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Sweets Craving: Healthy alternatives for our fellow Venusians

Posted Feb 24 2010 5:33am


Introduction
In popular folklore, the goddess Venus symbolized all things ‘sweet’, and that deal was sealed with John Gray’s “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” book which provided insight into how men and women can get along better, if they understood each other’s method of communication.

What is fascinating about popular legend is that women (and children) are far more prone to the be susceptible to the ‘sweet tooth’ as opposed to men, not unless you’re one of those blokes who would like to get in touch with his feminine side. And of course, if one has the sweet tooth it generally means the irresistible urge towards foods that are sweet.

Another obvious observation is that ‘sugar’ plays a large role in the sweet foods that most people crave, and if since this urge does get out of control (or else it wouldn’t be referred to as a ‘craving’), the dangers of being addicted to sugary products have been well-documented and are as long as your Christmas shopping list.

Why is consuming excess sugar such a problem?
With Americans helping themselves to almost twenty teaspoons of sugar daily (that is twice over the daily limit) not forgetting the sugar-based treats that we can’t resist. Ironically, glucose (sugar) is needed by the body for energy and can produce sufficient amounts without the interference of man-made sugar.

Yet another study states that one teaspoon of white or brown sugar (no, not the junkie types) is more than enough to sustain the body. What this means is that one has to moderate the amount of sugar that is consumed either directly or through pre-packaged products available at the supermarket.

However, this turns out to be a bummer for our fellow Venusians who must, by any means necessary, gratify their desire for those cute sugary treats made abundantly available. And some doctors say that this habit is harder to break compared to alcohol and tobacco.

However, nothing is impossible, and with the help of a wonderful support system, one can veer away from the threat that excess consumption poses.
Healthier alternatives that won’t leave a bad taste in your mouth

Before we get into that list, in having absolutely no cravings for sweets, hence I find it humorous when people eat their favorite dessert, ice-cream, candy or cake and then feel guilty about it later.

As delectable as the dish appears to be, it does leave you feeling a bit guilty about your inability to be strong enough in the face of self-indulgence… but come to think of it, who is?

Eliminating these foods from your diet completely isn’t a solution, but moderating the amount you eat either with portion control or by just having one day in a week or fortnight where you can ‘cheat while you eat’ can help you drop the excesses.

Anyways, here is a list of healthier alternatives that one can try in the meanwhile 1.    One piece (one-half ounce) of top-quality semisweet or bittersweet (dark) chocolate
2.    Three frozen Tofutti bars
3.    Dried fruits
4.    One medium package of biscotti with 8 ounces of low fat hot chocolate or chocolate milk
5.    One bran muffin with 1-tablespoon of jam, 1-teaspoon of peanut butter or 2-tablespoons of low fat cream cheese.

Conclusion
While you can find a whole list of sugary foods that can be classified as ‘nutritious junk’, these seem to be the easiest to prepare or obtain. Just remember that just because you choose healthier alternatives for whatever reason, don’t forget to enjoy your favorite sugary treat once in a while! After all, being anally retentive is just swinging to another extreme, and if anything our pursuit of happiness lies in the keeping a ‘balance’.

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