The Secrets to Handling Holiday Sweets
You can enjoy holiday sweets when you know the secrets to digesting them. Your body needs specific nutrients in order to correctly break down sugars. Win the war on sweets by using diet changes and specific foods that can easily be added to your diet.
The body converts all carbohydrates into sugar. All grains, breads, pasta, cereals, processed foods, pop and candy are broken down into sugar. Whole grains, vegetables and fruits are also converted into sugar.
Highly processed and refined carbohydrates are very rapidly converted into sugar in your body. The process is so fast that your body is unable to make enough enzymes to properly digest the sugar. Whole foods are digested more slowly making it easier for your body to make sugar handling enzymes. One secret to help your body handle sweets is to eat more whole foods than processed foods.
Another secret to eating sweets is to eat whole foods that are listed below 50 on the glycemic index. The glycemic index is a list of specific foods ranked by how much they affect your blood sugar two to three hours after eating them. All foods are compared to white sugar, the highest item on the index.
Another secret is to eat carbohydrates after eating some protein. Your body focuses on digesting protein when it is eaten first. When carbohydrates are eaten first your blood sugar goes higher. Blood sugar will be more stable when protein is eaten first.
Eating carbohydrates after the first bite of protein will also allow your body to efficiently make sugar handling digestive enzymes. Indicators that your body cannot make a sufficient amount of digestive enzymes are fatigue, increased weight gain, sugar and carbohydrate cravings, bloating, indigestion, and difficulty sleeping. Specific supplemental enzymes can help when you have these symptoms.
A little known secret to metabolizing sugars is the need to keep your body supplied with B vitamins. Your body uses B vitamins whenever it has to digest sugars. Vitamin B deficiencies can occur when sugar is consumed, and B vitamins are not part of your diet. The common indicators of a vitamin B complex deficiency are dry skin, eczema, hair loss, muscle pain, high cholesterol, unwanted weight, and constipation.
Add vitamin B rich foods to your diet when you plan to eat sugars. The best sources of B vitamins are in whole foods. High B vitamin foods to eat include leafy green vegetables, whole grains, brewer’s yeast, sprouts, eggs, plain yogurt, oranges, grapefruit and wheat germ. Avoid synthetic B vitamins. The body uses whole food vitamins more efficiently than artificial vitamins.
The last secret to enjoying holiday sweets is to avoid highly processed sugars. Processed foods that contain high fructose corn syrup and/or refined sweeteners are high on the glycemic index. Sweeteners added to packaged and processed foods that end in “ose” are sugars. The “ose” sugars to avoid include sucrose, dextrose, maltose, lactose, fructose and glucose. Foods that contain “ose” sugars are gross.
Healthier sugars to enjoy during the holidays include natural sweeteners like agave and stevia. Agave is a liquid sweetener made from a cactus plant. Stevia is an herb that is naturally sweet. These sweeteners can easily be substituted for regular sugar in any recipe.
These diet changes can make it easier for you to enjoy the holidays. Focus on eating whole foods that are naturally sweet. Add foods high in B vitamins to your diet, and use natural sweeteners. Help is available if you have sugar handling issues. There are simple, non-invasive tests that knowledgeable holistic health care practitioners use to easily identify which specific whole food vitamins and enzymes you might need in order to efficiently digest sugars and carbohydrates. Enjoy the sweetness of the holiday season.
Dr. Carol Ann Fischer, D.C., N.D.
Dr. Carol Ann Fischer, D.C., N.D. owns TLC Holistic Wellness in Livonia. She is a practicing chiropractor, naturopath-wellness consultant, who for 25 years has also provided holistic and nutritional recommendations using water & whole food supplements. Visit www.TLCHolisticWellness.com for more information and free public workshop dates, or call (734) 664-0339.