Eating too much refined sugar can trigger increased inflammation in the body that leads to a wide variety of diseases. If you already have a chronic illness, eating too much refined sugar can make the symptoms worse. I didn't want to cut out sweet treats all together, but I didn't want to increase the inflammation levels in my body either. Balance is the key. I enjoy desserts and other sweet treats by sticking to five self-imposed guidelines.
- I eat real whole food for at least 90% of my diet every day.The other 10% is flexible.It includes occasional processed food with 5 ingredients or less, eating out when I'm not sure of the ingredients used in the food, and sweet treats.
- I can eat whatever sweet treat I want as long as I make it myself from real food ingredients. Boxes of cake mix, containers of whipped topping, chopped candy bars, and packages of cookies aren't real food ingredients. When I started looking for healthier dessert options, I was amazed by how many of the "from scratch" baking recipes I had collected over the years involved dumping various processed foods into a mixing bowl.
- I don't eat dessert every day and when I do, I eat only a small amount.
- I substitute healthier ingredients for less healthy ones
- I add healthy ingredients to everything I bake to increase the nutritional value.
- coconut oil or olive oil instead of vegetable oils and shortening
- raw organic sugar, organic honey, real molasses, or real maple syrup instead of highly refined white sugar
- whole wheat flour instead of refined white flour
- dried fruit
- fresh fruit
- ground milled flaxseed
- ground chia seeds
- nut butters
- pumpkin seeds
- sunflower seeds
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