orangesugar orange peelsThere has been a lot of media talking about sugar lately. And at the same time I am in birthday planing mode for my oldest son’s party this weekend. I have sugary goodness on my mind because I love a good dessert! So now is the time to talk sugar. What’s the problem with sugar? Why does it have such a bad reputation? Well, I shared a link this week on Facebook about a good article that discusses all the hidden sources of sugar in foods, but also describes the function of sugar in various food products. To top it all off, you know that as humans we are born loving the taste of sugar. That’s right! Salt, bitter, sour and umami are required tastes, but sweets…bring it on! Even newborns love sugar so much that it is used as a pain “medication” instead of the alternative. Let’s face it: we love the sweet stuff, but what has gone wrong? In a word: portions. You may already know the #1 source of sugar in the U.S. is soda. Not the diet kind. Sugar really is in a lot of foods, so you know what my strategy is? My strategy is to eat sugar where I want to eat it. Yes, of course, I read labels. I would rather have sugar in my homemade versions: my homemade marshmallows, chocolate sauce, chocolate cake and frosting made the classic way—the 7-minute kind. I will wait for sugar-worthy goodness; I pass up store-bought cookies, pies and candies. I want the real stuff, straight from a home kitchen. Food prepared with time, passion and love….not on a conveyor belt. If sugar is the first ingredient in an applesauce, salad dressing or cereal, I put it down. Who needs it there? I want it at the end of the meal.
You see, the key to long-term weight control is that you can have your sweets and eat them too; however, we have to be very selective. I eat only what I truly want to savor. There is not an ice cream container in my hands while watching a movie-although I’m sure my husband would love to see that day. If I am eating a richly-flavored meal, such as salmon, with a lot of fats, I will have a “lighter” dessert such as watermelon with honey drizzled on it. But if I have a light meal, like a salad with cottage cheese and lots of veggies, then I will have my “gluten” in the form of cake. Remember the scene from the movie “When Harry Met Sally” in the diner? Well, I am Sally, for sure. Eat the salad and the pie. Life is so short and precious…and to be on a low-carb, no-sugar, I’m depressed diet, is not to live. Eat the foods you love, but savor them, eat them with family and friends and cook them yourself so you know what is in your dessert.