Before beginning my grain-free journey, I had a terrible sweet tooth. I couldn’t go a day without some form of sweet: honey, maple syrup, sucanat, fruit, etc. I ate whole grains, good fats, vegetables, organic meats, and all the good stuff for years, but could never quite kick the sweet tooth. In September, things changed. By eating a diet void of grain, I eliminated the high blood sugar spikes throughout the day which in turn caused my cravings for sweets to subside.
I started using less and less sweetener in my cooking as the months went along. I had enjoyed 2 teaspoons of honey in my coffee. Now I’m down to about 1/2 a teaspoon. Anytime I bake, I cut the sweetener in half and sometimes still find it too sweet. Last weekend when I traveled to New York City (a city full of tempting sweets) I went three days (three days!) without eating anything sweet.
I’ve talked to other friends who’ve had the same experience, and have been shocked by the results. I recently finished the book Deep Nutrition — one of the best books on eating I’ve ever read! Dr. Cate shares, “A study done in Iraq on sweet taste habituation showed that the more sugar we eat, the less we taste it, and the less we taste it, the more we eat.” My personal experience agrees with these results.
So why a cake when I’m talking about eating less sugar? If I were to have made this cake a year ago, I would have added a lot more sweetener. The lemon curd comes from a previous post, but I decreased the honey by 1/4 cup. The sweetness from the curd, cake and berries is plenty, so I elected not to sweeten the whipped cream. This cake feeds ten and the total sweetener in a modest slice is about 1.5 tablespoons per person. Not bad for a special occasion dessert.
I challenge you to start cutting down on the amount of sweeteners you use in your baking, cooking and eating. If you enjoy a cup of coffee or tea in the morning, start decreasing the amount of sweetener you add. If you consume a lot of grains or fruit, try to slowly reduce. Hopefully your cravings will begin to subside and you’ll be one step closer to an even healthier life.