The New Year is here and the health resolutions have been set. Whether your resolution is to reduce your risk for illness through weight loss or to reclaim your youthful physique, you are ready for the challenge to look better, feel better, and live a healthier life. If there is one pearl of wisdom I can offer to you this New Year, it is “Just Say NO to Sugar.”
Sounds simple. Just cut out the obvious sugary foods from your diet such as desserts, candies, sugary drinks, right? Unfortunately, in today’s world, sugar has found its way into almost everything we eat. It is lurking in foods like ketchup, breads, and salad dressings. It is hiding in healthy foods like organic granola bars and fruit-filled yogurts. It is disguising itself as evaporated cane syrup or fructose sweetener. Why does sugar need to be in ketchup or bread? Because it makes food taste better. It is also very addicting so the more you eat it, the more you want it. It is a vicious cycle. And just when you thought you were eating right…
Don’t give up. You just need to arm yourself with knowledge about sugars and what too much of it can do to your body. Allow me to to shed some light on some important information you need to know about this simple carbohydrate and why it can be so dangerous.
In basic terms, when you eat sugar, it is absorped into your blood stream and the insulin in your body converts it to energy, but only a small amount. The rest of it is stored as good ol’ body fat. Yes, that is the major role of insulin – to store excess sugar in the body as fat. Ugh. Excess sugar intake also causes blood sugar spikes, which make you feel downright horrible, and the only thing that makes you feel better is more sugar. There is that ‘vicious cycle’ term again.
Our bodies do need a little bit of excess body fat for times of famine, but we really don’t have famines anymore. What we do have is a lot of sick and unhealthy people in all shapes and sizes who are consuming too much added sugar which is contributing to diabetes, heart disease, cancers, obesity and more.
Now that you have some basic information about sugar in the diet and its effects on the body, I hope you will make the decision to become more informed and either reduce or eliminate added sugars from your diet. Whatever you choose, it will be an informed decision.
Tips for cutting added sugar out of the diet:
- Choose to eat foods in their natural state. Your body obtains all the carbohydrates (sugars) it needs from natural sources like vegetables and fruits.
- To keep your blood sugar from spiking, treat fruits like a dessert for your body eating only small amounts, and with your meal.
- Keep food intake from boxes, cans and jars to a minimum. Always read the labels and look for the hidden sugars.
- Check out the YouTube video called “Sugar is killing us.” Watch it with your family. It is animated but very enlightening – only 3 minutes long.
- For more information, rent the DVD called “Fed Up.” It will change the way you think about food and what you decide to put into your body.