Thinking about desserts makes many people sad. They feel like they have to avoid sweet treats as a means of maintaining healthy blood glucose levels. While it is true that the yummiest desserts contain sugar and starches, there are still delicious sweets you can enjoy this season.
The apple crisp recipe below is a favorite way to enjoy fall flavors without compromising your health and with the cold season approaching, should be on every menu.
7 medium red apples, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 tablespoons softened margarine
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and coat a 13 x 9-inch pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, oats, flour, margarine, vanilla, and spices. Make sure you blend all ingredients together until moistened and slightly crumbly. Layer your apples in the pan and sprinkle the brown sugar mixture evenly over the top. Bake for 30 minutes and serve warm.
While apples do contain carbohydrates, they do not affect blood sugar levels in the same way as added sugars and processed starches. The natural sugars in apples, fructose, delivers all the ‘sweet’ you need along with nutrients to support heart and overall health. Opting to include apples in your diet can help satisfy your sweet tooth while helping to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Apples, along with other fresh fruits and vegetables are recommended as part of a balanced diet. They are abundant sources of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that promote overall good health.
It is the large amount of water and fiber in apples that keeps you satiated. The fiber in apples also helps to slow the digestion of the carbohydrates, which aids in the maintenance of healthy blood sugar levels. Apples also contain polyphenols which even further slow the digestion of any sugars present.
The antioxidant content of apples helps reduce occasional oxidative stress. The antioxidants in apples that are particularly beneficial are:
♦ Quercetin: Helps to slow carbohydrate digestion and maintains blood sugar levels within a healthy range.
♦ Chlorogenic Acid: Helps your body to use sugar more efficiently.
♦ Phlorizin: SHelps to slow sugar absorption
Eating whole apples as a daily snack allows you to reap the most benefits, as the majority of the nutrients can be found in the skin. You want to avoid apple juice as much as possible because it may contain added sugar and also will not have the fiber content of the whole fruit.
In general, a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables is recommended as part of a healthy lifestyle. Fresh fruits like apples as part of your daily diet help to promote optimal health and are an easy way to get essential nutrients. They are also a tasty addition to any autumn sweet treat. There really is some truth to an apple a day keeping doctors away.