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Managing Sweets Over the Holidays

Why do many of us suffer from a sweet tooth and what can we do to cut down on goodies during the holidays?
Halloween is over, but the sweets season is just getting started. Pumpkin pie, visions of sugar plums , they're all there waiting to tempt our diets. 

Why do many of us suffer from a sweet tooth and what can we do to cut down on goodies during the holidays? 

Let's face it, we may oooh  and ahhh over the turkey, but it's the deserts we are really craving. Why are some of us sweet freaks?

"Our attraction to sweets dates back millions of year ago, because sweets were important, breast milk is sweet, fruits are sweet, and that ensured our survival," explains registered dietician Katherine Tallmadge.

But eating too many sweets can pack on the pounds, causing obesity which leads to problems like diabetes and heart disease. And what's worse, sweets are hard to say "no" to because they have addictive qualities.
"They light up the same pleasure centers of the brain that many addictive substances do," Tallmadge notes.

But to most people, sweets are just high calorie comfort food.

So what's the best way to limit our sweet intake? 

Dietitians say try these...

-get 30 minutes of sunlight a day.  Sunlight produces serotonin, known as the feel-good chemical in the brain that prevents cravings for sweets, like ice cream.

-put pleasure into  your life, such as exercising and being with friends.

-keep your daily sweets to no more than 10% of your daily calories or splurge once a week.

-don't stock up on sweets.  What's not there, won't tempt you.

-and think of creative ways to use fruits, which are a natural sugar into your diet, that will satisfy your craving.

All good ways to have your sweets and eat them too.


(Susan Hendricks for CNN's Health Minute)


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