It is worthwhile to eliminate sugar from your diet — for good.
This piece is written by a former sugar addict — possibly more obsessed with sugar and sugar-induced products, drinks and candy than anyone I know. So many people wondered why I wasn’t the size of a house — as I should have been — mainly because I did include healthy alternatives into my diet. But the problem is, adding sugar-filled, processed foods in any nutritional plan isn’t the best recipe for longevity or good health.Unfortunately, sugar appears in most things we eat — both natural and artificial. Natural sugars tend to be handled differently by our bodies than the processed variety. There is a vast difference between an apple and a toffee apple. It’s so hard to control your intake of sugar, more so if you’ve been using it as a pick me up during certain times of the day or as a snack and perhaps a treat. Over time, as we keep eating the stuff, it hijacks the brain to crave more sugar constantly. Unfortunately, most people cannot overcome this — and others (like me) find it extremely challenging to eliminate it from their diet. Mistakenly, fructose is believed to be a healthier alternative — which is further from the truth. Research suggests that consuming foods or drinks with added fructose slows down your metabolic rate, ceases fat burning in the body, and encourages the liver to turn excess fructose into fat quickly. One study from a Harvard review of 300,000 people found that for each 12-ounce serving of high fructose corn syrup sweetened beverage consumed every day, diabetes risk increased by 15 per cent, with a similar finding linked to fructose-sweetened drinks with greater risk of visceral belly fat and insulin resistance in teenagers.The liver can get quite a beating when too much fructose enters the system. Our liver can only process small amounts of fructose at any one given time. The piece is a small handful of berries (which isn’t much when you think about the excessive sugar that could be consumed on any given day). Diabetes, insulin resistance and accumulated belly fat are just the starts of what may result in an out of control disease and condition which may stop you from leading a healthy and abundant life.
Here are seven ways to control and avoid sugar and the lies about artificial sweeteners
One: Avoid diet drinks containing sweeteners as an alternative.
As hard as it is sacrificing those drinks you love — or used to love, artificial sweeteners are chemical beasts linked to health problems and cancer risks.Sweeteners like Aspartame and Splenda increase the already high toxic load in your body. In addition, eating and drinking artificially sweetened foods that are non-caloric still lead us to eat more calories and accumulate even more fat in our bodies.
Two: Be at peace knowing that no sugar is healthy.
Added fructose may be the worst sugar as it slows the metabolism and decreases fat burning. There is no nutritional value in a product containing this — apart from honey if you want an optimal body shape, health and longevity. Healthy alternative sweeteners are nothing but a myth. Liquid sweeteners like Agave are pretty bad because they are an even higher fructose content than corn syrup. So think about that next time you allow yourself to eat something that contains this sweetener.
Three: Here is a straightforward way to wean yourself off sugar
This is a trick that I used for a while — limit your intake by small amounts every single day. If you usually have a couple of sugars in your coffee every morning, cut that back slowly until it becomes zero. Some people are happy with going full-blown cold turkey, but this is a lot for someone addicted to sugar all their life.
Four: Moderately use Stevia if you need something sweet in your drinks.
Stevia is excellent, as it’s non-caloric and derived from a plant in South America. It’s shown to improve glucose tolerance and dramatically assists those who want sweetness in their food or beverage. However, there is still a process needed to metabolise Stevia through the liver and kidneys. To bypass Stevia being stored as fat along this process, don’t add massive amounts of it regularly to your drinks and food. A few times a day, in small doses should be enough.
Five: Tea and coffee
Add Stevia or nothing to these drinks (especially if you are having several cups per day). Instead, enjoy them in their full, robust flavour and, by all means, avoid adding sugar at all to them.
Six: Say no to store-bought fruit juice.
This juice is pretty much the same as soda or sugar-filled soft drinks. However, when juice is natural and with pulp, we have added fibre. However, I recommend avoiding just plain old fruit juices and adding more vegetables for cleansing and vitamin qualities. Making alternative juices is one of the best moves towards better health.
Seven: Read all labels — take a magnifying glass if you need to!
Anytime I choose what to buy, I scrutinise the label to pieces. I check to see the grams of sugar in the food and what kind of sugar it is. Then, check out the following alternatives: Sugar, High-fructose corn syrup, cane juice, corn syrup, beet sugar, Agave, honey, brown rice syrup, molasses, fruit juice, brown sugar and coconut sugar. There are probably several other alternatives, but be on the lookout for fructose and corn syrup. Naturally occurring sugars are ok in small quantities; it’s the added sugars that we need to be mindful of. These mindful tips will put you a step ahead of the rest to avoid sugar and the dangers it brings to the functioning of your body. Avoiding sugar is one of the best gifts you can give to your body.