The holidays are upon us, and that means lots of holiday parties and get-togethers will be filling our calendars in the weeks to come. There will be plenty of opportunities to connect with family and friends, while indulging in yummy foods and tasty drinks galore. But wait! That means a lots of extra sugar too!
While it’s natural to want to treat yourself around this time of year, it’s important to be aware of how much sugar you are actually consuming. A sudden increase in sugar intake can send glucose levels off the charts, and the damage done over the holidays can take weeks (or months) to repair once the parties are over.
It may seem like a slice of fruit cake, or a date square, is the healthier choice, but don’t be fooled! These sweet treats have extremely high sugar contents, even if the sugars are mostly natural. Dried fruits are a delicious addition to many tasty baked goods, but they are still jam-packed with sugar!
Hot drinks sweetened with honey are also full of sugar. And recipes that call for honey instead of refined sugar don’t let you off the hook. Because the body doesn’t know the difference between honey and refined sugar, it handles them both in the same way. Too much of either one can throw things totally off kilter.
Both dates and honey are high in fructose. Fructose is processed by the liver, and high levels of fructose can put the liver under strain, and can result in an increase in triglycerides in the blood. This may lead to an increased risk of heart disease.
Moderation is key
The idea is not to deny one’s self of all sweets all the time. But it is important not to be misled by the promising sound of “natural sugars”. They are sugars nonetheless, and should be avoided whenever possible. A few exceptions are, of course, allowed here and there. Especially during this party-packed time of year.
Holiday treats should be enjoyed in moderation, as is true of pretty much everything else in life! So go ahead, have a treat – just don’t have 4 or 5 thinking “Hey, it’s natural, what harm can it do?!” Now you know better, and you can make more careful choices about when to indulge and when to pass on the sweet stuff.
Holiday buffet: http://www.maryannhesse.com/avoid-holiday-bloat/