Exactly how bad is sugar?
We all know that sugar isn't good for us, but do we really know how bad it is?
Top doctors and researchers claim that sugar is as addictive as cocaine! It causes a euphoric effect that triggers dopamine, the chemical that controls pleasure in the brain. Studies show that sugar causes heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. When a person consumes too much sugar, the liver begins to convert it to fat! Fat doesn't make us fat...sugar does!
In the 1700's, the average person consumed about 4 pounds of sugar per year. Today, the average person consumes 180 pounds of sugar per year! Today, nearly 30 percent of Americans are obese and another third is overweight. Carrying excess weight increases our risk for deadly conditions and disease.
Let's talk about ways to deal with our sugar addiction!
- Reduce caffeine intake. Caffeine causes dehydration and blood sugar swings causing sugar cravings.
- Drink water! Sometimes sweet cravings are a sign of dehydration.
- Crowd out your sugar cravings by eating naturally sweet vegetables and fruits.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners (saccharine, etc.) and processed foods. Use natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup and stevia.
- Exercise. Being active helps balance blood sugar levels reducing cravings.
- Get more sleep and reduce stress. When you are exhausted your body will crave simple carbs and sugar which are the quickest forms of energy.
- Eliminate "fat free" items. These items contain high amounts of sugar and corn syrup to compensate for lack of flavor.
- Experiment with spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves will give your food new and interesting flavors.
- Find sweetness in your life in non-food ways! Cravings almost always have a psychological component. When life becomes sweet, excess sugar isn't needed.
Have a great day!