We all know that eating too much sugar isn’t healthy. Sugar is linked to weight gain and various diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
But oh it tastes so good. We love sugar. We crave sugar, and no wonder. Sugar releases dopamine in the brain, triggering addictive tendencies. It can explain strange behavior, like running out to the store late at night to feed that craving.
So how can you reduce your consumption without going crazy?
Try Lucuma Powder As A Sweetener
Lucuma is an amazing sweet and delicious superfood. It’s a fruit that is found in Peru, Chile and Ecuador. Peruvians use it in their baking and are famous for their lucuma flavored ice cream.
The pulp of the lucuma fruit is dehydrated to produce the lucuma powder, or flour.
Why is it considered a superfood?
1. It’s Healthy: Lucuma provides 14 essential trace elements, including a considerable amount of potassium, sodium, calcium (keep bones and teeth strong), magnesium and phosphorus (bone and protein formation).
2. Low On The Gycemic Index Scale: Which makes it a wonderful alternative to sugar. It doesn’t cause spikes in blood sugar and this makes it a good choice for diabetics and anyone trying to lower their sugar intake.
3. Taste Is Sweet and Delicious: It adds a nice caramel flavored sweetness to foods.
What is the Glycemic Index?
The Glycemic Index ranks carbohydrates based on their rate of conversion to glucose. Glycemic Index uses a scale with higher values given to foods that cause the most rapid rise in blood sugar. Pure glucose serves as a reference point, and is given a Glycemic Index (GI) of 100. You want to pick foods that are 55 or lower on the glycemic scale. These foods are less likely to cause large increases in blood sugar levels. You want to avoid foods that are 70 or more on the scale. These foods cause a rapid rise in blood sugar and are more likely to cause weight gain and chronic diseases related to obesity such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
You can find the glycemic index of any food at http://www.glycemicindex.com/
The Glycemic index number for Lucuma is about 25, way below the suggested value of 55 that is recommended to keep blood sugar low.
Where to Find It:
I’m fortunate that I can buy lucuma powder at our local grocery store, Wegmans. If your local grocer doesn’t sell this product, you can also find it on Amazon. The brand I buy is Navitas Naturals. It’s organic, non gmo, gluten free and raw.
How to Use It:
I like to put 1 to 2 tsp in my morning smoothie.
You can find a lot of yummy recipes at navitasnatural.com.
Here’s one of my morning smoothie recipes using Lucuma!
I would love to hear if you use lucuma powder or another healthy sugar substitute. Let me know in the comment section.