If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I’m kinda down on sugar. Yes, it’s true. The “devil in white” isn’t doing us any favors mentally, emotionally, or physically.
And you also may know that I’m a big believer in everything in moderation. I practice the 80:20 rule: 80% of the time you want to be clean in your eating; enjoy yourself the other 20%. There is no such thing as “perfect” and heck, I enjoy a sweet treat just as much as the next guy.
So is there a way to have your cake and eat it too? Natural sweeteners to the rescue!! Cue the raw honey, grade C maple syrup, coconut sugar, and raw dates…
It seems like we’ve found the perfect solution! We can have our honey-sweetened treat and feel good about it, too.
Well, yes and no. Here’s the thing: it’s still sugar. I don’t care what the source is – I don’t care how raw, natural, unprocessed it is – it’s STILL SUGAR.
Before you name me Debbie Downer of the year, it’s time for me to get naked about life in the Floyd-Barry household. One of our absolute favorite treats is ice cream. Both my husband and I love it and it’s a top pick for a sweet treat.
For Chef James’ birthday last year, I coordinated the purchase of a super swanky deluxe pro ice cream maker. This ain’t no Bed, Bath & Beyond special. This was high-end efficient refrigeration-included technology. It makes 2 quarts of ice cream in 20 minutes. Yeah, it’s that good.
And so we made ice cream. Lots of it. Raw milk, raw cream, pastured eggs, raw honey… A little mint extract and shaved dark chocolate and we’re talking someseriously good ice cream. And with a rock-star list of ingredients like that, you could almost justify that it’s GOOD for you, right?
Here’s the catch: it’s still sugar! Sure it’s raw honey. Sure it’s dark chocolate. Sure the ingredients are as natural and clean as you can get, and if you’re going to have ice cream, then yeah, this is a great option. AND, it’s still sugar.
As the ice cream machine churned out dessert and our pants grew tighter (and you think we lead the Sugar Control Detox just for you!), we were reminded that YES, you really can have too much of a good thing.
Moral of the story? If you’re going to have a treat, then natural sweeteners are a great option because of their added nutritional value and purity. But they’re no “get out of jail free” pass and they still need to be consumed in moderation, as the exception, in balance with a healthy, whole foods, unprocessed diet.
By Margaret Floyd, NTP HHC CHFS