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Natural Sugars vs Processed Sugars for Health

The toxicity of sugar is not a myth. But it can get confusing when trying to figure out the difference between natural sugars and refined sugars. Are they the same? Should we exclude all sugars from our diet? Are there bad sugars and good sugars?

Many people scrutinize sugar consumption, and rightfully so. However, the type of sugar we consume does make a difference. As with anything, overdoing sugar consumption, it is not good; but when you do enjoy a little sweetness in your life, it is imperative that you are choosing foods with natural sugar, as found in fruits.

First and foremost, regardless of the form that sugar comes in, sugar is always a simple carbohydrate. Our bodies process sugar by converting it into glucose which becomes an energy source for our bodies. As with any food in its purest form, and in moderation, there is nothing wrong with having a little. However, not all sugars are the same. When sugar is contaminated with chemicals, as with any processed foods, the negative impact on our bodies is much more severe.

Natural sugar contains essential nutrients that help us maintain a healthy lifestyle and prevent disease. We can find natural sugar in fruits in the form of fructose, and as lactose in dairy products. So why is the sugar in an apple not equivalent to the sugar found in a chocolate chip cookie? It comes down to quantity. An apple has approximately 15 grams of natural sugar, while a chocolate chip cookie has over 20 grams of refined sugar.

Many foods that contain natural sugars are also naturally packed with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. They also come with other nutritional benefits that can help support our immune system and body in maintaining health. On the other hand, cookies, pies, and candies do not contain these nutrients and do not help with strokes, cancer, heart disease, weight loss, or high blood pressure.

Refined sugar usually comes in the form of sugar cane, and the cane is processed to extract the sugar. These types of sugars are referred to as sucrose which is a combination of fructose and monosaccharides glucose. Baked goods usually include these refined sugars, and it's the additional chemicals from processed sugar that are extremely harmful to our bodies. Not only does the processed sugar negatively impact any nutritional value in the foods, but they are also often used simply as filler ingredients. These processed sugars are found in foods that you would never imagine like crackers, sauces, dressings, and more.

Refined sugars are not processed in the digestive tract in the same way as natural sugars. They have more calories and lack nutrition. As previously mentioned, the natural sugar from fruits include vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein, and also support the body in staying full longer. Eating natural sugar helps us to not over eat and also slows down our digestion process. When foods are lacking nutrients, they go through us faster, and we find ourselves hungry again rather quickly. You may have had this experience after eating fast food or processed foods. Regardless of how much you eat; you might find yourself hungry again and not understand how that is possible.

When we eat food, we want to make sure that we are nourishing our bodies to thrive rather than feeding diseases. By consuming chemically processed sugar versus refined sugar, we feed illness or create it rather than feeding our cells. Today's consumption of sugar by the average person is much higher than what previous generations consumed. That is one of the reasons we now see increases in obesity rates among children and adults. Our grandparents kept it simple; they didn't have an abundance of processed foods filled with refined sugars as we do today.

For better health and wellbeing we simply need to go back to a simple method of eating. Rather than grabbing processed food, eat foods that come from the earth, whole foods. When we get a sweet tooth, instead of reaching for processed baked goods and candy, we can resort to fruits, fresh or dried. Taking the extra time to read labels is a great place to start as it begins to widen our awareness of what is in the foods we are consuming. In many cases, we are not even able to pronounce the ingredients that are listed.

Although natural sugar and refined sugar have some of the same properties, we must remember that the process of refinement adds in so many other chemicals and it's the processing of them that changes the ball game. Fructose, found in fruits, is broken down in the liver and does not create a significant insulin response. Glucose, on the other hand, found in refined sugar, is broken down in the stomach and requires insulin to be released into the bloodstream to be metabolized.

If you are already dealing with any disease like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc., it is important to check with your doctor and medical team to get advice on how much and what sources of your sugar intake are acceptable. If you are on a mission for weight loss, then you want to find the best sugar substitute for weight loss. The best sugar substitute for weight loss can vary per individual for a variety of reasons.

When it comes to the best sugar substitute for weight loss or a natural sweetener, it is important to consider that what is being put on the market is for profit. Marketing is there to drive sales, and any risk factors are not always obvious. For example, for quite some time there was a lot of talk about agave being a natural sweetener. As truth was uncovered, many realized that agave was not the miracle natural sweetener that many thought. Things like bananas, dates, raw honey (unprocessed), stevia, and figs have been proven to be better natural sweetener options.

