Are you looking for the next “healthy” sweetener and have a sweet tooth? If yes, then read on.
A colleague, Mira Dessy, Certified Nutrition Educator and holistic health columnist, provided a great summary of much of the discussion. I’m doing this post to add to it and to clarify a few things…
I think this is a great statement Mira made: “The chat started with a discussion of whether or not folks noticed if there were certain foods that made them anxious or affected their mood. Answers were fairly consistent across the board with responses including sugar, caffeine, gluten, McDonalds, and processed food.” I love that gluten was a hot topic and want to add the possible issue with GMO grains.
But what I’d really like to address the whole sugar discussion. With regards to this statement on Mira’s blog: “Sugar was by far the biggest offender with many participants discussing how difficult it can be to break the sugar habit” and this recommendation which didn’t actually come from me 🙂 “choose lower process sweeteners such as sucanat, evaporated cane juice crystals, honey, molasses, maple syrup”. I believe that if you replace white sugar with equal amounts of any of the above then it’s an issue. Ideally, a moderate amount of fresh fruit should satisfy your desire for something sweet and you shouldn’t have a sweet tooth. And you should not be seeking out the next “healthy” sweetener that comes on the market! If you do, it’s a message that you need to address your diet, nutrient deficiencies, imbalanced brain chemistry or even an addiction, or candida. This may apply whether you’re craving “healthy” sweeteners, stevia or xylitol sugar, or foods with artificial sweeteners. I asked this question “why do u eat sugar – comfort, calming, energy?” and these were some of the responses: “all of the above” and “I’d need to lose both arms to stop myself from eating sugar”. It really doesn’t have to be this way! You can quit and not have to use willpower and not feel deprived!
We didn’t have time to get completely into the individual amino acids (a future Twitter party ??) but they are incredible for stopping cravings in their tracks and improving mood. For example if you eat sugary food to calm down perhaps its low GABA and you may benefit from GABA supplements. Here is a Low GABA questionnaire.
Again, thanks to Mira and read her blog to get the rest of the discussion. And thanks to HMN! Do come to the next HMN twitter party – they are a lot of fun and very informative!
Much of this information relating to anxiety and mood and food (and so much more) is covered in The Antianxiety Food Solution: How the Foods You Eat Can Help You Calm Your Anxious Mind, Improve Your Mood and End Cravings, available in major books stores, at Amazon and via www.antianxietyfoodsolution.com