More often than not, the changes needed to switch to a healthier way of life are small and barely noticeable. You’ll be familiar with the following;
Take the stairs, not the lift.
Eat wholegrain bread, not white.
Drink more water, less coke/coffee/caramel frappuccino.
Use fructose, not white sugar.
…hold the phone. Fructose? Isn’t that a shampoo? Bear with me.
Fruit sugars are magical. As the name suggests, it’s sugar that comes from fruit and not from sugar cane. Just as there are ‘good’ fats and ‘bad’ fats, there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ sugars.
Glucose is refined sugar from sugar cane – standard granulated sugar. Glucose is released into your blood stream very quickly, and leaves at the same rapid rate, causing a sugar rush and an equally marked comedown effect. It’s the comedown that causes you to make bad food choices (hello 4pm biscuit tin), can unbalance your mood and wreak havoc on your energy levels.
So far, so familiar – nothing new to tell you here. What you might NOT know is this; you do not have to give up sweet things to stop this effect.
Fructose is the sugar found naturally in fruit (surprise!) and produces none of the ill effects associated with glucose. Whilst it gives you energy, this energy is sustained and released into the blood stream slowly – no rush, no dip. Simple. You can, obviously, find this sugar in fruit, but you can also buy it in granulated form (I buy Fruisana – if it’s not in the sugar aisle, try the baking section!). This means that you can have sugar in your coffee or sprinkled on your cereal without damaging your diet. This makes me want to let out an extended “yessssssss” like a primary school child who’s been told that next Friday is mufti day.
Enough of the chit chat. Here’s why you should switch to fruit sugar;
1) A low glycemic score (19, for those who know what that means) means no sugar rush, and so balanced blood sugar levels. No cravings, no energy slumps.
2) It’s sweeter than normal granulated sugar, so you need to use a third less to achieve the same level of sweetness. A third less sugar = a third less calories.
3) The taste is the same as normal sugar with no aftertaste, which means it can be used in tea, coffee, cereal, on strawberries…everything. You can even bake with it – just reduce the baking temperature to 130 or below. Guilt free (or at least guilt-reduced) cake here we come.
4) It’s 100% natural, which means you can avoid the chemicals and toxins found in artificial low calories sweeteners whilst still saving calories.
5) It’s a natural source of sustained energy, which means it’s perfect for maintaining energy levels for your lunchtime spin class or evening run.
It’s the easiest health swap you can make! Let me know how you get on. I might try baking with it at the weekend – I’ll let you know how I get on!