Health Advice

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Health

Supplements and Kids

Charlyn Fargo on

A: If you're "hooked" on sugar, don't try to eliminate all sugary foods at once. If you deny yourself even a single piece of candy or sliver of cake, you'll only crave sweets more. Instead, eat a healthy diet made up of more satisfying foods -- whole grains, fruits, vegetables, healthy oils, and lean protein. Steer yourself away from sugar and eat these foods, which are digested more slowly. They'll help to even out your blood sugar and you won't have spikes and crashes all the time. The body naturally craves sweet foods because sugar is addictive. When it's consumed, opioids and dopamine are released into the body, causing future cravings. In fact, although the daily recommended amount is no more than nine teaspoons of added sugar, Americans on average consume between 22 and 30 teaspoons each day. Sugar is found in many foods, especially processed foods. Although natural sugar acts as an energy source for your body's cells and is not harmful when consumed in moderation, an added sugar such as table sugar or high-fructose corn syrup can encourage your brain to desire unhealthy foods and to eat more, impacting weight and heart health and leading to chronic illness. To curb cravings, consume naturally sweetened foods and foods high in fiber.

RECIPE

If you've got your next getaway planned, you might want to include time to go hiking. Here's a recipe for a chewy granola bar to take along. It's from California Walnuts.

WALNUT CRANBERRY GRANOLA BARS

Servings: 8

3 cups old fashioned (rolled) oats

 

1 cup roughly chopped California walnuts

1/3 cup unsweetened or sweetened coconut flakes

1/4 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon brown sugar

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