In my article on healthy foods vs. unhealthy foods I mentioned that there are certain foods that we all agree to be healthy. Desserts tend to fall in the unhealthy food category.
Photo by Klaus Post
Somehow we inherently know that eating too many desserts and sweets is not good for us. Either we’ve been told this growing up, or we just don’t feel so good after we overindulge our sweet tooth.
Why do we crave sweets and desserts?
Since I’ve got a wicked sweet tooth, I thought it would be interesting to investigate why it is that we crave sweets and desserts. (Or at least some of us.)
Sweetness is an Indication that Food is Edible
I was speaking to my dad about this the other day and he mentioned reading an article about sweets that said sugar is an indication that food is not a poison.
This made sense to me, if something tastes sweet then it is probably safe to eat. Think of eating bitter unripe fruit, you immediately get a bad taste in your mouth and push it away. However if the fruit is ripe, it is sweet and edible.
I’m sure this doesn’t apply across the board, and that there are exceptions to this rule. But I can accept the fact that we use our taste-buds and the sweetness factor of a food to determine whether to eat it or not.
The Bacteria/Yeast Connection
Another reason I believe we are big on eating sugar and sweets is the connection between bacteria and yeast. I don’t want to get too deep into this topic, but I have observed it in my own body.
At one point the balance of beneficial bacteria in my gut had been broken and there was an overgrowth of yeast. I’m not talking about female yeast infections here, because anyone can have too much yeast and not enough beneficial bacteria.
I noticed that whenever I ate lots of sugar, I had a huge rash on my stomach. That was the yeast flourishing. Yuck much? Luckily, I knew there were alternatives to traditionally high sugar sweets and desserts.
Can Healthy Desserts Really Exist?
The short answer is yes! Why else would I “give up” my old favorites, if I couldn’t have something equally delicious?
Healthy Desserts That Taste Good
Healthy desserts get a bad rap. Think of desserts made without any sugar, and these seem bland, granola, a little boring.
But what if you could get the richest, most decadent of desserts without all the junk that most processed desserts come with? It’s totally possible with raw, naturally sweetened desserts.
A Healthy Dessert Doesn’t Mean Just Fruit
Okay, you might be thinking that the only thing raw foodies can eat for dessert is fruit. Fortunately, there’s a lot more to raw desserts than fruit.
Take a look at these:
- raw chocolate puddings
- raw apple pies
- raw fudge
- raw ice cream
- raw cup cakes
- raw brownies
28 Desserts You Can Eat Every Day
I’ve put together free a downloadable ebook called “28 Desserts You Can Eat Every Day”. Yep, that’s right I’m giving it away for free!
Feel free to share this ebook with all of your friends and family. I really want as many people as possible to experience these healthy desserts.
Because it’s time for us have our cake and eat it too. After all, health is wealth and what would our life be without a little treat now and then?
Photo by Gordana A. M.
One of the reasons people turn to raw food is because they are looking to eat more healthy food. That’s definitely one of my main reasons for giving raw food a try. (Remember that when I say raw food, I don’t necessarily mean 100% raw.)
Lately, I found myself giving out this little piece of advice: eating raw food doesn’t mean it’s necessarily healthier than other ways of eating.
Hear me out…
There are a lot of other things that go into your health, other than just the “label” you apply to your food. So for instance, you might be eating raw food, but eating too much of it. Or you might be eating raw food, but eating too much of one category and not enough of another.
Neither of these scenarios is very healthy.
Or, you might be eating raw food but not drinking enough water, sleeping enough, or exercising enough. And then there’s your emotional and mental well being, all of which play into your overall health.
Now, let’s take a closer look at what healthy foods are.
The Healthy Foods List
Here is a basic list of healthy foods that most people can agree on:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Fresh leafy greens
- Cold pressed extra virgin oils
- Raw nuts and seeds
- Seaweeds and sea vegetables
Now we can split hairs and argue that we should include other foods, depending on what lifestyle you follow. For instance some may want to add superfoods, others may want to add in raw dairy or meat, you get the idea.
But I think we can all agree that these are basically healthy foods. Especially fresh fruits and vegetables.
The Unhealthy Foods List
- Processed “white” foods like white breads, white pastas, etc.
- Refined white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame
- Addictive substances like MSG, and other “taste enhancing” chemicals
- Processed, denatured fats and oils that the body cannot deal with
Alright, so the unhealthy foods list is incomplete. That’s partly because it would take too long to include everything that might potentially be unhealthy. But it’s also because we don’t all agree on what’s unhealthy.
Some people go around telling themselves that they’ll be healthy if they eat “Everything in Moderation“. And while the adage that eating everything in moderation probably held true 100 years ago, it certainly doesn’t hold today.
There are more chemicals and ingredients that I can’t pronounce on a label for dried raisins than ever before. Dried raisins!
Imagine what’s in super processed junk foods for a minute. It’s not pretty.
How to Include More Healthy Foods and Less Unhealthy Foods
I honestly believe that in order to eat more healthy foods we need to leave some of the unhealthy foods behind. If you’re too full from eating an entire bag of chips and a 1L bottle of Coke, then you’re not going to be inspired to eat an apple. Let alone a salad.
Letting go of foods that aren’t good for you is a lot more complex than it might seem at first. Why? Cravings. That’s why.
I’ve been eating healthy foods for over 3 years now, and I’ve learned a thing or two about cravings. Get on The Cue list, and you’ll be the first know about my cravings busting techniques.
I don’t write a lot of political posts here, but this speech made by President Obama to the American Medical Association was just too good to pass up.
President Obama is calling for a health care reform, but it goes much deeper than that. This quote really brings home a crucial aspect of a healthy nation, and a healthy people.
“It also means cutting down on all the junk food that is fueling an epidemic of obesity, putting far too many Americans, young and old, at greater risk of costly, chronic conditions.
That’s a lesson Michelle and I have tried to instill in our daughters with the White House vegetable garden that Michelle planted.
And that’s a lesson that we should work with local school districts to incorporate into their school lunch programs.”
I think we should definitely work with local school districts to incorporate healthy diet changes, but also look to office cafeterias, hospitals, prisons, and other semi-public places.
This is a time for change, and we’re in this together. Let’s brainstorm some ways that we can implement these changes into our own homes and neighborhoods.Read More