Cutting Down on Sugar for New Year's Is Easy With Applesauce Pancakes
7 minute read
New Year’s is the perfect time for starting afresh, and changing your diet is one of the best ways to renew your health this year. A simple change like cutting sugar can make a big difference in our health.
Cutting out sugar entirely is, of course, easier said than done. But you don’t have to worry about depriving your sweet tooth of everything you like. With a small adjustment, your favorite recipes can still be on the menu.
The Benefits to Cutting Sugar
Replacing processed foods with natural and organic foods is the first step to getting control over your health. Including more fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grains is one thing, but what about your sweet tooth?
Some sugar is necessary, so you need to find a health compromise. Although too much can actually exacerbate your stress levels. When you choose to replace sugar with more natural sweeteners (like applesauce) you not only lower sugar intake, but you get the added nutrition those ingredients bring you.
Once you learn the perks of a low-sugar lifestyle, you won’t be sad to see it go.
Most of us reach for an energy drink or sugary snack for quick energy bursts. While these will spike your blood glucose levels, you end up with a sugar crash after that spike.
The inconsistency of sugar rushes and crashes drains your body of energy and leaves you more fatigued. When you cut out sugar and load your body with healthy fats and proteins instead, it produces energy more efficiently and you stay energized for longer.
Reduced Belly Fat
Excess sugar consumption triggers the release of insulin. With time this encourages fat to accumulate around your abdomen. This visceral fat is dangerous because it generates chemicals that trigger inflammation that can cause heart disease and cancer.
Cutting back on sugar will cut your belly fat and will protect you from serious diseases. If you’re looking for other ways of trimming up that gut, probiotics may be able to help.
More Efficient Weight Loss
Since cutting sugar reduces belly fat, you will also lose weight once you cut back. Without the extra fat cells in your body storing calories, you can lose weight more efficiently and stand a better chance of keeping the weight off.
When you get rid of refined carbohydrates and sugars and consume more healthy fats, your body no longer needs to store fat and hog calories.
It is well known that too much sugar contributes to the development of type-2 diabetes. The more sugar you eat, the more insulin your body has to produce. With time you can develop insulin resistance and diabetes.
Limiting sugar is one of the best prevention strategies against diabetes. For those already with diabetes, limiting sugar is a necessity. By cutting fat storage and promoting weight loss, a low-sugar diet also protects against diabetes.
Better Heart Health
A healthy heart comes from a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and avoiding bad habits such as smoking. Loading up on sugary snacks increases your risk for heart disease, so you need to make sure that you get your calories from other sources.
Switching to natural sweeteners and eating healthy fats will give you the energy you need, without putting your heart in any unnecessary danger.
Too much sugar inhibits the natural repair of collagen in your body. This means that your skin will lose its elasticity and plumpness and will start looking worn and wrinkly. When you cut back on sugar, these premature signs of aging can disappear, leaving your skin vibrant and youthful.
A Low-Sugar Twist on a Breakfast Favorite
Starting your New Year off right can begin at breakfast (or brunch). You may be worried that the typical breakfast fare is full of sugars and carbohydrates. However, by opting to use applesauce as a sweetener, you remove the need for sugar and can still enjoy your favorite pancakes.
| Related: Gluten-Free Blueberry Banana Pancakes |
This recipe is great for diabetics because it does not cause large spikes in blood glucose levels. In, fact it is great for everyone because you get the same sweet taste with applesauce as you do with sugar, but with added nutrition.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ
1 cup nonfat buttermilk
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Fresh fruit slices (optional)
1. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl and make a well in the center of mixture. Combine the buttermilk and next 3 ingredients on the list in a separate bowl. Add this buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
2. Heat a nonstick griddle or nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. For each pancake, pour 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle, spreading the batter out to a 5-inch circle. Cook pancakes until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked; turn pancakes and cook other side.
The Bottom Line
Sugar may taste sweet, but it is not so sweet for your health. Too much sugar has been linked to several serious health conditions, so the sooner you cut down, the better.
On average, adults eat way more sugar than they need, as the typical Western diet is filled with processed and convenience foods. This is not to say you need to cut out sugar completely, but moderation is essential when it comes to making any lifestyle into a healthier one