In a world where health-conscious dining has become a mantra for many, Café Gratitude is rewriting the rules of indulgence. Known for our vibrant vegan menu and commitment to organic, locally sourced ingredients, our iconic plant-based café is taking a bold step further by eliminating refined sugar entirely from our menu offerings.
Instead, we are turning to the wonders of nature in the form of monk fruit and coconut sugar, ushering in a new era of all-natural sweetness. Join us as we delve into this exciting journey of Café Gratitude’s refined sugar-free revolution, exploring the benefits of monk fruit and coconut sugar, and how this culinary gem continues to redefine the boundaries of healthy, delicious and ethical dining.
What is refined sugar?
Refined sugar, also known as white sugar or table sugar, is a highly processed form of sugar that is extracted from sugar cane or sugar beets. The refining process involves removing impurities and plant compounds, leaving behind pure sucrose crystals. This results in a sweetener with a high sugar content and a very pure, white appearance.
Refined sugar is commonly found in a wide range of foods and food products including:
- BAKED GOODS: cakes, cookies, muffins, pastries.
- BEVERAGES: sodas, soft drinks, instant drinks like hot cocoa, fruit-flavored drink powders, sweetened tea or coffee mixes, energy drinks, alcoholic beverages.
- BREAKFAST CEREALS: many varieties of cereals, oatmeal and granolas.
- PROCESSED SNACKS: granola bars, energy bars, and flavored yogurts.
- FROZEN DESSERTS: ice cream, sorbets, and other frozen desserts
Why Limit Refined Sugar?
Limiting refined sugars in your diet can offer a wide range of health benefits. Here are some of the key advantages:
- WEIGHT MANAGEMENT: Reducing refined sugar intake can help with weight management efforts. Refined sugars are calorie-dense and can lead to overconsumption of empty calories that lack essential nutrients.
- IMPROVED BLOOD SUGAR CONTROL: Refined sugars can cause rapid spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels, which can contribute to insulin resistance and increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Limiting refined sugar can help stabilize blood sugar levels.
- REDUCED RISK OF HEART DISEASE: High sugar consumption, especially of refined sugars, has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Lowering sugar intake can help improve heart health by reducing risk factors such as high blood pressure and high triglyceride levels.
- BETTER DENTAL HEALTH: Refined sugars are a leading contributor to tooth decay and cavities. Cutting back on sugar can help maintain healthier teeth and gums.
- ENHANCED ENERGY LEVEL: Sugar crashes, which occur after consuming a high-sugar meal or snack, can lead to feelings of fatigue and irritability. Reducing refined sugar intake can result in more stable energy levels throughout the day.
- IMPROVED MOOD & MENTAL HEALTH: Some studies have suggested a link between high sugar consumption and increased risk of depression and anxiety. Reducing sugar intake may contribute to better mental well-being.
- REDUCED RISK OF FATTY LIVER DISEASE: Excessive sugar consumption, particularly fructose found in many refined sugars, can contribute to the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Cutting down on sugar can help protect your liver.
- IMPROVED SKIN HEALTH: Some individuals experience clearer skin when they reduce their sugar intake, as high-sugar diets may exacerbate acne and skin inflammation.
How We Are Keeping It Sweet at Café Gratitude
Imagine sinking your teeth into a luscious piece of cake or savoring the first bite of a morning pastry, all without the negative health implications of excessive intake of refined sugar. At Café Gratitude, the sweet menu offerings of baked goods, desserts and breakfast treats is a testament to culinary innovations that’s as good for your taste buds as it is for your well-being.
In this tantalizing exploration, we’ll dive deep into Café Gratitude’s culinary philosophy, discovering how we have embraced the wonders of natural sweeteners like monk fruit and coconut sugar to create a menu that’s wholesome as it is delectable.
Monk fruit, also known as Luo Han Guo, is a small green gourd native to Southeast Asia. The fruit extract from monk fruit is gaining popularity as a natural sweetener due to its unique properties and potential health benefits. Here are some of the benefits of monk fruit:
- Zero Calories
- Zero Glycemic Index
- Natural Sweetness
- Antioxidant Properties
- Suitable for Low-Carb and Keto-Friendly Diets
- Potential for Better Weight Management
- No Aftertaste
- Natural Origin
- Healthy Alternative for Sugar Sensitivities
- Safe For Dental Health
Coconut sugar is a natural sweetener derived from the sap of coconut palm trees. It has gained popularity as an alternative to refined sugar due to its potential health benefits including:
- Low Glycemic Index
- Natural Sweetness
- High Micronutrient Content
- Contains Dietary Fiber, Inulin
- Minimally Processed
Take a Ride on the Sweet Side at Café Gratitude
Come explore the sweet side of our menu, offering homemade chocolates, niche bakery items, delectable desserts and our “sweet breakfast” which is part of our very special vegan breakfast program, served daily from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm.
Written by Jayne Pinsky, RD
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