Are you challenged when trying to avoid sugar or even stop eating it for a day? Do you think about wanting something sugary or carbohydrate high foods even when you’re not hungry? You are not alone. Sugar is addictive and studies have been shown that it is just as addictive as cocaine or morphine. The Connecticut College in New London, CT did a study on rats that shows that Oreos are just as addictive as cocaine or morphine. Who would have guessed that one?
Why is this? Sugar causes the release of a chemical known as dopamine in the brain, causing the consumer to develop an insatiable craving for sugar. It makes it pleasurable to eat it so people tend to eat lots of it. Once you consume it in any form, it is broken down into simple sugars before it is absorbed into the bloodstream from the digestive tract. The two simple sugars involved here are glucose and fructose. If you are not active or have a need to physically exert yourself throughout the day, the sugars are stored and eventually turn into fat.
So how much this evil substance can you eat? The World Health Organization suggests 25 grams a day which is equivalent to 6 teaspoons a day. This includes all forms of sugar even honey and fruit. Eat fruits with high sugar levels such as apples, bananas, grapes, dates and pineapple in moderation. Some apples can have 30 grams of sugar depending on the size. Take a look at other items in your kitchen and note the amount of sugar in one serving. You will find that there is sugar in places that you did not even expect and it adds up fast.
Why are we so bent out of shape about sugar? Consuming a lot of fructose when the body has enough glycogen (storage form of sugar) burdens the liver, which is forced to convert the fructose into fat. The impacts of sugar do not stop there. Here are other characteristics of sugar that you should be aware of:
It is no wonder that those who want to lose weight are advised to eliminate or at least reduce sugar in their diet. Eating foods with sugar leads to increased craving and reduced control over how much you eat thus aiding in weight gain. Lose the sugar for a week or two and see how fast the weight falls off. It works like a charm.
Most added sugars like fructose and sucrose have no essential benefits; just a bunch of calories. There are no proteins, vitamins, minerals or essential fats in sugar, just empty calories. In this regard, sugar offers little benefit for the body.
Once the body develops insulin resistance, the cells no longer absorb sugar as they should, causing sugar to build up in the bloodstream. Excess glucose in the blood is a potential cause of type 2 diabetes which occurs when the pancreas can no longer produce enough blood to control blood sugar levels.
Sugar is also very destructive to the teeth, as it contains easily digestible energy for the harmful bacteria in the mouth. If you eat something that is sugary and don’t brush your teeth for a while, the destructive nature of sugar is working hard.
This is just a few reasons for jumping off the sugar train. There are many other reasons to stay away from the white stuff for example, it causes brain fog which deteriorates your ability to focus, it impacts your ability to sleep well and makes it harder to get a good workout. Sugar is used for quick energy, but when that is gone, you might be working out on fumes. This is not supportive of building muscle. And building muscle is one of the best ways to create a healthy body and reduce fat.
Anyone seeking to stay healthy should consume sugar in moderation or avoid it all together. The other sneaky sugar is food that contains higher levels of carbohydrates…that is your pasta, breads, muffins, pancakes, etc.
You don’t have to avoid it completely; you can still consume it in smaller amounts and make it a goal to stick to 25 grams a day. Increase your intake of veggies, nuts, lean meats and legumes and it will reduce the need for you to have the high sugar foods. Once you stop eating sugar, after a few weeks, you won’t crave it anymore.
Thanks for Reading…In Health and Happiness,
Pia Civiletti, The Sassy Italian Lady
What are the best sugar substitutes that you can try? There are several good sugar substitutes out on the market now that are healthier then the chemical sugar substitutes of the past. My favorite is Xylitol. You can get Xylitol made from birch trees and it tastes just like sugar and it also helps fight the bacteria that causes cavities…what a bonus.
You can also try monkfruit which is low in calories, stevia that comes from the the stevia plant and comes in liquid or powdered versions or Erythritol which is a sugar alcohol that comes from some fruit and fermented foods.
With all these alternatives, it makes it a lot easier to get away from using can sugar or even the sugar alternatives that still have the calories and impact to your insulin levels like honey, guava or fructose.
My son came home one day and told me that the kids at school were making fun of him because he was bringing organic food for lunch. All I could say was…”Honey, they must be jealous because they don’t have organic foods. Next time they tease you, tell them that you rather have organic food than food with pesticides, chemicals and hormones in it.” Either they had no idea what he was talking about or they figured he might have a point. Either way…that’s a win for the healthy conscious Mom.
Copyright © 2018 | All Over Wellness by Pia Civiletti, The Sassy Italian Lady