If we keep it simple and stick to whole foods, there are a variety of options we can use to keep our lives sweet. Natural whole fruits, dried fruits, dates, honey, and even stevia come from plants. Stevia as a sweetener is not for everyone. The main reason is that some people do not like the flavor, but when stevia is combined with other things like honey, bananas or dates, the flavor is hidden. Stevia as a sweetener is also one of the best sugar substitutes for weight loss as it doesn't have any calories and does not cause a spike in your blood sugar, causing insulin production.

It all goes back to the adage, Keep it Simple. Pay attention to where your foods are coming from, and stick to whole foods that come from Mother Nature. To cut sugar out of your diet completely may not be a sustainable or even healthful practice. But always questioning where your food comes from and how your body will receive it is a great starting point.

We offer you some of our recipes that leave out refined, processed sugars as a way to support you on your journey.

All Natural Sweetener

Banana Cacao Smoothie

Dairy Free Salty Pecan Ice Cream

Date Sweetened BBQ Sauce

AuthorLisa Saremi
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How to Rehydrate Dried Fruit

Sometimes dried fruit becomes so dried up and shriveled they become the best foods to rehydrate. Rehydrating food also makes sense at times because it works better for certain recipes. If you like to make foods like power bars, dried fruits become foods to rehydrate to get the most optimal results.

AuthorLisa Saremi
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Best Methods to Lose Body Fat

The best way to shed body fat is a combination of different lifestyle practices. Our bodies need essential fat to support our central nervous system, brain, and organs. The fat that accumulates around our abdomen is visceral fat, and this is the fat we want to shed. The best way to remove body fat is to work on shedding the visceral in a targeted way.

Our seven tips for you on how to lose body fat and target the visceral fat can be integrated for best results. 1. Eat more fat, the healthy fat.

Let us debunk the myth that eating fat makes us fat. Today we know that low-fat diets can cause weight gain and are not the best way to remove body fat. It can be challenging to sustain eating this way as a low-fat diet doesn't keep you full. Per gram, fat has more calories than protein and carbohydrates. The caloric density of fat helps us feel satisfied and sets us up for success when we’re trying to reduce body fat.

So make fat a part of your eating plan, and be selective with the types of fats you consume as the best way to shed body fat. There is a big difference between eating ice cream or almonds. They both have fats in them, but the almonds help support the body systems to thrive with their unsaturated fats, and the ice cream swamps the body's systems and makes it harder to do what they are designed to do with the saturated fats. Other unsaturated fats, the good fats, can be found in things like Eatnuts.com NutsEatnuts.com Seeds, avocados, and olive oil. Unsaturated fats include polyunsaturated fats and mono saturated fats. When we inquire on how to lose body fat, we must eat fat as it's a part of a healthy diet.

2. Eat fewer carbs.

Another way to shed body fat is to reduce your carbohydrate consumption. By incorporating more of the healthy unsaturated fats into your diet, it helps reduce cravings that may lead to overeating. Carbs are a big part of what the body uses for energy, helping us think clearly, moving, workouts, and getting through the day. However, the best way to shed body fat is to reduce the amount you eat so that when your body seeks glycogen for energy, it begins to burn your fat for energy rather instead.

By consuming fewer carbs, your body will tear through the carbohydrates and glycogen and start burning fat sooner. So by keeping your body's glycogen levels low, it allows the body to more easily get rid of fat more quickly. You want to try to keep your daily carbohydrate intake of 30% or less. Measure this by looking at your intake for one day and estimate the percentage of what foods you are consuming that have carbohydrates.

If you are following our first tip, keeping a good amount of unsaturated fats in your diet, this should not be difficult as you will feel more satisfied when you eat. It is not a secret that the more carbohydrates and sugars you consume the more your body will crave them.

3. Watch your calorie count.

With all that is mentioned above, you still have to be mindful of your calorie intake. If you are not being mindful and are eating frivolously, then the body will begin to store those extra calories as fat. So as you start to transform what foods take up real estate on your plate try to eat more plant-based foods that are lower in calories like fruits, vegetables, Eatnuts.com Nuts, and Eatnuts.com Seeds to help fill you up and leave you satiated.

There is an abundance of technology today with phone apps that can help you track your calories as you start to make these adjustments. Newer lifestyle practices can take an adjustment period and then those practices slowly become new habits, and your body will start adjusting over time, so be patient.

