Do You Really Have To Give Up Sugar?

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If you’ve been paying attention to the health industry over the past several years, you’ve probably noticed that sugar has gotten a bad rap.

 

As a sugar addict, this was crushing news for me to hear. If anyone could polish off a cake, cookies or bars, it was me. 

 

I actually used to think I was getting away with something when I would eat my baked treats and then restrict calories in other food groups…like vegetables and protein. 

 

There’s a simple reason I didn’t feel so great during that time. You see, while sugar is the stuff of confectionary dreams and brings feelings of euphoria, it can leave you with some not-so-great side effects if you’re getting more than your body needs.

 

Here are just a few of the harmful things sugar does to your body:

 

·     Creates diseases like cancer, diabetes, obesity, and liver disease

·     Causes mood swings

·     Robs your body of minerals and nutrients

·     Affects your eyesight

·     Contributes to depression

·     Creates hormonal imbalance

·     Increases body weight

·     Causes constipation

·     Contributes to osteoporosis

·     Creates skin issues like eczema

·     Contributes to arthritis

·     Contributes to asthma

·     Contributes to Alzheimer’s 

·     Gives you brain fog

·     Creates fatigue

 

This is just a small list of the negative ways sugar affects the body. (I’ve included a more comprehensive list in my book TRUE Health, which is due to be published this October.)

 

Sugar is a key ingredient that manufacturers put in foods because it’s addictive. Which means you’ll be coming back for more and more of their product.

Here are a few places you can find sugar:

·     Baked goods

·     Soda

·     Candy

·     Ice cream

·     Popsicles

·     Juice (this one is really bad and a lot of people think it’s full of vitamins and good stuff…not so!)

·     Commercial cold cereals

·     Jams & jellies

 

…And a few sneaky places that sugar hides:

·     Soups & soup broths

·     Salad dressings

·     Condiments

·     Protein bars

·     Yogurt

·     Fat-free-and non-fat foods (they take out the flavorful fat and replace it with sugar…the fat is actually better for you!)

·     Instant oatmeal

·     Coleslaw

 

The honest truth is that sugar is one of the worst ingredients you can eat. 

 

I know, I know! I wasn’t happy to hear this either! 

 

But before you throw your laptop (or phone) across the room, check this out…

 

There are forms of sugar that are better to eat. These sugars are actual food, so they contain nutrients and minerals and are not just pure sugar. 

 

When you just have to reach for a sweet treat (and, let’s be real…we all need a little sweetness from time to time!), try one of these more natural options:

 

·      100% pure maple syrup

·      honey (raw is best)

·      coconut sugar

·      dates

·      blackstrap molasses

·      maple sugar

·      date sugar

 

I also love to use the sweeteners below. They’re great in coffee and won’t spike your blood sugar:

 

·      stevia (I like the 100% pure powdered stevia. This stuff is powerful…a serving is 1/32 tsp. And I find it doesn’t have the funny aftertaste.)

·      monk fruit (Lo Han)

 

One important thing to keep in mind is that your body doesn’t need a lot of sugar to function.

You only need about 5 grams of sugar in your body at any one time.

To put this into perspective, consider the amount of sugar in these foods:

 

One can of Orange Crush Soda = 71 grams sugar

 

One can of Coke = 39 grams sugar

 

One medium-sized blueberry muffin = 37 grams sugar

 

One glass of orange juice = 36 grams sugar

 

1 small bowl of frosted flakes = 30 grams sugar

 

1 slice of plain cheesecake = 27 grams sugar

 

1 medium cinnamon roll = 17 grams

 

1 Tbsp Smucker’s strawberry jam = 12 grams sugar

 

Chocolate chip cookie (varies depending on size) = 9 grams sugar

 

So…what’s the bottom line?

 

Do you have to give up sugar?

 

I’ll be the first to say you don’t HAVE TO do anything. However, if you want to avoid some of the negative side effects listed above, and keep your body in a more optimal state of health, you’ll want to reach for more natural forms of sugar and keep your total sugar consumption in check.

 

It may sound difficult and you may be terrified of giving up your Coca-Cola or daily blueberry muffin. 

 

But, let me assure you that once you get your body’s sugar in check, you’ll feel so amazing that you’ll never want to go back.

 

This once sweet-toothed, baked-goods-addict now feels great without those things. I don’t struggle with being tempted to eat sweets and I don’t even miss them. I have more energy and a don’t battle with mood swings that go up and down with sugar spikes and crashes.

 

The choice is yours, beauty. Choose wisely!

 

To Your TRUE Health,

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Julie Watson2 Comments