Let's Talk Sugar
So…what is sugar? In a nutshell, it is a carbohydrate. Your mind might flash back to basic science class and remember hearing we need carbohydrates to survive, which is true! However, there are different qualities of carbohydrates and choosing the ones that are best for our brain (and our belly) will lead to a wealth of health in your near future!
When we eat sweet foods, our brain gets a multitude of signals activating our reward system. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter, is the main “currency” of our reward system and each time we eat sugar it causes a release of dopamine in our brain, signaling us to continue what we are doing and to do it again in the future. Can you see how this can become a slippery slope?
Just like the life of a rock-n-roll star, we know this is not sustainable if we are chasing that eternal youthful glow. But quitting sugar altogether is a sticky situation because it is in a lot of things and once in a while, we all need that warm fuzzy feeling of a familiar treat! Let us talk about the natural sugars we use here at CROP and how we do sweets right (and not too sweet!), so you maintain balance in your brain and bod.
Dates: this mighty little fruit provides a host of free radical fighting antioxidants and fiber that assists in regular bowel movements. They also provide minerals and vitamins such as calcium, Vitamin K, B vitamins, copper, zinc, iron and manganese.
Maple Syrup: largely produced in Canada, this golden syrup of the maple tree was originally discovered and used by the indigenous peoples of North America and used in similar fashion as salt by the Europeans! It contains a host of inflammation reducing polyphenols as well as prebiotics that help feed healthy gut bacteria and digestion. Additionally, it contains minerals such as manganese, calcium and zinc.
Coconut sugar: this brown crystalline product comes from the dehydrated and boiled sap of the coconut palm and is similar to the flavor of brown sugar. The processing is so minimal that it is able to retain minerals such as magnesium, iron and zinc. And with a fair amount of inulin (a prebiotic fiber), it helps slow the absorption of sugar and gives a little micro boost to the immune system.
All three of these alternatives are considered low on the Glycemic Index (54 and under—55 and under is considered low). This GI Scale is a fancy term for a numerical system that measures how high specific carbs raise your blood sugar level (0-100). Plain ol’ sugar scores closer to 100, meaning it enters our bloodstream like fireworks and our bodies start pumping insulin to try and use up all of the sugar, but often too much too fast just goes to fat storage. By consuming natural sugars with a low GI and fiber your body is able to slow down digestion, take its time and get more of the added benefits like vitamins, minerals and antioxidants!
Craving that treat now? We have just the thing for you, with all the comfort and no crash. Love, CROP.
*Please note: we do use small amounts of powdered sugar for the glaze in any of our “glazed donuts,” while the base of all donuts remain sweetened with maple syrup or coconut sugar.