Nutritional label

Make Better (Nutritional) Friends

Imagine a person in their early twenties who’s spent the last decade of their life hanging with the wrong crowd. It started in middle school with cutting classes, smoking on the back field, and minor bullying. It progressed to shoplifting and robbery. Last month that person was face-to-face with a judge, staring at a lengthy prison term unless he made some radical changes. Finally the penny drops. He realizes that the first thing that he needs to do is to change his associates. The people he’s been hanging out with are toxic. He knows he’s got to ditch them – cut them off cold. But he also knows that, unless he finds good associates to replace them with, he’s pretty quickly going to gravitate back toward those bad associations. It’s no different with your food. By now, there’s no doubt that sugar, both real and artificial, is toxic to your body. But, unless you can find a replacement in order to satisfy your sweet tooth, you are destined for failure. Fortunately, there are alternatives available that are safe, healthy, and, above all, tasty. These are your new friends. So, let’s get you acquainted:
Stevia
Stevia is a herb that originates in South America. It has been used as a sweetener for hundreds of years. Three hundred times stronger than sugar, the leaves of this small green plant has a delicious and refreshing taste. Because the body does not break down the glycosides contained in stevia, it has no calories. In addition, stevia enhances insulin secretion without adversely affecting blood glucose levels. It also produces anti-hyperglycemic properties. Stevia can be purchased as whole or broken leaves. It is also available in powder form and as a liquid extract. Dried stevia keeps its flavor for months. Use one teaspoon in place of one cup of sugar. It is available under such brand names such as Truvia, Nu Naturals, and Sweetleaf. You can buy pure stevia as a dietary supplement. Many brands of stevia have added flavorings, indicating that they have been highly processed. Make sure that you check the label! Because stevia is so potent, you don’t have to use very much of it. Purchase it in small amounts until you find a brand that you enjoy. Often the taste is disagreeable because people use too much of it. If you need more sweetness add one drop at a time, and then taste it. Stevia has no side effects. Studies investigating any potential links between liver disorders and cancer have concluded that, unless used excessively, stevia is safe. However, it may lower your blood sugar. That’s why it’s important that your use of stevia goes hand-in-hand with a clean, healthy diet in which sugar has been eliminated. You should be consuming plenty of natural carbs, proteins, and fats.
Honey
Honey is nature’s healthy alternative to sugar. Not only is it safe and delicious, but it contains some major health benefits. It is an anti-bacterial, anti-viral super-food. It can also help you to fight allergies, improve your immune system, fight cancer, and even lower cholesterol. Studies have also shown that honey helps to fight diabetes. It turns out that honey contains a perfect one-to-one ratio of glucose to fructose, facilitating glucose intake into the liver and overcoming excess blood sugar.
Fruit
Natural, whole fruits contain all of the sweetness you need, without any of the toxic chemicals that will poison your body. Oranges contain a delectable juiciness, ripe strawberries create a sweet symphony in your mouth, and blended frozen bananas serve up all the richness of ice-cream – without the guilt. Dried fruit offers sweetness plus fiber. It’s all a matter of mindset. Once you step away from the mindset of having to add artificial flavorings to your foods, a whole new world of healthy food appreciation will open to you, and you’ll finally be able to gain mastery over your taste buds.
The Cost Factor
Inexpensive foods contain a lot of valueless fillers and sugar in order to disguise their sub-par ingredients. Those foods are no longer to be in your diet. Your body deserves better. That means that you’ll be paying a bit more to get the right fuel into your system. You should start building up your stock of spices, nuts, and natural flavorings. Purchase such spices as cinnamon, vanilla, almond extract, nutmeg, and ginger, along with specific pie spices. Put a focus on savory as opposed to sweet dishes. Many of the spices used in Mexican and Indian dishes have healing qualities. When buying spices, stocks, and flavorings, start with small amounts to enable you to taste test them. If the taste is agreeable to you, then buy larger amounts. The cost of buying better quality food needs to be rationalized in terms of the potential cost savings of building a healthier body. The money, stress, and general misery that directly results from treating the consequences of piling cheap rubbish into your system far outweighs the few dollars you’ll save at the check-out. Remember, your body is your own custom designed Ferrari, your own Lamborghini. Make sure that it gets premium fuel.

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