Sugar is a tough subject. Many people try to quit sugar just like others trying to quit drug and alcohol addictions. The sugar industry isn’t trying to help you out either. Manufactures manipulate sugar names, so it’s harder to notice them on a label.
Even if you’re trying to cut back, sugars and syrups are hiding in your foods. It’s not just added to sweet foods but also savory ones like tomato sauce. In fact, sugar is basically in almost everything that gets placed on your local grocery shelves. Sugar is practically EVERYWHERE.
Sugar… and All of Its Names
According to the FDA, there are more than 60 names labeled as sugar. Crazy right? This means you have to educate yourself on all of these hidden sugar names. Don’t worry, I’ll list the names down. If you see any of these words on a label, it’s sugar.
Important note: There are also artificial sweeteners that are as dangerous as the substance they’re trying to imitate. If you’re able to skip the Sweet-N-low and Splenda please do. Go for Stevia instead!
Effects That Sugar Has on Your Body
Well, for one thing, sugar will spike up your blood sugar levels. This happens when the sugar you consume can’t properly move from your blood into other cells. This can result in serious health issues if you don’t pay attention to how much you’re eating.
Can Sugar Make You Gain Weight?
The answer is yes. Having to much sugar can really damage your metabolism. Sugar can actually deactivate the system that is responsible for telling your body that it’s hungry and wants to eat. If your body misses these types of signals, you’re naturally inclined to eat more…and more. This in return will make you gain more and more weight.
Can You Be Addicted to Sugar?
Simple Answer: YES
You might think doughnuts or syrup and whip cream on your pancakes tastes amazing BUT, it’s a passing sensation. And when that sensation is gone, how do you feel after? Does your stomach start to ache and expand as time passes? Do you lack energy and feel tired? The problems sugar leaves you with are real.
There has been research suggesting that sugary snacks and beverages can trigger your brain’s reward response. This means that sugar can react to your brain’s pleasure center. Unfortunately, when this happens, you get a craving of sugar like the same way drugs can be a craving.
Bottom Line: Sugar is definitely Addictive
Sugar May Cause Other Issues
High Blood Pressure
Your blood pressure rises when your arteries get narrower. This could be correlated with the amount of sugar you consume and the size of your arteries. If you constantly have high blood pressure you might not show any symptoms. It is suggested to talk and check with your doctor about your blood pressure to make sure you’re at a healthy level. Blood pressure changes fairly quickly.
Inflammation occurs when your immune system responses to a disease or toxicity in your body. Because sugar is not good for you, your immune system can trigger an inflammatory response. Sugar can also cause your body to not function and do its work properly.
How Much Sugar Is Too Much
This might be alarming but the average American consumes about 150 pounds of sugar each year. Think about this fact for a second. That’s the weight of about a full-grown adult! That’s insane right?
Truth be told, no one should consume this much sugar. Our bodies weren’t built to handle the toxicity amount. Our bodies are trying to do their job but can’t handle this amount. Processed sugars are packed, jar, canned, boxed, bagged, wrapped, packed and ready to be eaten. Sugar is a huge problem.
How to Beat the Sugar Addiction
First, you must be aware that sugar is practically in everything. You think you’re being careful but sugar is in your dressings, drinks, snacks, protein bars.
It’s hiding everywhere, your “healthy” breads, yogurts, coffee creamers, green juices…the list goes on.
So, what should you do?
Make Your Meals at Home
If it’s boxed, bagged, canned or in a jar, there can be hidden sugar ingredients. And if you eat out at a restaurant, there is no way of knowing the list of ingredients and how the chef prepared the item.
Sometimes you will come across a packaged good that says “natural” but, if you read the ingredients, most will have hidden sugars such as high fructose corn syrup. Even if you think that sugar cane sounds healthier. It’s not. Sugar is sugar.
Instead: Cook whole foods at home. This way, you’ll know exactly what ingredients you’re eating. This is how you will be in control of your body.
Important Note: When grocery shopping, try to steer away from those sugar contained packages and syrups. If you don’t have them at home, you’re most likely not going to eat them.
Eat More Fruits
Consuming fruit can be a better way to fulfill your sweet craving. Instead of going straight for the ice-cream after dinner, try going for some juicy mango, or a handful of berries.
It is important to eat fruits when they’re in season. For example, you can enjoy mixed berries, peaches, and plums in the spring and summer, apples and pears in the fall, citrus fruits and kiwi in the winter.
Stick to Water, Coffee, and Tea
Drink plenty of water and drink often. Water is really your body’s best friend. If you’re a coffee or tea drinker, that’s great. Get rid of sodas, sweet teas, frappuccinos, sweetened coffees, and juices. If you go for a coffee or tea, make sure there’s no sugar added. You can even treat yourself to a glass of wine every now and then.
Do your absolute best to stay away from sugar. It’s a scary monster and bad for your health. Some ingredients that you must stay away from are:
- High-fructose corn syrup
Again, always do your research. Remember it’s your body and you only have one.