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Sugar and natural alternatives

With so much information about processed sugar around...

Sometimes, it's hard to get a good sense of what is right for each of us. The pendulum has swung towards "quit sugar" or "no sugar" in the healthy living realms, and much of it seems just as unbalanced as the overconsumption of sugar that plagues much of the developed world. Is there a middle road? What are the alternatives? Are we too scared of sugar to enjoy the beauty of a piece of fruit? Jude Blereau's recent post about balancing our dietary approach in greater context of our lifestyle had me thinking about how important it is to have a little sweetness in our lives. It can be from the food we eat, the people round us or even seeing the beauty of the world we live in. Sweetness is at the core of our celebrations in life, linked into our happiest moments. Imagine a birthday party without cake, a summer without an ice-cream, or a wedding without a honeymoon? It is just for this reason that I am writing this, as there are many natural forms of sugar that can be enjoyed in small amounts that do not take away well-being like processed sugar can.

Onto the sugar line-up… in the processed corner we have:

Processed (white) sugar

White sugar is made up of sucrose, which is a combination of fructose and glucose. It comes from sugar cane, which is a natural plant – so why is white sugar so bad for us? In the refining process it goes through all vitamins, minerals enzymes, fibers and phytonutrients are removed and these are all essential for our body to be able to process it and slowly release the fuel it offers, thus keeping our system in balance. Instead, processed sugar goes straight into the blood stream in one dose, provides a huge high of energy and then it just stops. It's like a plane using all of it's fuel in the first 30mins of flight, and not having enough to continue the further 4 hours it has to fly, what happens? It crashes, and so do we. And then we eat more sugar to feel the energy high again… and round and round it goes. But nowhere in that does anything of nutritional value enter our system, leaving our amazing body to try to process it by bringing in nutrients from other sources, sadly having to take them away from other important functions they had been planned for.

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Freedom from unwanted habits

What does it really mean to be free and fresh at the point?

Where does freedom come from? How do we lose it?

It's a funny thing that in many cases we start off using sugar and sweets, alcohol, nicotine or other drugs as a way to feel better, rewarded, connected to others or validate our feelings; only later to find ourselves controlled by these substances and disconnected from others and/or our feelings.

So, how does it work; how can a person stay free?
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