4. Manage when you eat.

Focus on when and what you eat and it can make a big difference. As you explore how to lose body fat and tune into those habits and adjust them, you may begin to notice the times that you long for food. For some people, there's an immediate urge to eat right when you wake up. For others, it might be eating every two hours, and then some of you find that late night eating is where things can get challenging. First, you must uncover your habits of when you eat and recognize the importance of giving your digestive system a break.

Another school of thought that has proven to be very effective is practicing intermittent fasting. There are a few different ways you can do this, and we encourage you to also do your research to learn more about the various approaches health benefits. There is evidence that the best way to shed body fat is to implement intermittent fasting, and then focusing on what you eat becomes less crucial. It doesn't mean that you can eat just anything, but it does suggest that you shorten the window of time when you eat and continue to work with the above mentioned tips. There is an enormous amount of information out there on this topic, and we encourage you to research the subject if it's of interest to you.

A simple way to practice intermittent fasting is to refrain from eating food for a short window of time, somewhere between 6-8 hours. For example, stop eating two to three hours before you go to bed, then in the morning skip breakfast and stick to liquids until lunch time. This causes your body to become more of a fat burner.

Many people find it easier to manage time intervals of when they eat rather than putting strict guidelines on what they eat. Individually, we each have to explore and discover what lifestyle practices work best for our own lives to learn what the best way to shed body fat is.

5. Do not use a regular scale.

As a human being, we have an innate desire within to measure our progress. When seeking the best way to shed body fat, a scale is not an ideal way to measure progress. The reason behind this is that a standard scale only measures your weight. The minute you experience the scale going in one direction or another you only experience the variations in your weight but have no way to gauge the amount of fat being gained or lost. Sometimes we gain muscle, and so the weight reflected on a scale can be misleading if it goes up. The challenge is that you may feel defeated and although you may be experiencing progress your way of measuring the progress may not be accurate.

There are other ways you can measure your progress that will better reflect your loss of body fat. There are scales out there that measure not only your weight but your fat percentage and muscle percentage. You can also measure your body fat with a caliper, or use clothing as a way to experience the transformation in the body. Your skinny jeans will fit more easily when you’ve made progress.

6. Get enough sleep and relaxation.

Getting adequate amounts of rest can support weight loss. For some people, this tip alone can make a world of difference. When the body lacks sleep, so many different factors can play into weight gain. First and foremost when you need sleep or rest the body begins to crave more food, and typically the types of foods that are not the best for shedding body fat. It sets our hormones off into a cascade of cravings and impacts our clarity and decision-making abilities.

You may find you are too tired to work out or make your meals at home. You may find yourself gorging on take-out processed foods. Lack of sleep causes the brain to invoke desires for things that make us feel good, which can increase cravings for more carbohydrates and sugars.

Sleep is nutrition for the brain, and when we don't get enough of it, the impact of our hormones activate cravings for bad food choices. There is also a cortisol spike that comes from not enough sleep, signaling the body to conserve energy to provide you fuel when you are awake. When your nervous system is out of balance and you experience stress, and you do not give yourself enough time to rest and relax, the body begins to produce cortisol which feeds an unhealthy cycle.

7. High-intensity interval and cardio exercise.

One of the biggest benefits of high-intensity interval training and cardio exercise is burning fat efficiently. It is because high-intensity exercise is more demanding on the body that your body will quickly burn through the glycogen and move to burning fat. The other benefit is that this type of a workout will continue to burn fat even after you are done exercising. It is also convenient because you can do high-intensity interval training in just 10-30 minute sessions, which makes it fit easily into a busy schedule.

AuthorLisa Saremi
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Delicious Recipes with Cashews and Pecans

So many of us love nuts, and cashews and pecans are some of the best ones to enjoy. You can use them to prepare many party food recipes. And when receive a party invitation you’ll have some of the most delicious recipes to bring.

Party food recipes should be as fun to make as the party you are attending, and with these recipes you will have a good time preparing these most delicious recipes. Eatnuts.com Cashews and Pecans not only taste amazing, but they are also full of nutrients that your body will love. Cashews are a great source of iron, folate, vitamin K, magnesium, calcium, vitamin B, zinc, folic acid, vitamin E, and omega-3's. Pecans have over 19 vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, Vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, several B vitamins, and zinc. Pecans are also full of fiber that satisfy ten percent of the daily recommended value.

