You guys probably already know that added sugar can lead to obesity and diabetes. But you may not know sugar’s other, less obvious effects.
- Think salt is the only thing you need to watch if you have high blood pressure? Nope! When you eat added sugar your body produces insulin. Insulin constricts blood vessels, which increases blood pressure.
- Think cholesterol from food increases cholesterol in your body? Nahhhhh. Dietary cholesterol doesn’t have a significant impact. It’s added sugar that plays the biggest role. Added sugar increases small, dense LDL cholesterol that can deposit in your arteries and cause a heart attack or stroke.
- Think liver damage is only caused by alcohol? Think again. Added sugars can lead to fatty deposits on your liver, and eventually liver damage.
- High intake of added sugars is also linked to higher risk of many cancers. Breast cancer cells, for example, are “fed” by sugar faster than regular cells.
Smoothie Sugar Bombs
Unfortunately, sugar is the most commonly added ingredient in food products in America. Even smoothie chains add sugar to their “health drinks”.
Smoothie King’s fruit smoothies have anywhere from forty to NINETY-THREE grams of sugar. And that’s just for a size small!
I’m not saying all smoothies are bad, and I’m not saying you should never have Smoothie King again. I’m just saying you should do some research to decide whether or not that smoothie joint in town is actually doing your body any favors. Better yet, try making a smoothie at home!
Your body processes natural sugar from fruit differently than added sugar, so it won’t do damage like added sugars will.
This caramel apple smoothie is refreshing and sweet, but it won’t break your sugar bank. It’s 100% sweetened with fruit, and it contains healthy fats and protein to slow down the absorption of those natural sugars! AKA your blood sugar will stay stable and you won’t be hangry an hour later.
The Maca powder gives it a caramelly flavor, and it has some super cool health benefits.
- Increased endurance
- Decreased inflammation
- Increased libido (for men and women)
- Decreased menopausal symptoms
- Anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effects
- Improved mood
Just make sure to buy gelatinized maca… If it’s not gelatinized it can be hard on your digestive system!
Caramel Apple Smoothie Bowl
- 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 small Granny Smith apple
- ½ frozen banana
- 1 Medjool date
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 scoop Vital proteins collagen peptides
- ¼ tsp Ceylon cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp coconut butter (I love Nutiva)
- 7-8 walnuts
- 1 tsp gelatinized Maca powder
- Sprinkle of salt
- Optional toppings: shredded coconut, cacao powder, cinnamon, walnuts, chia seeds
- Blend apple, date, spinach and almond milk for 60 seconds.
- Add remaining ingredients and ice, blend until smoothie reaches desired thickness.
An apple smoothie a day keeps the doctor AND sweet tooth away 😛
Have a great week and be sure to tag @thefitish and @plateandcanvas with your smoothie bowl creations for a chance to be featured on Instagram!
And follow me on @plateandcanvas for more recipes and nutrition tips!