Let’s talk about sugar! In reality, sugar (or carbohydrate) is present in just about anything we eat in some form or another. What I want to talk about today is sweeteners and refined sugars. Often time, pre-made food you can purchase in the store has some sugar content whether it may be obvious or not. This is where reading labels comes in handy. I am one of those people who spends time in the aisle comparing labels when purchasing new products to evaluate sugar content and what type of sugar it is.
Now, I want to be honest! While I am careful about some foods I eat and their sugar content, I am not trying to cut out all sugar. This would be way too restricting (and I would have to give up cookies), but I do like to pick foods that have lower content when possible and natural sweeteners over refined options.
High consumption of sweeteners (especially refined sugar) can lead to health problems such as:
– Obesity and hypoglycemia
– Menstrual irregularities and PMS
– Yeast overgrowth which can lead to yeast infections
– Mood swings, anxiety, depression
As you can see, some of these health problems can reflect directly on the women’s reproductive system so it is important to take a look at your sugar consumption if you are struggling with conception.
There is a food that I eat quite regularly and is a breakfast staple that is always loaded with sugar when bought in store. Granola!! This breakfast food can have amazing health benefits and is loaded with protein, fiber and lots of nutrients, but finding a brand that doesn’t have over 10g of sugar per serving can prove to be quite difficult. This is why I started making my own. While I still add some sweetener, I can chose a natural option like honey or maple syrup and I can decide how much I want to add.
Making your own granola is really simple and it allows you to customize it to your liking. I always start with a base of oats. Oats are one of my favorite grain as it is a great source of fiber, protein and B vitamins. Once you have your base, you can really add anything you like from nuts, seeds and dried fruits. Be mindful of dried fruits since they can be quite concentrated in sugar.
For this week’s granola, I decided to go with almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. I mixed them with my oats to create a powerhouse of protein, healthy fats and fiber.
-Start with 2 cups of oats and add enough toppings to cover the pan (about 1.5 cup of toppings).
-Drizzle 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup.
-Bake it for 30 minutes at 300F while stirring once or twice.