Where do Fun Foods Fit into Your Diet?

The proverb "you can't eat your cake and have it, too" is very apt. No matter how you slice it, cake is not diet food. But how fun would life be without sweetness? Not fun at all.

Evolution suggests that man's survival on the planet was linked to sugar. Daniel C. Dennett in his book Breaking the Spell, suggests "our ancestors who were wired up to like them (sweets) had more energy for reproduction than their less fortunately wired-up peers."

Early man was ingesting unrefined sugars in the form of fruit. Craving sugar had to do with obtaining the necessary calories for survival, not increasing serotonin levels.  These forefathers never experienced our sugar highs because there was no cake, or cookies, or candy. Life was hard.

Fast forward to modern man. If we inherited a craving for sugar, our survival is now in peril because of it.  Natural selection favors thinner people. Obese people suffer from chronic diseases associated with death.

Try to satisfy your need for sweets with complex carbohydrates instead of simple sugars. If it's your birthday and a cake is in order, eat your slice immediately after the main meal.  Combining protein with a simple sugar slows down the release of sugar in the bloodstream and inhibits the craving caused by a sugar spike.  And I bet you can eat just one - slice of cake!  

Article first published as Where Do Fun Foods Fit into Your Diet? on Technorati.

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