The science is very, very clear. Sugar in excess in any form creates havoc for human health. While liquid sugar—in the form of sodas—seems to be the most offensive culprit, any refined sugar at high amounts can cause problems.
The USDA recommends limiting daily added sugar intake to 6 teaspoons (25g) for women and 9 (37.5g) for men, or 10% from total calories. But, while this is a smart guideline to follow, at the end of the day who would want to live their whole life without consuming tasty sweet treats? Desserts are used to celebrate, to uplift mood, and to combine ingredients to create diverse textures and a tantalizing experience for our taste buds.
Even though our world is populated with many low quality sweet treats in supermarkets, cafes, and speciality shops, the good news is how a new wave of products—and consequently ideas to take into your kitchen—are beginning to grow in popularity.
Most of these treats utilize higher quality sugars like maple syrup, raw honey, or coconut palm sugar, which all retain micronutrients and can cause less blood sugar disruption—especially when combined with higher quality fiber and fats that slow down the absorption of the sugar. In addition, these sweets swap out low quality refined vegetable oils—safflower, sunflower, soy, canola—for more healthy fats like coconut oil.
Finally, their ingredients are clean, simple, and often contain an added dose of antioxidant rich foods like spirulina, turmeric, almonds, or goji berries.
So while it is always important to be mindful of sugar consumption, when it is time to celebrate choose the highest quality and create a win/win for your health and for your taste buds.
If money is no object, check out these amazing sweet treats at your local health food retailer: Hail Merry Miracle Tarts & Coconut Macaroons and Amazing Chocolate Truffles (avoid the ones sweetened with agave).
Here are some recipes for making your own sweet treats:
- Organic strawberries dipped in 100% non-sweetened fair-trade chocolate.
- Local grassfed yogurt and fresh berries sprinkled with cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and a maple syrup drizzle.
- Chocolate date balls
- Chocolate Avocado Pudding
- Peach Crisp (use coconut sugar instead of cane)
Danny Arguetty, M.A., E-RYT 500, is a yoga teacher trainer, nutrition and health counselor, wellness educator, and lover of the environment. He is an advocate of high quality nutritious foods and non-toxic sustainable living. Arguetty is also the author of Nourishing the Teacher: Inquiries, Contemplations & Insights on the Path of Yoga and The 6 Qualities of Consciousness: Practical Insights from the Tantric Tradition of Yoga.
Photo by Miss C.J., CC