The ‘Healthy Treat’ Trap

Processed and grain-based carbohydrates (CHO), that’s what we need to eliminate or at the very least reduce to minimal intake if we are to beat diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other metabolic disorders. Big Food—the organisations behind mass produced ‘food’—are doing their level best to stop that, though. They only have to label sugar on a product if pure sugar is an ingredient. However, there are about 50 different ways to label sugar on foods: 

Barley malt, beet syrup, buttered syrup, cane juice crystals, caramel, corn syrup, carob syrup, dextran, dextrose, diastatic malt, diatase, ethyl maltol, fructose, fruit juice, fruit juice concentrate, galactose, glucose, glucose solids, golden syrup, honey, high fructose corn syrup, lactose, maltodextrin, maltose, malt syrup, maple syrup, molasses, panocha, refiner’s syrup, rice syrup, sorbitol, sorghum syrup, sucrose, sugar, treacle….. 

When people eventually acknowledge the need to eliminate or reduce sugar consumption there’s a natural tendency to use ‘natural’ sweeteners such as honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, dates, and palm sugar.

Sure, those sweeteners are natural, but think about it, sugar is natural too, and so are barley, fructose and maple.  

One of the changes you have to make when cutting sugar intake is consuming CHO from lower glycemic foods — non-starchy fresh fruits and vegetables. Almost all of these foods are slowly digested and absorbed, and won’t spike blood sugar levels. ‘Healthy’ treats, however, don’t have that effect. They have the same effect as an unhealthy treat. 

That is, ‘healthy’ treats elicit the same psychological (feel good) and hormonal (insulin) effects on your body as any other treats do.  

Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have that delicious organichealthy brownie once in a while. But don’t let the words organicnaturalsugar-freepaleo and banting fool you.  

Make sure that the majority of your food still comes from meat, vegetables, some fruit, nuts and seeds, little starch and no sugar. And save the ‘healthy’ treats for once in a while, just as you save the ‘unhealthy’ treats for once in a while! 

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