You guys, I’m about to let you in on a secret…I have a sweet tooth. Ok, maybe my love of Marshmallow Dream Bars gave it away, but gosh dang, if you have a sweet tooth, you know it can get you in some trouble, and not the good kind. But having a sweet tooth doesn’t have to be a stumbling block when it comes to reaching our goals (lose weight, gain muscle, run a marathon, complete a triathlon, and so on), or even if we just want to simply eat healthier.
So, how can we cure that sweet tooth and not feel deprived of all of those delicious, sweet treats?
One word: Fruit.
Fructose vs. Glucose: What’s the difference?
Yes, fruit is high in sugar, but it’s natural sugar, made up of about 50% fructose and 50% glucose. Let’s break down fructose and glucose further:
- Fructose, when in its natural state in the fruit we eat, has a low glycemic index, which means it releases insulin in a way that doesn’t cause that sugar rush and is also beneficial for those with diabetes. Fructose is also the sweetest of the sugars, so when you choose fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth, you’re getting the most of that sweet taste you can get!
- Glucose is the preferred source of fuel for the body on the carbohydrate side of things, and it helps to keep our bodies working as they should.
And while consuming either of these sugars in excess can cause health issues AND weight gain, it would be very difficult to consume fructose and glucose in excess from fruit since fruit is loaded with fiber, which makes us feel fuller faster so we eat less overall.
Related: Click here to read more about the health benefits of fiber and why you need it in your diet.
Unlike some of the sweet treats we feel tempted to sink our teeth in, fruit is also loaded with other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, all of which lead to a healthier body. But how much fruit should you be eating every day? Aim for 2-5 servings, but if you go over that 5 servings, no worries! As they say, an apple a day—or maybe five—keeps the doctor away. 😉
If you’re thinking, “But isn’t fructose and glucose bad for you?” Well, listen up because fructose and glucose have gotten a bit of a bad rep lately since we also see these sugars included on food labels. But, the forms of fructose and glucose added to other foods have been processed, causing our bodies to react to them differently in some not so good ways. They’re also often overused, which equals empty and unnecessary calories and extra pounds if we’re not careful.
AND you can even find added sugars (including fructose and glucose) in fruit-based products like fruit juice, canned fruit, dried fruit, and even some frozen fruit.
What I’m talking about is good, old-fashioned whole feels. So before putting that fruit-based product in your grocery cart, look at the label to make sure there are as few added sugars as possible. Better yet, get your booty over to the produce aisle and opt for whole fruit so you get all the good sugar benefits for fewer calories.
Sweet Tooth Cure: Top Fresh Fruit Recipes
Wanting to include more fruit in your nutrition plan? I’ve got you covered!
Check out these posts for some fruity goodness:
- Fresh Fruit Popsicles to Beat the Heat!
- 3 Time-Saving, Pre-Packed Smoothie Recipes
- Pumpkin Banana Protein Pancakes Recipe
- Berry Cream Pie Parfaits!
- Avocado Dreaming with this Breakfast Fruit Smoothie Recipe
- Banana Berry Ice Cream
- Red, White, and Blue Acai Bowl
Fruit is not only a powerhouse packed with all that fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, but it’s also delicious and sweet. Now that’s what I’m talking about (and so are the kids, if I’m being honest).
So, the next time that sweet tooth starts acting up, grab a piece of fruit. Better yet, since most fruit is naturally packaged to grab n’ go, grab a piece of fruit the next time you head out the door. You’ll keep that sweet tooth in its place and have a nutritious option readily available when hunger or those cravings hit.
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Taste the Rainbow: Best Ways to Eat More Fruits + Veggies
Eat More, Lose More: Settling The Fresh vs. Fast Food Debate
Healthy Meal Prepping: Tips to Eating Healthy on a Budget
Emotional Eating: How To Take Control + What You Can Do to Stop Stress Eating