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An Apple A Day...

Chef Jeff's Weekly Health Tips

September 28, 1998

An Apple A Day....

"I crave sugar!  What can I do about my sweet tooth?"

Ever feel like this?  If you do, you can take heart.   Having a sweet tooth is normal and natural for us.  The problem isn't with our "sweet tooth", but how we satisfy it.

You see, we "crave" sugar because unprocessed, unrefined complex carbohydrates (and the glucose that is derived from them) is our most efficient fuel and source of energy for our body.  And, several of our organs, like the brain, and nervous system, can run only on the glucose that can be derived from these carbohydrates.

The problem is that many of us have gotten used to satisfying this natural craving for complex carbohydrates by getting it in a highly concentrated and refined form that can create problems

with our metabolisms and biochemistry.  Another reason is that we eat diets that are either to low in, or eliminate, complex carbohydrates, and when we do, our body starts to crave its natural energy source.  Also, many of us eat diets that are high in refined carbohydrates (bread, bagels, crackers, muffins, pasta).  These products also create metabolic and biochemical problems and do not satisfy our need for natural unrefined  carbohydrates and the nutrients they provide.   Diets high in added sugars are lower in nutrient levels. 

In addition, refined carbohydrates and added sugars may contribute to:

a. obesity and overweight.

b. cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and the metabolic syndrome. 

c. the risk of gout.

d. dental caries.

Even highly refined "natural" ones (maple syrup, barley malt, rice syrup) can create problems

The best source of complex carbohydrates is fresh fruit, veggies, legumes and whole unrefined grains.   When we don’t get in enough natural carbohydrates,  we do crave them, and when we do crave them we often reach for them in a highly refined form to quickly satisfy the craving.

So, the best course of action is to include plenty of fresh ripe fruit, veggies, legumes, and unrefined complex carbohydrates (like beans, rice, corn, peas, & potatoes) in our diets.  And, whenever you feel that "sugar" craving coming on...  understand why you have it and what your body is telling you.  And then, satisfy it in the best way.....  by reaching for some minimally processed carbohydrates the natural way..... like having a delicious sweet and juicy apple instead.

"An apple (or two) a day, keeps the sugar craving at bay."

In Health

Jeff

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