There’s been a lot of talk around sugar lately.
What kind is the worst? How much is too much?
Is it really as addictive as cocaine and as bad for you as smoking?
There is much debate around some of those questions, but one thing is for sure…we can all definitely reduce the amount of sugar we are consuming on a daily basis.
Studies show that on average, Americans consume about 130 pounds of sugar every year! The average adult consumes about 22 teaspoons a day! These numbers are frightening to say the least.
Most of this sugar comes from soda, fruit drinks, alcohol, candy, cookies and other baked goods, desserts and refined grains.
So what does your body do with all that sugar?
The body breaks down protein, fats and the carbohydrates we eat daily for various functions.
Carbs are broken down into simple sugars called glucose that our body uses for energy. So while all sugar is not bad, too much of it is.
Fructose, found in high fructose corn syrup, white sugar and processed foods is the worst type of sugar to consume, simply because the only part of your body that makes use of it is the liver, which metabolizes it and turns it immediately to fat…this is NOT the type of energy your body needs.
Although fruits and vegetables do contain fructose, it is in much smaller quantities and because of the adequate fiber, digestive enzymes, vitamins and minerals found in these foods, it is digested much slower and doesn’t have the negative effects as other sources of fructose such as soda, candy and other processed foods.
When the body has too much fuel (too much sugar) than it knows what to do with, it simply saves it for a rainy day…aka…stores it as fat, causing weight gain and a whole bunch of other health issues.
In addition, to properly metabolize the glucose in the body, the hormone, insulin is released into the blood stream to clean it up. The more sugar, the more insulin, until there is so much insulin in the body that it becomes insulin resistant and diseases such as pre-diabetes and diabetes come to fruition.
Weight gain and diabetes are not the only diseases linked to excessive sugar consumption, however. Cancer, alzheimer’s, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and mood disorders are all linked to excess sugar in the diet.
So I don’t want you to go running from all fruit and anything that has even a gram of sugar in it, but there are healthier alternatives to add sweetness to your diet and also kick your sugar cravings.
Learning how to detach from sugar and beat the addiction is the first step. Sugar hits the bliss spot in our brain and is highly addictive, which is why when you have a little, you usually want more and more and more.
Here are some ways to start managing your sugar cravings: Continue reading