Kick the Sugar and Reclaim Your Health! Sugar is almost everywhere. It’s not only in our pastries and desserts, but it’s also in our coffee, in our soup, even in salad dressings! The average American consumes over 100 pounds of sugar each year, according to the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and our love affair with sweetness has major health implications. If you’re struggling to kick the habit, rest assured you’re not alone. Princeton researchers found that sugar addiction ignites the same neural pathways as heroin, with lab rats working desperately to satisfy their cravings. Sugar is a generic term used to describe carbohydrates, but complex carbohydrates (e.g., brown rice and whole wheat bread) function differently than simple carbs, such as processed sugar and corn syrup. Approximately 45%-65% of your daily calories should consist of carbs, but the burst that comes with simple sugars may contribute to irritability, depression, and intense hunger cravings. Sugar robs the body of nutrition. Sugar can also:
•rot your teeth and cause fatty deposits to build up in your liver.
•cause of cellulite, body fat, and metabolic issues.
•also creates an acidic environment in the body, which leads to disease.
So you can see why it would be important to kick sugar to the curb and swap it out for healthier alternatives. Now, as you know, I’m not about deprivation. Not at all. I like a sweet treat as much as the next person. But I make sure that what I’m eating isn’t going to negatively impact my health, so I make sure that any treats I’m eating are sweetened with a healthy sweetener, like honey or maple syrup, molasses, or natural sugar substitute, like stevia or xylitol. I avoid things that are in the Ose family. You know them: • Dextrose • Maltose • Cellulose • Sucrose • Fructose • Glucose • Galactose • and Lactose
Once you start switching to more natural (healthy) sweeteners, you’ll notice that you have fewer and fewer cravings for sugar. You’ll also find that you’re tasting the natural sweetness of fruits and vegetables without needing to put anything on top of them. Some nutritionists recommend gradually decreasing your intake of sugar, one week at a time, until you’ve found a healthier balance. Surprisingly, you will probably become more sensitized to sweetness over time, with reduced cravings as your body adjusts. Cardiothoracic Surgeon and TV personality Dr. Oz recommends adding fruit to your meals to get your sweet fix in a healthier way.
Getting off of sugar will help you to ditch the afternoon energy crash, stabilize your blood sugar, look younger, and create a more alkaline environment that your body will thrive in. What will you swap out these week for a healthier, low-sugar or sugar-free alternative? Please share in the comments section.
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