Nothing in this world is created equal. Especially sugar. Forget about reading the grams of sugar on the back of a label—this will not tell you whether a product is truly healthy or not. After all, the body needs calories, carbs, protein, fats, and “sugar” to function from a nutrition standpoint. The key is to determine where these sources are coming from and how are they created? Start by reading the ingredients versus the nutrition label. The ingredients will be the number one indicator of quality. If there are 15 grams of sugar in a product, check out the ingredients to figure out where these grams of sugar are coming from before determining whether the product is healthy or not. The ingredients will allow you to determine whether the grams of sugar are coming from processed sugar or natural sugar—two completely different sources.
Check out the ingredient lists from two popular food bars below.
Bar #1 with 15 grams of sugar: Egg whites, almonds, cashews, dates.
Bar #2 with 8 grams of sugar: Whole grain blend (oats, brown rice, millet, oat flour, buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa), tapioca syrup, dried cane syrup, honey, canola oil, coconut, chocolate liquor, sugar, brown rice syrup, molasses, gum acacia, sea salt, vanilla extract, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, Vitamin E. (Contains 8 grams of sugar)
Now which option do you think is going to be healthier for the body? Would you rather have one source of natural sugar from dates or multiple sources of processed sugar?
Bottom line is the body responds differently to these forms of sugar. Processed sugar will give you an immediate sugar spike, provides the body with little to no nutrients, and can make you crave even more sweet foods. Natural sugar from dates has a much different impact. The soluble fiber in dates will prevent an immediate sugar spike and can keep energy levels steady. It will also be much more satisfying and you may find that you actually eat less. The vitamins, minerals and magnesium in dates can also provide the body with essential nutrients needed for healthy metabolism and good sleep.
Dates are nature’s perfect food—beautifully ”wrapped,” sweet, and oh-so satisfying. Trust foods in their most natural state because when you give your body simple and real ingredients, it knows what to do.
Try swapping out processed sugar or other sweeteners for naturally sweet dates. Here’s how.
Add 1-2 dates to your favorite beverage for some extra sweetness. Simply drop a date into your tea like you would a cube of sugar or steep using a tea bag or clamp.
Try a “date” with:
*May use “Date Paste” in place of whole dates.
Place dates and water in a food processor. Process until fairly smooth to make a coarse paste, or process longer to make a creamy paste, scraping down sides as necessary.
*You can find Medjool dates at most local grocery stores near you. Medjool dates will be the best quality and most flavorful.