With cashews and pecans there are so many party food recipes you can make. Some of the most delicious recipes out there are healthy, too. We hope that you like these most delicious recipes using cashews and pecans. Let us know which ones are your favorites.

When we were choosing the 7 Most Delicious Recipes with Cashews and Pecans, we took into consideration most people's desire to make healthy choices. Our recipes are perfect for someone who is looking to follow a more plant-based diet, a diabetic friendly diet, or a dairy free diet.

Nuts play a significant role in healthy lifestyle choices as they help us continue to enjoy some of our all-time favorite recipes that are sometimes unhealthy. In childhood, the foods we consume set the tone for how our bodies function when we get older. As we get older the foods that we eat become even more important as so many people are dealing with a variety of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. We hope that by making several of our 7 Most Delicious Recipes with Cashews and Pecans, you will find ways to enjoy some of your all-time favorite snacks, dishes, and desserts.

Here are our top picks:

1. Vegan Candied Maple Pecans

2. Vegan Cinnamon Spice Cashews

3. Vegan Savory Spiced Nuts

Many people love to munch on nuts, so we thought why not sweeten them up and spice them up? They become a great snack or sweet tooth satisfier. Just because our nut mixes are vegan doesn't mean a non-vegan can't enjoy them. If you prefer a non-vegan variation, you can just replace the flax eggs with egg whites. Either way, your result is going to be delicious, and you will want to have some of these around the house to enjoy when you get the munchies. They are excellent for when you are watching your favorite movie, sports game, going hiking, or if you are out and about.

These party food recipes are also great items for guests to munch on whether the party is a potluck, dinner party, or just a gathering of friends. Savor them during card or board games, at a picnic at the park, or at the beach. The protein and mono saturated fats help satisfy hunger as well as will tide you over until your next meal. If you like things that are sweet, we recommend the Vegan Candied Maple Pecans or the Vegan Cinnamon Spice Cashews. The spice in the Vegan Cinnamon Spice Cashews comes from an allspice flavoring and is not to be confused with a hot spicy. If you are craving something more savory and hot spicy, we highly recommend the Vegan Savory Spiced Nuts. They have a slight kick to them and will make any salt craving go away.

4. Condensed Cashew Milk

We came up with some recipes that are ideal for anyone that wants to reduce or eliminate dairy from their diet using cashews and pecans. Condensed Cashew Milk is the perfect replacement for any recipe that calls for condensed milk. You can also use it for one of our favorite recipes, Best Key Lime Pie, to replace the 3 cups of sweetened condensed milk.

5. Vegan Chai Latte

For all you Latte and Chai tea lovers, you have to try the Vegan Chai Tea Latte. Its creaminess from the nuts and sweetness from the dates make this one of the most delicious recipes for a chai tea latte. There are no added sugars or dairy, and the cashews and pecans pair perfectly with the chai flavors.

6. Cashew Ranch Dressing

Who doesn't love ranch dressing? Many times ranch dressing is forgotten because it is typically not the healthiest option of salad dressings, being full of dairy and saturated fats. You are going to love our healthy Cashew Ranch Dressing. You can feel good about eating it because we leave the dairy out and replace the saturated fats with mono saturated fats which are good for you. The cashews do the trick, paired with parsley and other flavors that will make you want to put this on any of your salads.

7. Vanilla Cashew Sugar-free Pudding

Pudding is another one of those childhood recipes that many of us grew up enjoying. Most pudding recipes call for some dairy, so one of the reasons this made the list of 7 Best Recipes with Cashews and Pecans is because it is a dairy free vanilla pudding. If you have kids, you can feel good about giving them a non-dairy pudding option that is full of all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals mentioned earlier in this article. The other thing that makes this recipe one of our 7 Best Recipes with Cashews and Pecans is that it is sugar-free. Because it is a sugar-free recipe it is not only kid friendly, but also diabetic friendly, and a better choice for anyone who may be trying to stay away from sugar.

There is a reason that all of these recipes made it on the list for the 7 Most Delicious Recipes with Pecans and Cashews. Of course, you can always use them for party food recipes, whether it's dessert or a snack, but they are also spectacular options to make at home to feed yourself, your family and friends. When you make healthier choices, you feel better, have more energy, more vitality, and a clearer mind.

AuthorLisa Saremi
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