Today, as promised last week, we are going to look at sugar. What's the deal there? You read again and again that sugar is bad for you. And yet, it is in almost everything we eat. The average Canadian consumes at least 15 teaspoons of added sugar everyday. 'Added' meaning that's it's already in the product that you are eating. This does not include the sugar that you are putting on your cereal or in your coffee.
So, why is sugar not good for us and why should we cut down? Here's the deal: sugar spikes our blood sugar making want to eat more. And corn syrup (which is added to EVERYTHING!) is addictive. And we wonder why we have so much trouble cutting down. Our food industry doesn't want us cutting out sugar because then we would no longer be lining up for those sugar-laden coffees or those fast food cravings. The words for sugar are many: glucose, fructose, malt syrup (sounds a little healthy, doesn't it? NOT!), corn syrup, dextrose and levulose. Of all of the additives in food, these sugars are the worst because they make us want more. Does that mean that the plain white table sugar is better for us? NO! Still totally stripped of any nutrients at all. If you really crave sweet, how about fruit? Another alternative is a little unpasteurized honey or pure maple syrup - but just a little!
Here's a breakfast that I often eat. It's like a decadent dessert but very filling and very sweet.
Donna's Decadent Delight!
I start by pulling out some frozen strawberries from the freezer (1/2 - 1 cup). I microwave them for about a minute. In the meantime, I pull out the oatmeal, greek yogurt and maple syrup. When the strawberries are thawed, I put the oatmeal in the microwave (also for about a minute but that depends on how you like it). While the oatmeal is cooking, I puree' the strawberries. Then when the oatmeal is done, I pour on the strawberries, scoop about 1/2 c of plain Greek yogurt and drizzle over about a tablespoon of pure maple syrup. So delicious!! The creamy goodness with the hot and cold mix - love it!! Not only is it absolutely scrumptious but it's so good for you. With the oatmeal and strawberries, you are getting great fibre and a great hit of protein from the Greek yogurt (18 grams per 3/4 cup!) and even a little bit of sweet with that pure maple syrup.
So the moral of this story, watch out for those bad sugars and wherever possible, avoid them. Remember to watch out for 'low fat' foods as well because they're usually laden with sugar making up for the lack of taste because of lack of fat. Speaking of fat, we'll talk about that next week. Until then, keep eating clean!!