The ones I recommend you use and the ones you want to avoid.

I've been teaching cooking classes to seniors last year and this year and one of the topics we look at is sugar. They are usually very surprised to see all the different names that appear on food labels. Here are some to look out for. Go here for that list:

And watch out for these products as they contain a lot more sugar than you would think. Well if you eat a lot of raw foods you probably wouldn't be eating these anyway !

  • Low fat or 'Lite' products
  • ketchup sauce
  • sports drinks
  • spaghetti sauce
  • fruit juice in cans or bottles
  • BBQ sauce
  • Chocolate milk
  • granola
  • flavoured coffees
  • iced tea
  • protein bars
  • vitamin water
  • any flavoured water
  • commercially made soups
  • breakfast cereals
  • cereal bars
  • tinned fruit
  • baked beans
  • pre-made smoothies

Added sugars aren’t a necessary part of your diet. Although small amounts are fine, they can cause serious harm if eaten in large amounts on a regular basis. The best way to avoid hidden sugars in your meals is to make them at home so you know exactly what’s in them. Make your own herbal teas from herbs in your garden. Please stop buying those packets in the supermarket in bags that are made from plastic - yes !

If you'd like some ideas for these teas let me know. I make them all the time and haven't bought commercial bags for years now.

So I recommend using these sweeteners:

Stevia makes the top of the list. You can grow the plant and make your own powder.
Honey is another sweetener with amazing benefits. Choose the raw one which is easy to find here in NZ. It’s an even blend of glucose and fructose, it’s anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and a great antioxidant.
Dates are next, another amazing and healthy food that serves as a sweetener. Try using medjool dates or less expensive and slightly smaller are 'Deglet Noor' variety.
Coconut Sugar a medium brown colour, made from coconut tree sap and is mostly sucrose with included nutrients and minerals such as inulin (a prebiotic), potassium, magnesium, potassium, and prebiotic fibre.
Maple Syrup actually goes through minimal processing, which makes it an excellent natural sweetener. It also contains a few minerals.

And here is how to stop the cravings before you reach for the cake, biscuit and sweets.

The reason why we have these overpowering sweet cravings is simple - if you eat more vegetables so that your cells get ALL the vitamins, minerals and proteins they need they will have no need for sugar. You will lose the cravings in a short time if you give up bread, anything with sugar in it and preferably dairy too. Bread is a carbohydrate and is a complex sugar so when broken down in the body it becomes - sugar ! Just eat more vegetables, preferably raw if possible or if not, then cooked, and of course fruit which has real natural fruit sugar in plus fibre, which makes it behave a bit like a slow release fertiliser in the body.

Try it for one week and see how you feel. I would love to hear from you if you have done it and it's worked !!  Send me an email at

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