By Brandi Black, RHN
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
There's nothing wrong with enjoying a few treats this Halloween. But somewhere in between the pumpkin patch visits, haunted houses, and preparing for Trick-or-Treaters to arrive, the amount of sugar you eat can add up quickly.
While there's no need to feel guilty about enjoying a mini chocolate bar or two (moderation is key), it's important to make sure you're adding extra vitamin and mineral-rich foods to your diet to help balance the negative impact refined sugar can have on your health and wellness.
You see, not only is sugar considered an "antinutrient" because it offers no nutritional value
Speaking of fall festivities, when you feel like your schedule is too overwhelming to cook all of your meals from scratch, the quickest way to sneak extra nutrients into your diet is by starting your mornings off with a green smoothie, or, in the spirit of Halloween, a green "potion."
We'll get to the Hocus Pocus Chlorella Potion recipe in just a moment. But first, let's take a closer look at why it's worth replacing your refined sugar with healthier alternatives this Halloween. While you already know that refined sugar isn't good for you, here are the negative ways refined sugar affects your body.
Is Refined Sugar Making You Feel Sick?
Refined sugar is known to cause many health problems. The effects of eating sugar can sometimes be felt right away, while others negatively impact your body in the long-term. Here are a few of the ways refined sugar can negatively affect your health and well-being:
- Processed Sugar Contributes to Low Energy Levels
Refined sugar gives you a quick energy boost, but it makes you tired in the long-run.
For example, can you think of a time when you've indulged in a pastry, frozen yogurt or piece of chocolate cake? How did you feel afterward? You may have had a quick burst of energy for an hour or so, but soon after, you probably experienced the inevitable "sugar crash" that left you feeling irritable, tired and ready for a nap.
You see, refined sugar is highly concentrated and void of fiber, protein or healthy fats, which are nutrients that take time to digest. This is why refined sugar can cause rapid blood sugar spikes and crashes
- Processed Sugar Causes Cravings for More Sugar
The energy spike and crash mentioned above is one of the reasons why sugar may be addictive. Since processed sugar rapidly spikes and crashes your blood sugar levels (which directly influences your energy levels), it can feel impossible not to reach for another sugary snack in an attempt to get your energy levels back up. This is when the vicious "sugar spike and crash" cycle begins, and processed sugar becomes a regular part of your diet often as a false sense of energy.
- Processed Sugar is Acidifying to Your Body
In addition to the physical effects
When your blood is acidic, you're more likely to experience symptoms such as fatigue, unexplained aches and pains, frequent colds and
- Eating Processed Sugar May Cause Weight Gain
At some point, you may have heard the myth, "Fat makes you fat." But the controversial information in the study that sparked this debate has been dispelled, and now the saying has been corrected
This is true because when you eat sugar, the sugar that your body doesn't use for energy right away gets stored in your muscle or liver cells, to be converted back to energy later on.
But what happens when your muscle and liver cells are full of sugar? The sugar still needs to go somewhere! This is when sugar begins to get stored in your fat cells and contributes to weight gain.
As you can see, it's important to avoid refined sugar from your diet whenever possible because of its adverse effects.
Refined sugar also includes anything made with white flour (such as bread, pasta and pastries) and goes by many aliases including high fructose corn syrup, evaporated cane syrup, fructose, dextrose, maltose, barley malt and rice syrup. In fact, there's an estimated 60 different names for processed sugar, which is why it can be easy to overlook the amount of sugar in a processed or packaged food.
What to Replace Refined Sugar With
Whether you're making or buying your Halloween treats this year, you'll want to choose healthier alternatives to sugar whenever possible. Many health food stores have treats that have been sweetened with plant-based alternatives, such as fruit juice or green leaf stevia.
Other natural alternatives to processed sugar include:
- Dates or Date sugar
- Coconut sugar
- Dehydrated fruit, such as pineapple, mango or apples
These natural sweeteners will have less of a negative impact on your blood sugar levels, and contain vitamins and minerals. You can find these sweeteners at your local health food store and online.
Hocus Pocus Chlorella Potion: Halloween Green Smoothie Recipe
This smoothie is the perfect healthy Halloween recipe to replace (or at the very least, counteract) the traditional sugar-laden Halloween treats.
By adding the amazing green superfood chlorella, to this smoothie, you can also expect to feel instantly energized! Chlorella is a single-celled green
Chlorella may also help detoxify the body naturally, which is another reason why it's a good food to have in your diet when you're eating more sugar than usual.
This green smoothie has a sweet taste because it's loaded with vitamins from fresh fruit, vegetables
This smoothie is an ideal meal replacement because it contains chlorella protein, healthy fats from the coconut oil, avocado, and hemp hearts. This recipe makes a generous portion, which can be shared between two people, or feed 3-4 young children.
- 1 green apple
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 tsp melted coconut oil
- 2 tsp (or 6 g) of Sun Chlorella Powder
- 1 handful spinach
- 1 handful romaine lettuce
- ½ avocado
- 1 tbsp hemp hearts
- ½ cup frozen pineapple (optional to sweeten)
- Filtered water (to reach desired consistency)
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add small splashes of filtered water to reach your desired consistency.
Serve in a fancy glass, and top with a plastic spider if you're feeling extra festive. Enjoy!
Author: Brandi Black, RHN