Oatmeal Raisin bar u eat bar

The Power of Sugar for a Happier, Healthier You

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Whether we like it or not, we’re hardwired to crave sugar — in fact, our bodies need it. So let's talk about that tricky relationship we all have with the sweet stuff. If you're anything like me, indulging in sweets and desserts is a guilty pleasure that brings immense joy to your life. I mean, who can resist the sheer delight of a perfectly baked cookie or a decadent slice of cake? Life's too short to deny ourselves of these simple pleasures, right?

But here's the catch: that momentary bliss often comes crashing down with a wave of regret. We've all experienced that "Oh no, I overdid it" feeling after eating one too many sugary treats. It's a bittersweet symphony playing out in our bodies. We get a temporary high from the sugar rush, only to be left feeling sluggish, bloated, and, let's be honest, pretty crummy.

So how do you choose optimal foods that not only satisfy our sweet tooth, but also serve our bodies with just the right amount and types of sugars?

Let's explore practical tips and insights to gain a better relationship with sugar — one that nourishes your body, fuels your mind, and contributes to your overall happiness.

Strawberries in yogurt granola

1. Opt for Natural Sweetness: 

Natural sweeteners like honey, maple sugar or dates cause a slower and more controlled rise in blood sugar, which can help maintain stable energy levels and more controlled sugar cravings. With these treats you get just as much pleasure from the sweet treat while curbing the excess sugar cravings and belly aches. 

2. Don't Fall in Love with the First Person You Meet

The sweet treats you eat are just as critical as the partner you choose. Just as you want to get to know a partner by spending lots of time with them and meeting their friends, you must connect how you feel in the afternoon to what you ate in the morning. While processed foods with refined sugars give you lots of pleasure and a spike of energy, they make you feel lousy in the long term. 

These highly refined sugars hi-jack your system, making you body think it's doing the right thing by choosing a candy bar, and which can then lead to you eating an unsustainably high amount of sugar. Consciously observe how your body responds to the sweets you eat. Each individual has different needs. To know if you are meeting your needs, you should feel like you have enough energy to do everything you want to throughout the day. 

Medjool dates in a bowl

3. Present Desires, Future Damage

As you eat more sugar, your body expects more sugar. If you reinforce your mind and body with excessive sugar, it will ask for excessive sugar from you. 

Pause and reflect before giving in to your cravings. Will this benefit me tomorrow? Should I exercise self-control and go do something else, or should I give in to the craving? The more you resist the craving, the easier it gets to do so. 

4. Law of Diminishing Returns:

The first doughnut you eat is going to feel amazing. The seventh doughnut you polished off probably will not. 50Cent summarizes this concept: “Sunny days wouldn't be so special if it weren't for rain.” 

If you practice moderation, your desserts will taste much better because you won’t feel bad after enjoying them.

5. Spying Sneaky Sugar:  

Don't be fooled by the words: “Natural”, “Wholesome”, or “Substantial”. It is often found that granola bars and other on the go snacks have a “Substantial” amount of unnecessary hidden sugars and chemicals. Take a quick second and read nutrition labels and ingredient lists. You are looking for whole ingredients that you know how to pronounce. 

Humble brag: BAR-U-EAT provides sustained energy without the crash. They’re fiber rich, naturally sweet and have real ingredients. They’re a step in the right direction for syncing how much sugar you're craving with how much sugar you actually need.

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The Bottom Line:

We can strike a balance that satisfies our sweet tooth without compromising our well-being. 

The first step is choosing sources of sugar that you might find growing on a tree off the coast of Egypt, not pumped out of a factory.  

The second step is feeling good while maintaining the energy you need to do what you want to do throughout the day. 

Finally, if you feel great after a long day of getting work done, reflect on what you ate and when you ate it, and do it again tomorrow! Feeding yourself will only get easier if you take note of what makes you feel good in the long term.

Fun Fact: The notion that different parts of the tongue taste different flavors is a myth. Every taste bud in your mouth has the ability to taste all five taste qualities: sweet, bitter, sour, salty and umami.  

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