I am quickly becoming a big fan of cinnamon. I enjoy it in my plain yogurt, because it has a sweet flavor that truly makes it easy to go without sweeteners. A handful of berries is a nice addition. When I make oatmeal, I shake about 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon in with a splash of milk – delicious, and surprisingly sweet without sugar.
One of the biggest benefits of using cinnamon is to avoid using too much added sugar. That is a very good thing! Convincing evidence suggests that added sugars in the American diet are contributing to heart disease risk factors like high triglycerides, unhealthy small LDL cholesterol particles, and complications from diabetes.
Less added sugar also can make weight loss easier, since sugar makes so many foods just TOO YUMMY. Try a dash of cinnamon on half of a baked apple or pear (my personal favorite) with 1/4 cup of vanilla ice cream and 2 tablespoons of walnut pieces. (Sprinkle pear halves with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes; apples will take a bit longer.) You will find that it is a very satisfying dessert with only about 2 teaspoons of added sugar and lots of nutritional value.
Other possible benefits of cinnamon include better blood sugar control and anti-inflammatory effects. Experiment a little with cinnamon, and I think you will find many possible ways to spice up your life and your health.