Sugar. It’s delicious, sweet, sweet nectar and I love it. I think about it all the time, I wake up and could easily have sugar for breakfast and go to sleep dreaming of it. On occasion (and only when really desperate) I have been known to eat icing sugar, in a glass, with a little bit of water mixed with it. Just like that. I know, I’m a sugar addict.
So what’s so wrong with sugar?
- Sugar is the devil, seriously, sugar has been found to actually feed cancer cells. Yes, all cells use glucose to grow, however, it has been discovered that cancer cells use sugar to grow much more efficiently and in larger quantities. You can find out a little more info here.
- Sugar is highly addictive- its actually been proven to be as addictive as cocaine (it causes a release of dopamine into the ‘reward’ part of the brain telling you to have more. So, the more you eat it, the more you crave it.
- Excess sugar in the body is turned into fat that hangs out around the liver. Not good.
- Eaten in large quantities it can lead to type 2 diabetes, obesity and most likely heart disease.
- It’s bad for your skin. Cut sugar out and you’re much more likely to have beautiful, clear, healthy skin.
- It lowers your immune system (definitely not great if it’s winter and cold- coughs and colds will be everywhere).
- It will give you a quick energy boost which rapidly drops after about 30 mins, leaving you hungry, sad and alone. Ok maybe not alone but your mood might drop and if you’ve just eaten sugar, you’re more likely to want more of it later.
- It will rot your teeth and cost you serious dollar in dental fees.
- Many sugary drinks contain empty calories e.g. 200kcal coke- is not going to keep you as full as 200kcal of fruit/veg.
Sugar is the root of all evil and now I’m going to give you some helpful tips on how to avoid it.
- Have dessert as a treat not as a routine.
- Don’t look at the dessert menu in restaurants- what the eye doesn’t see, the heart won’t grieve over.
- Don’t go down the chocolate/biscuit/baked goods aisle- don’t remind yourself about it.
- Pay at the pump for petrol- paying at the pump means you won’t be tempted to grab something sweet whilst queuing.
- Eat more whole foods- don’t let yourself get too hungry. When I’m hungry the first thing i want to eat is something sweet. Keep healthy snacks (e.g. handful of nuts, chopped veg and houmous, piece of fruit) on you to prevent hunger pangs
- Give it 30 mins- you may no longer want it/forget you wanted it.
- Avoid high GI fruits such as watermelon, melon, pineapple.
- Don’t have it in the house- if you keep good food in your kitchen, you’re more likely to eat good food.
- Go cold turkey- try a week without- you’ll have more energy, less mood swings, better skin etc. Each day without sugar makes you less likely to crave sugar.
- Read the labels- plenty of foods you’d never imagine contain sugar, actually do. Low fat/fat free versions of foods are often higher in sugar to make up for the lack of fat and to try and improve the taste.
- Be wary of sauces. marinades and condiments as these can often contain high amounts of sugar. Make your own instead.
- Cut it out slowly- some people may find it to extreme to cut it out completely. Try doing things such as going from 2tsp of sugar in your tea to 1tsp and limit yourself to less cups per day.
- Exercise your will power. Be strong, say no. You’ll be glad you did.
- Don’t replace sugary drinks with diet versions. Diet coke is not better than normal coke. Why? Because it contains something called aspartame (another devil chemical that not only makes you feel MORE hungry once consumed but it can cause brain tumours).
- Be an example to your kids- you’re kids are gonna eat what you eat, use their health to help motivate you to ditch the sugar for healthy options.
But wait! What about fruit from sugar? Yes fruit does contain sugar and, if eaten in very large amounts, can cause liver problems too. However, fruits contain much lower levels of sugar than cakes, chocolate sweets etc.. Fruit also contains other vital nutrients that your body needs to work efficiently. Many fruits have cancer preventing/immune boosting/healing properties. Berries contain much smaller amounts of sugar so opt for raspberries, strawberries, blueberries etc…
If you’d like to know more check out this vid: http://youtu.be/dBnniua6-oM
Yes, sugar should be avoided like the plague however, I’m all for a little indulgence every now and then, especially if it’s a celebration or special occasion. Just don’t go crazy.
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