17 Mar The Healthy Food Binge: Is It Bad For You?
When you think a food binge, you often think binging on alcohol, chocolate, chips – all the ‘bad’ foods right? In the past that’s really what binging was, but now with the rise of healthier food for many their binges are moving from the sugary chocolate bar to the raw chocolate slice and my all time favourite a little to many hot crispy roast potatoes!
Even when you diet is healthy, you need to consider portion control
Have you ever fallen victim to making clean, healthy raw balls only to find at the end of the day you’ve eaten half your stash because they’re just so delicious? You’re not alone.
With healthy food role models publishing books containing delicious refined-sugar free treats, cafés offering raw, guilt free sweets and bloggers (like me) posting recipes like this raw chocolate tart it’s easy to form the mindset that you can eat an unlimited amount of this with no consequences. After all, they’re healthy!
The truth is, while these healthy treats are made of natural ingredients with no added nasties like favouring, additives or white sugar, they’re still a treat! By consuming five raw balls, you are still going to be consuming calories in the form of fats and sugars, just as you would a Mars Bar.
So why do I include them and create recipes for them?
I believe there is so much amazing food out there to be enjoyed and just because I can’t eat gluten there is no reason why every now and then I can’t enjoy an amazing raw chocolate cheesecake or have a bliss ball for morning tea. I hated saying no to things because they would give me stomach cramps and turn my skin into a rash, so I learnt to find foods that work for my body and I wanted to share them with you as many of you found issues with certain foods also. Now I am certainly not perfect, I fall into the trap of over indulging and just because my indulgences are still healthy, does it make them healthy??
Remember sugar is sugar
One thing we tend to forget when consuming natural, raw treats is that they still do contain sugar. Sure it may be in the unprocessed form like dates, maple syrup or honey but they still have similar effects on the body as regular, white caster sugar.
Ultimately sugar is sugar, whether it is derived from sugarcane or a plant from the Amazon. They’re all made up of similar molecular structures: sucrose, fructose, glucose and galactose.
Why are natural sugars then considered a healthier alternative?
Because natural sugars like raw honey are unrefined and don’t go through the same process as caster sugar does. They also contain beneficial nutrients, are lower in GI and when combined with good quality protein and fat, they help to stabilise blood sugar levels. So they are by far a much better choice, however don’t kid yourself and binge on it believing its got negative effects because its “healthy.”
Just a small slice will do
When you catch yourself saying ‘it’s okay, it’s healthy’ as you and your girlfriends enjoy a second slice of that beautiful raw tart without an inch of guilt, just remember most of these treats are still nutritionally dense which is great, but really do you need an extra slice?
Everything healthy should still be enjoyed in moderation.
These raw cakes, balls and slices should get your tastebuds watering because they are so very darn good, clean alternative to the high gluten, processed sugar treats we traditionally consumed.
But they are often rich. They tend to be rich in good fats from sources such as nuts, coconut or avocado and natural sugar that comes from nectars. And they offer nutritional benefits from ingredients such as cacao, herbs, tahini or figs. But too much of these foods can push your blood sugar right up and result in negative affects causing you to feel sluggish and stodgy.
The advantage however of many of these raw desserts is that they’re protein dense which can help you feel more satisfied than your standard sponge cake or chocolate biscuit.
By all means I am loving that you are opting for the healthier option and I will certainly be having my share of bliss balls and chocolate treats. But the key is to remember that yes they are a better option, but it doesn’t mean you should eat more than your fair share or more than your body needs.
So next time when you reach for your second bliss ball, give your body time to absorb all those lovely nutrients, good fats and quality proteins. You may then just find portion control a little easier when you give your body the time to feel full and satisfied.