Valentine's Day is a time to celebrate love and affection, and for many of us, that includes indulging in sweet treats like chocolates, cookies, and cakes. Like these delicious Valentine's Cookies from The Kitchen of Jessica Lucius @luxeandthelady.
But while these treats may be delicious, they can also be packed with sugar, which can be harmful to our health if consumed in excess.
According to the American Heart Association, the average American consumes around 22 teaspoons of sugar per day, and this number can easily increase around holidays like Valentine's Day. Excessive sugar consumption has been linked to a number of health issues, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
So, how can we enjoy the sweet treats of Valentine's Day without overdoing it on sugar? Here are four ways to help cut back on sugar:
1. Choose treats made with natural sweeteners:
Instead of using refined sugar, opt for treats made with natural sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit. These sweeteners are derived from plants and have a lower glycemic index, making them a healthier choice for people with diabetes or blood sugar issues. SweetLeaf offers unique flavors that are perfect to satisfy a sweet craving around the sweet holiday! Try our Chocolate Sweet Drops in this Peanut Butter Nuttzo White Chocolate Smoothie recipe.
3. Practice portion control:
It's okay to indulge in a sweet treat now and then, but be mindful of portion sizes. A little goes a long way when it comes to sugar, so try to limit yourself to just a few bites. Try making a single serving treat so you avoid the temptation of eating a second (or 3rd!) serving. This Chocolate Cherry Mug Brownie is a good start!
4. Choose treats with added nutrients:
Instead of opting for empty calorie sweets, look for treats that contain nutrients like fiber, protein, and healthy fats. This will help balance out the sugar and make the treat a more satisfying and nourishing snack.
A great source of fiber is salad. Here is a healthy and delicious dressing you can make to go with a helping of salad, or dip in veggies to ensure you get your daily fiber intake.
The American Heart Association Eating Plan suggests eating a variety of food fiber sources. Total dietary fiber intake should be 25 to 30 grams a day from food.
Incorporating these tips into your Valentine's Day celebrations can help you enjoy the holiday without overdoing it on sugar. And remember, there are plenty of natural sweeteners like stevia and monk fruit available that can be used to reduce the amount of sugar in your sweet treats. Our Sweet Drops are a great way to add flavor to drinks and food while baking!