“I’VE SPENT MOST OF MY LIFE FOLLOWING FAD DIETS, TRYING CLEANSES AND THINKING I WAS HEALTHY. I learned the hard way (cancer – TWICE) that changing my basic eating and lifestyle habits was the only way to sustain my health in the long run.”
~ Cheryl Rojic, INHC, AADP
Here we are on the back side of the holiday season. For many, sugar is the fun holiday party guest that stops by and has a personality that pleases all the senses! After the parties end, sweet sugar sticks around for awhile – because you are addicted to the deliciousness and the “sugar high”. Eventually, you get to the point that you will do anything to get sugar out of your life for good! And the struggle begins….again.
IS sugar such a bad thing? Yes and no. We need sugar/glucose to fuel our brains. The source of sugar is important to be aware of. Sugars that are natural components in real food should never be an issue – as long as one consumes a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and other plant foods. Along with these naturally occurring sugars is usually abundant fiber – a nutrient that most Americans are lacking in proper amounts. (Of course, with certain health situations, it may be beneficial to reduce or eliminate high-sugar, as well as high-fiber, plant foods for a specific amount of time.)
The problems come when sugar AS sugar is consumed in excessive quantities. On average, an adult in the United States consumes the equivalent of 19 teaspoons of sugar daily!! That amount equals 285 calories. The American Heart Association suggests that women consume no more than 6 teaspoons (100 calories) and men no more than 9 teaspoons (150 calories) per day. As a reference, a can of regular Coke contains 39 grams of sugar, or just under 3 TABLESPOONS! (just under 9 teaspoons)
Sugar cane is where REAL sugar comes from. There are multiple ways in which it is processed. Turbinado and sucanat are two of the least processed forms of pure sugar. Raw cane sugar is closely behind those. “Typical” granulated sugar can some from two sources – sugar cane or sugar beets, the latter of which is almost always genetically modified. These two are also usually highly processed with bleaching and other adulterations. In this sense, sugar is sugar. Sugar has been shown to be many times more addictive than drugs such as cocaine. It creates chemical reactions in the body that wreak havoc on all of our bodily systems! It kills the good bugs and feeds the bad bugs in your gut, which leads to many varieties of uncomfortable digestive symptoms and potentially a host of autoimmune disorders. It creates imbalances in the levels of insulin our bodies need. It creates a “high” or burst of energy – leading us to need more and more over time to get that same feeling. It confuses the hormones that communicate between the belly and the brain by blocking the “I am full” message.
Bigger problems occur when components are pulled from whole foods and used as a sweetener – such as fructose. Sure, it’s “natural,” but the human body does not recognize that single component and may contribute to toxic overloads. Components, or nutrients, from whole foods are together to work synergistically for a specific purpose.
And then there are all of the “sugar substitutes.” Again, the human body does not recognize these lab created concoctions and does not understand how to process them. They also contain proven carcinogenic or brain-altering substances. Avoid Sweet-n-low, Equal, and even Splenda.
Even foods not called sugar ARE sugar! Highly processed wheat flour, dairy products and white rice begin to convert to sugar as soon as they mix with saliva. These foods will affect our bodies in very similar ways to actual sugar. Improving health and changing lives one recipe at a time
WHY is it so hard to stay away from? As mentioned before, sugar is addictive. Are you addicted? Perhaps. Do you crave sugar, eat some, lose control, and eat more than you planned?
For most people, it’s best to break the cycle cold turkey. Natural detoxification will occur daily, as it should, by adding more high fiber plant foods to your diet. Over time, your taste buds will be cleansed and the flavors of fresh plant foods will become what you crave. You will notice changes to your body – lose weight; clearer/brighter/smoother skin; more energy; no need for that afternoon candy bar, coffee or nap; a better overall mood and outlook on life!
Be sure to include sufficient lean protein (especially plant-based), fiber, and health fats (coconut products, avocados, Ghee) – these digest slowly keeping you feeling full longer. If choosing animal protein, have no more than 3 ounces (about the size of a computer mouse) per serving. If choosing plant-based, quantity is much less important since you will get your protein and fiber in one.
Enjoy these recipes to help break your sugar cravings and fuel your cells for healing and good health!
Would you like to learn more about why and how to add more plant foods to your daily routine? Contact me to schedule a free Food for Thought Breakthrough Session and learn about how simple changes to your plate can result in major changes in your health.
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