According to the Department of Agriculture, the average American eats about 128 pounds of added sugar a year. Studies have found a link between sugar intake and high cholesterol, high triglycerides, obesity, type-2 diabetes, cancer, depression, an increase in heart disease, and later life Dementia. Sugar interfere’s with your brain’s ability to tell you that your full, which leads to excessive overeating. Excess sugar in the body hinders fat-burning enzymes and promotes fat storage. Even though we know how bad sugar is for us, we can’t help but eat it. This is because it is highly addictive and studies show that it promotes dopamine release in the brain which is the same chemical released when doing cocaine and gambling. The World Health Organizations urges people to cut down on sugar and recommend only 5% of the calories per day should come from sugar. Sugar has infiltrated healthy cereals, salad dressings, condiments, bread, yogurt, juice, and all other processed foods. Many people who try to cut out sugar, do it cold turkey and all at once which can set someone up for failure. Here are simple ways to begin cutting it out of your life slowly and permanently!
Simple ways to cut sugar out slowly & permanently:
- Identify your #1 source of sugar and begin here. Look at your food and drinks and find the number one source for your sugar intake and cut it out (soft drinks, processed foods, etc.).
- Cut out soft drinks. This is one of the most common sources for sugar for many people.
- Choose whole, fresh fruit rather than juice, dehydrated fruit or other fruit products. Juice and other fruit products tend to have high amounts of sugar, corn syrup and other additives that are also harmful for your health.
- Stop buying diet, low-fat and processed foods. These foods have many hidden sources of sugar and additives that make you crave more.
- Avoid Alcohol. Alcohol is high in sugar and calories and is also highly addictive.
- Don’t keep treats in the house. This is common sense. If you buy ice cream, candy, cookies, etc., you are going to eat them. If they are not in the house and you have to go get them, it is easier to say that it is not worth the trip.
- Make your own dressings, sauces and condiments. One of the most common places that sugar hides is in the dressings, sauces and condiments we add to our food to enhance it.
- Cook with spices and herbs. These will naturally sweeten our food and cut back cravings.
- Get enough sleep. When we are tires, we tend to turn to sugar for energy.
- Take a good quality multi-vitamin, Omega 3s and Vitamin D3. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can make cravings worse.