Sugar. It tastes great. But, did you know the more you eat, the more your body craves sugar? Amidst new U.S. dietary guidelines, there has been a renewed focus on limiting and reducing refined sugar from the diet. And, for very good reason.
There’s No Sugar-Coating The Health Problems Associated with Too Much Sugar
Hiding behind the sweetness of sugar are all of the health problems that come with over consumption. In fact, refined sugar, the type of sugar you get from most processed and unnatural foods, is tied to a multitude of health problems from type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance to arthritis and metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome actually incorporates many illnesses including high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and an increase in abdominal obesity. All of these health issues are tied to insulin resistance, a function of sugar intake.
The shocking fact is, most people are eating five times as much sugar as is recommended, so there is certainly room to change our ways when it comes to decreasing sugar intake.
Increased abdominal fat increases inflammation potential. We think that bad fat in the belly can actually increase your risk for many chronic illnesses including cancer, joint pain, and diabetes. A person’s abdominal fat actually becomes its own inflammatory organ and a key focus of Shakthi’s wellness programs is to reduce this visceral fat, which is directly linked to sugar intake. It’s a vicious cycle. But one that you have the power to get under control.
5 Ways To Cut Out Excess Sugar
- Add fresh fruit to foods to add sweetness instead of adding sugar. For example, add fruit to plain yogurt instead of eating fruit-flavored yogurt that is loaded with added sugar.
- Cut out fruit juices and sodas. Fruit juice and soda have exorbitant amounts of refined sugar added that have no nutritional value and cause spikes in insulin levels. Try making your own juices using a blender or juicer.
- Drink more water. If plain water isn’t appealing to you, try fruit infused water that gets its sweetness from real fruit and not added sugar.
- Try real fruit smoothies. You can get your sugar fix without the artificial sugar by making fruit smoothies. Smoothies can help decrease your craving for refined sugar because of the pure sweetness of real fruit. But, be careful: fresh fruit has plenty of natural sugar so monitor just how much you are eating throughout the day.
- Add spices like cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg to foods instead of adding sugar. These spices add great flavor and a hint of sweetness.
Reducing your intake of refined sugar should be a gradual process to help you avoid the intense sugar cravings associated with going “cold turkey.” Add natural sweeteners to foods that take away from your body’s craving for sugar. Over time, you’ll find that your taste buds will change and sugar cravings diminish. After making these substitutions, you’ll be surprised that you can cut your sugar in taking by half without even missing it.
Use the form on our site or give us a call us at 301-703-5067.