Merissa shares how maple syrup offers numerous benefits such as fiber, metabolizes in your body differently than processed sugar, and that it's also low glycemic, making it a healthy sweetener.
Q&A Interview: Benefits of Maple Syrup Over Sugar
The Healing Tree: Can you talk about the benefits of un-processed sugar?
Merrisa: So my personal favorite that works really well for my own constitution is maple syrup and there are many kinds of maple syrup. The gradient scale used to be A, B, C, & D and what that meant was filtration. So as you get closer to D it would be less and less filtration of the maple syrup as it's being made, which means more trace minerals and vital elements, so now they've changed it. Just so you know, the FDA has changed the gradient scale so you want to look for darkness in your maple syrup because it's letting you know that there's more of all the goodies like zinc and manganese and there's a lot of fiber in maple syrup.
So one of the main reasons why I'm such a fan of it is because it's very minimally processed. I mean I have an article about it actually on my website about why maple syrup is our favorite, but essentially you're taking the sap from a tree and then they're boiling it and then putting it through a filter and then bottling it, so it's like the most minimal process you know and it's just a whole foods sugar as well. There's a lot of fiber in it, so the way we metabolize it is entirely different and it's actually a low glycemic sugar so it's a great sweetener we use it for everything that we make.
The Healing Tree: In terms of sugars regarding drinking the fruit or eating a fruit, what do you recommend, especially when people are raising their kids and they’re smaller and they're getting a large dose of sugar from juice
Merissa: So I would definitely recommend fresh produce over anything else, so really encouraging our children to have berries and fresh fruits. They cut them up. I mean they're beautiful, they look like jewels so for those of us who have children, we're trying to get healthier foods that appeal to them, we can have fun with the colors and that's why how I raised my daughter. I would say, we're gonna eat the rainbow today and just look and kind of also give them the power to choose the fruits so that then they feel like they are going to have some power of picking what they want to eat, that's a big one because when you're working with the ego of a child it's like, well you give them a little bit of power so they can choose this or that, and then there they're making a healthy choice regardless, but it's also feeding their sense of empowerment in that decision.
Another thing to take into consideration is we really we don't need a lot of sugar. We don't want to eat a lot of sugar, so it's best to get it from fresh fruit or a good treat would be dried fruit. So for me, whenever I have like a candy craving, I love dried mango. It's just great. And then it satiates. Or even dates. It satiates that feeling of, ‘Oh I kind of would like to have a little sweet treat right now’, but it's just a dried fruit. Another thing to take into consideration, and this is something I work with my family on, is looking at the qualities of the foods and to make sure I explained to my daughter, ‘Look we’re building blood with this, if we only have sweet things’. Because my daughter could gravitate towards being more of a Fruitarian, which is a person who eats more fruits than other food items.
I explained to her that if we only have sweets, we're gonna have a blood sugar drop. That means, if we're gonna have sweet, we also have to have a protein and we also have to have a bitter, and bitters are something that's overlooked, because they don't have as much palate appeal to us as sugar, and in fact, and all those kind of more decadent things. But bitters are extremely important for cleansing and supporting all of our organs so in terms of the palate.
The Healing Tree: What do you say to someone who intends to satisfy the palate much more and maybe doesn’t see food as fuel for the body?
Merissa: I can totally relate to indulging the palate versus really thinking mindfully about the body and that's how that that goes into so many of the things that I do professionally of bringing out a mindful a product. We really have to just look at how long can we sustainably indulge the palate because maybe the palate just wants cookie dough for three days in a row. But how good are we gonna feel you know can’t we get up to go to work the next day because we ate that so much, so it's really a thing of willpower and taking a mature, self-discovery kind of stance on how we're doing things. It’s also really committing to it as a discipline.
When we look at our dietary regimen, it's not about restriction because that kind of sets us up for failure. If we’re putting too many rules and we're not having enough fun it really doesn't set us up for success. Wo I would just really ask the person you know when you indulge your palate, ‘How do you feel? Do you feel kind of distended in the abdomen and is it uncomfortable? Are you having gastrointestinal upset? Are you having excess gas from a particular ingredient in your food and that that can be very uncomfortable? Are you having a reaction to that from just indulging your palate?’
So it’s emotional and physical and obviously we know what's best for us and then if we don’t do what's best, we could beat ourselves up for that and that's not fun. So I really invite people to try to choose for themselves what's gonna make me feel better in the long run and really start to think long term. And again, it's not about deprivation. There’s a way to indulge your palate healthfully with really clean alternatives that make you feel great, energized, proud, and vibrant to live a fulfilled life.
About the Interviewee:
Merissa Marcuccella is the Founder of the raw chocolate company Integrity Cacao: https://integritycacao.com
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