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A Healthier Alternative to Refined Sugar

The following is a guest post by Dana DuGan.

Sugar, refined, over-processed and caloric-heavy, is our country's health bête noire. We love it, and we know we must hate it.

Sure, people are aware of the dangers of too much sugar in the diet. Consuming excess sugar can lead to a condition called metabolic syndrome, characterized by high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and belly fat. Excess sugar also contributes to widespread inflammation and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Excess sugar intake can be bad for your brain, too. Studies have found that high sugar intake has a negative effect on cognition, and it has also been implicated inhyperactivity and inattention in children and adolescents.

Scientists at Duke University, found that cancer cells appear to use a combination of sugar and specific proteins to keep growing when they should die. These cancer cells appear to use sugar at a high rate, in order to ignore cellular instructions to die off.

So what's a baked goods lover to do? Consider dates for a healthier alternative to refined sugar made from GMO beets and sugar cane, says Julie Johnson, a certified nutritional therapist and owner of NourishMe in Ketchum. High in iron and fluorine, dates are a whole food that can help aid in digestion.

Date syrup is unique in that the nutritional value of the dates are actually concentrated, as opposed to lost during production, providing you with one of the most nutritious sugar alternatives on the market. Date sugar retains the full fiber of the date, so although not ideal for beverages, it lends a delicately delicious sweetness to baked goods.

Date Lady Organic Dates is cultivated from the Coachella Valley in California, though owners Colleen and Ryan Sundlie began their love affair with the chewy fruit in the United Arab Emirates where dates are free flowing in all things.
“Date Lady Date syrup is the most luxurious primal sweetener you will ever set your lips on,” says Colleen. “It's made with just one ingredient – organic dates.”

Date Lady products are completely gluten free, vegan and kosher. Find them at NourishMe at 151 Main Street in Ketchum.