Get Ready to Go Sugar Free

Get Ready to Go Sugar Free

When you’ve had a rough day and all you can think about is spoiling yourself with comfort food, chances are you reach for something sweet. Be it chocolate, ice cream, or cake, who doesn’t love the taste of sugar? What was once reserved for special occasions has now become a global addiction. Sugar has found its way into most products you can buy on grocery store shelves. For as sweet as it may be, sugar is a health hazard. It has been shown to promote cardiovascular disease, heart disease, and cognitive decline. (1-2) If you’re ready to kick sugar to the curb, here’s how you can start taking your first steps.

1. Read Labels

It’s not going to be easy but if you want to save yourself from the side effects of sugar consumption, you’re going to need to cut your losses. The average American consumes 20 teaspoons of sugar every day! (3) While it’s important to cut your dependency on sugar, it doesn’t have to happen all at once.

The first step would be to start educating yourself. No better place to start than by reading the nutrition label on the products you buy. There are several types of sugar that can be used to sweeten foods, but for now, just focus on the actual number of grams of sugar. If you want to cut your sugar dependency in half, make sure you are not consuming more than 50 grams of sugar per day (50 grams equal 10 teaspoons). Once you adjust, you can continue lowering the amount.

2. Avoid Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners were the creation that was going to help rid the world of its sugar addiction. While artificial sweeteners allow you to avoid sugar, they carry their own plethora of health problems. Here are the most popular sweeteners and the problems they cause:

Aspartame

  • “NutraSweet” and “Equal”
  • Causes headaches, weight gain, nausea, and abdominal pain. (4)

High Fructose Corn Syrup

  • May be linked to the worldwide rise in obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. (5)

Sucralose

  • “Splenda”
  • Compounds created during the chlorination process of Sucralose may cause immuntoxicity, neurotoxicity, and infertility. (6)

3. Be Smart About Sugar

Sometimes, you just can’t avoid sugar (especially around the holidays). If you need to indulge, make smart choices. The ideal sugar substitutes are honey and Stevia.

Raw Honey

Believe it or not, honey is a super food as it contains amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. What’s more, it’s also a medicinal tool. It has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial properties, which can heal wounds and clear up acne. Best of all, it’s extremely sweet. A little goes a long way.

Stevia

Stevia is a zero-calorie sugar substitute and it is said to be 200 times sweeter than table sugar. While it is a sweetener, it is all natural as it’s made from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant.

Conclusion

It’s hard to turn down the satisfaction that the taste of sugar can provide. When you consider the long-term health ramifications of sugar consumption, it suddenly becomes clear that it’s just not worth it. Be realistic about cutting your sugar consumption. Don’t drop it all at once. Slowly wean yourself from it. You’ll be amazed at how different you feel and how great you look.

References

1. Flavin, Dana. Metabolic Danger of High-Fructose Corn Syrup. Life Extension Magazine. December 2008.

2. Gourounti, K. Mechanisms of Actions and Health Effects of Organochloric Substances: A Review. Health Science Journal. 2008. 2:2.

3. Frequently Asked Questions About Sugar. May 2014. American Heart Association. heart.org. Web.

4. Gold, Mark D. Reported Aspartame Toxicity. 2003. Food and Drug Administration. FDA.gov. Web.

5. Tappy, L, Lê, KA. Metabolic effects of fructose and the worldwide increase in obesity. Physiol Rev. 2010 Jan;90(1):23-46.

6. Gourounti, K. Mechanisms of Actions and Health Effects of Organochloric Substances: A Review. Health Science Journal. 2008. 2:2.