Prices in the grocery stores these days are no picnic to deal with. However, in an “inside out” sort of way these prices have actually made us healthier.

Think about it. Soaring grocery prices have made most of us pay attention to how we spend our money – especially families trying to squeeze the most out of every dollar.

This “attention” to prices has caused many people to shift how they feel about food. No longer are they satisfied to spend their hard earned dollar on food that “gives nothing back” in return and steals what health they have.

Focus and attention have turned to healthy choices. Mother Nature is finally getting the attention she deserves.

With so many healthy recipe choices readily available these days and food budgets demanding attention, creative, health driven cooks are wisely looking to eliminate useless things like white sugar from their diets by replacing it with healthier choices instead. They are serious about improving health, controlling body weight, slowing down and reducing the aging process and they know in order to achieve those things, eliminating sugar from their diets is a protocol they must take seriously.

Sugar is “caloric dense,” loaded with calories – not nutrients which contributes to issues with weight control and likely the biggest reason obesity has become a worldwide issue. Not only does sugar spike your blood glucose levels throwing your hormones off balance and beginning a cascade of hormonal system break-downs, but a high intake of sugar stresses the body and makes it harder for it to absorb and maintain absorption of other nutrients as well.

This in turn causes intense food cravings for all kinds of simple carbohydrate rich foods – cookies, crackers, pasta, cereal, candy and so on. In the end, it turns into a vicious cycle of “more eating, increased fat storage, more hunger. More eating, increased fat storage, more hunger.”

Cancer development, depression, ADD and other mood disorders are all related to sugar intake.

Because sugar comes in many, many hidden forms so you must be a “food detective” and check your labels when shopping.

Some of the variations that need to be avoided are:

Honey, molasses,  high Fructose corn syrup (the real villain), glucose-fructose, maple syrup, agave nectar, barley malt, beet sugar, carob syrup, dextrose, fruit juice concentrate, glucose, golden syrup, grape sugar, lactose, maltodextrin, maltose, sorbitol, sucrose to name just a few.

If you see one of the above ingredients look for a healthier, more nutritious choice. You are pretty much wasting your money otherwise.

Be aware that sugar is not only found in the forms above, but is also found in the form of processed carbohydrates as well.

White bread, white crackers, white baked goods (muffins, croissants, etc.) are all guilty etc. They all contain carbohydrates that break down so readily that they might as well be sugar – they will be digesting that fast in your system.

Health and anti-aging advocates are fully aware of the damaging effects of a sugar rich diet. Sugar increases the risk of wrinkle formation and skin is less moisture rich and radiant making your appearance seem older.

Bottom line is, if it’s not a high fiber carbohydrate found in its original state, it’s best to avoid it and keep it out of your diet entirely.

As you move forward eliminating sugar from your diet and replacing it with healthy alternatives, you are likely going to experience “withdrawal symptoms” because sugar also acts like a drug at times, causing a number of neurotransmitters – (similar to those released with recreational drug use) to be released in the brain upon consumption. This is experienced as a “high” of sorts, so when you begin eliminating this “high” the brain starts craving it.

It does get easier, so, just “man-up” and push through that initial period to get past those feelings of withdrawal. Take it one day at a time.

One last word on sugar. Don’t fear fruit sugar. Some people lump fruit sugar into their sugar avoidance and it should not be. Fruit sugar is different because it also provides you with a wealth of antioxidants that help to fend off free radical damage that occurs in the body and leads to disease.

Additionally, fruit sugar is half fructose which doesn’t spike blood glucose levels like pure glucose does. Each piece of fruit provides about 5-10 grams of glucose so it’s not huge in the grand scheme of things. It also provides valuable fiber which has blood sugar stabilization impacts. Although you may not want to eat fruit in large quantities, it’s not something you should be avoiding either.

Once you’ve gained control and eliminated this damaging ingredient from your diet, you’ll actually begin to taste real foods again and you’ll come to appreciate natural flavorings. You’ll feel better, look younger and have more energy than you’ve ever had before.

For exciting, healthy and sugar free recipes check out the newest addition to my recipe library:

“50 Desserts With Hidden Veggies”….

For more tools and resources from Carolyn Hansen to assist you in attaining your health and fitness goals and achieving the success you desire in life, please visit: