UNITED STATES—We have been chatting about food the past few weeks in our efforts to highlight the importance of eating healthy and ridding our bodies of potential toxins and all things unhealthy.  Last week we took the approach of talking about things that aren’t always the best for the body, but they have benefits. This week the conversation turns to sugar and sweets, things the brain and the body always craves, but we have to be careful how we indulge in them.

I will be the first to admit, I have a sweet tooth, but I have a weakness in particular for cookies. Now when I say cookies, I’m not referring to Oreo, Chips Ahoy or those store bought cookies or even the refrigerated ones. I’m talking about fresh baked cookies, ones that are homemade and you might pay a nifty penny for it, but the pure decadence of the cookie leaves you on cloud nine.

As part of my New Year’s resolution, I have completely tossed candy out of the diet. I haven’t had a piece since December 31, 2017. The crazy thing is that I don’t even miss it. It’s like the first day or so you crave the item, but after a week or two, you totally forget about the item that you once craved. I will share a bit of information on the place to go to settle my sweet tooth. That place is the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Yes, there are plenty of people who might visit this place for its chocolate, variety of candy apples, but you have to check out their cookies.

Now, I love a great chocolate chip cookie, I’m even a fan of their peanut butter and oatmeal raisin. However, if there is one cookie you have to try that will forever change your life it’s the Buttercrunch Toffee cookie. It has chocolate chips, butter and toffee. I absolutely love toffee, which is not an easy item to find in the supermarket. Let me rephrase that: it’s difficult to find good toffee nowadays. Anytime I visit this place, I purchase at least 2-3 cookies. I have disciplined myself to eat the cookie in portions, I don’t eat the full cookie in one sitting, but it’s so decadent I like to savor the cookie as long as I possibly can.

There are a bevy of sweets people, mainly baked goods like pies, cakes, donuts and a variety of sweets along the way. I love a good slice of cake, but it’s hard to find one that is decadent, but not too decadent, but moist and beyond satisfying. I do want to talk about some other sweets we don’t always consider, this mostly comes from the fluids we drink. Water is the best thing for the body, but unfortunately many of us don’t indulge in the most vital nutrient for the body of all time.

Soda, I have completely eliminated it from my daily routine. I love a cold beverage, but the level of sugar in soft drinks, juices and even sports drinks is taking a beating on our bodies. It is bad people, very bad people, but so many people consume these drinks without even realizing the harm that it does to their bodies. Yeah, some might even argue diet soda is a great substitute. Not so fast, those artificial sugars in those drinks are just as bad for the body. Studies have also shown that the consumption of soda could lead to Type II Diabetes. I think to have one occasionally is ok, but indulging several times a day or gallons a week is not good. Soda is a diuretic America! The more you consume it, the thirstier you will be as time progresses.

Let me be clear, this is not aimed to tell people to stop eating sugar because that will be hard for many people to do. What I’m saying is adjust your eating habits to not overindulge in a particular item. You could aim to alter your typical sweet craving with something that is sweet, but cuts the amount of sugar and calories in half. It’s very easy people, grab a piece of fruit.

Now apples and oranges might not be your go to item, but perhaps grapes, blackberries, strawberries, pineapple, mango or even some other fruit that is not the typical fruit staple in most fridges is your go to item. Have that sweet that you always crave, but do it in moderation. Remember moderation is the key to staying healthy.

Written By Kelsey Thomas