A Healthy Recipe
It's been often thought that sugar isn’t as sweet as it seems.
The average North American intake of added (non-naturally occurring) sweetener is 20.5 teaspoons per day, which adds up to 68.5 pounds per year, per person.
But while many doctors are still saying it's okay, we should be more concerned than ever about our consumption.
It used to be something you didn’t need to pay much attention to until later in life, now it’s something none of us should ignore at any age.
We're going to give you some quick and easy things you can do right now.
The not-so-sweet scoop on artificial sweeteners.
Sugar may not be as sweet as it seems, but neither are many of the artificial sweeteners you'll find in the “sugar bowl” in restaurants.
That’s because the sweet taste in your mouth triggers the release of insulin even though there might not be any sugar present.
(When there’s more insulin present than your body needs at the given moment, your cells can become resistant.
The result is often trouble maintaining your weight and your blood sugar.)
But if you have a sweet tooth, there are two good sugar alternatives you can use.
The first is called Stevia.
Stevia doesn’t raise blood-sugar as quickly as regular table sugar does.
The beauty is that unlike many artificial sweeteners, Stevia has no aftertaste or side effects.
It’s available in both powder and liquid extract forms, check for it in your local health food store.
Xylitol is another great sugar alternative.
It’s as sweet as sugar and it breaks down slowly, like Stevia does, so it helps to keep your blood-sugar even.
It also has 40% fewer calories than sugar (sugar has 4 calories per gram, Xylitol has 2.4).
Xylitol can be substituted for sugar in cooking and for other sweetening.
Though initially more expensive than sugar, it’s an absolute bargain in terms of your health.
There’s a new spice for blood-sugar support and that's cloves.
Cloves are dried buds that come from a small evergreen tree that grows in the tropics.
The flavor is slightly sweet and aromatic and for most of us, the only place we’ve eaten it is in pumpkin pie.
But for blood-sugar support, you’ll want to make it more than a pie spice.
In fact, you’ll want to eat a few cloves a day, or 1/2 to one teaspoon of ground spice.
The flavor can be fairly intense though, so using cloves in cooking is more palatable.
One delicious way to enjoy cloves is in spiced brewed tea, a delicious fall treat.
Just place eight to 10 teabags in a pot, add a cinnamon stick or two and a sprinkle of whole cloves.
Then simmer for five to ten minutes, depending on how rich you want your tea.
You can flavor the hot tea with Xylitol to taste and store the rest in a container in the refrigerator to reheat later, or to serve cold over ice.
Go ahead and sprinkle on the cinnamon...
...because another spice we’ve recommended for blood-sugar support is cinnamon.
It’s one of the ingredients in my morning smoothie, and I’ll often mix it into yogurt or oatmeal.
The most effective amount of cinnamon for blood sugar support is one gram (1/2 tsp.) daily.
This time of year there are many delicious and easy ways to add cinnamon to your diet.
Try slicing a crisp apple, and sprinkling the slices with cinnamon and a drizzle of honey or a sprinkling of Xylosweet.
You can also core an apple, sprinkle it with some chopped nuts, sugar or honey and heat it up to make a healthy baked apple.
On another note:
While these diet recommendations will go a long way toward supporting your blood-sugar, we also recommend a blood-sugar support supplement.
So with the change of season, and before all of the holidays arrive, it’s a good time for all of us to turn over a “healthy new leaf”.
Adopting just a few new habits can go a long way toward keeping your entire body, as healthy as possible.
Get Moving: Exercise provides you with four important benefits.
It increases lean body tissue, burns fat, increases the sensitivity of insulin (enabling the pancreas to produce less), and raises your metabolic rate.
Brisk walking, swimming, and bicycling are all good exercise choices but whatever exercise you choose, you want to do it for at least 30 minutes, three times weekly.
Muscle Up: I’m not suggesting bulking up, even a very limited amount of weight training increases muscle mass.
Unlike fat tissue, muscle tissue constantly uses energy and it’s muscle tissue that’s responsible for 80% of blood-sugar uptake following a meal.
To build muscle, try using dumbbells or heck, even a pair of soup cans will work for that matter.
Plus, remember that walking builds leg muscles.
Get More of this “Forgotten Fat”: Preliminary research suggests that conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) may help build lean muscle mass.
But in our modern day diets, most people don’t get enough.
We tend to eat fewer CLA rich foods, such as whole milk, butter, cheese, beef and lamb.
Plus, feed and production processes have greatly reduced the amounts of CLA found in these foods.
That’s why we'd recommend supplementing with a high quality form of CLA, preferably one made with pure safflower oil.
Stretch Out Your Meals: To keep your level steady, you might want to try splitting the foods you eat into several smaller meals throughout the day.
If you normally eat a sandwich at noon, split it and eat half at your normal lunchtime and the other half in the middle of the afternoon.
Some other “snacks” to consider at these times might be a cup of vegetable soup, a handful of nuts, several spirulina tablets, half of cup of cottage cheese, raw vegetable slices or half an avocado as examples.
Benefit from Blueberry Leaves: Blueberry leaves (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) have been used traditionally in folk medicine to promote healthy blood-sugar levels and insulin function.
Blueberry leaves are 10-15% chlorogenic acid, which may help to inhibit the enzyme in your liver that forms glucose.
It also may help to inhibit the breakdown of glycogen, which is the sugar that’s stored in your muscles.
You can look for a blueberry leaf supplement in your health food store.
The last thing I want to point out when it comes to blood-sugar is that when your level is where it should be, you’ll feel it in your energy level and overall mood.
So these healthy habits truly do pay off in more ways than one.Tweet
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