (top) of the can. Keeping the can upside down, open the bottom of the can with a can opener. Use the lid to strain and pour the liquid out of the can and into a bowl, leaving the coconut cream at the bottom of the can.
Take 4 to 6 pitted dates and slice them into smaller pieces. Place them in a blender or food processor with a small amount of the liquid from the coconut milk and chop them up until they are as fine as possible.
Add the coconut cream from the can to the blender along with 2 Tablespoons of Baking Cocoa and blend together with the dates, adding a little more of the coconut milk liquid and scraping down the sides of the blender when necessary, until smooth and creamy like pudding.
For more recipes keep on reading here: http://www.babble.com/kid/16-amazingly-delicious-sugar-free-desserts-and-sweet-treats/