sugar

3 Simple Ways to Get Off Sugar Fast

Did you know that Americans are consuming 152 pounds sugar in a given year? That is double what the Spanish eat!

Sugar consumption has been on the rise, and the truth is that we as a nation are hooked like a junkie. Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D. shared in a recent interview on HuffPost Live that eating high-sugar foods lights up our brains on an MRI “like a Christmas tree”. In fact, it’s the same pleasure centers that activate in the brain as those high on cocaine.

Interesting huh?

Food has the ability to change our brain chemistry, and therefore affects our mood. If you’ve ever felt sluggish, agitated, or hyper, chances are this is directly connected to your diet. What I’m here to tell you is that sugar addiction is real, and affects more people than you know. If you’ve ever read Michael Moss’ book “Fat, Sugar, Salt” about how the food giants hooked us, you’d know that manufacturers actually design food products to be as addicting as possible.

So how can you start cutting down sugar intake?

1. Recognize the not-so-obvious places for sugar to hide.

Many foods may trick you. This could be anything from ketchup, dressings, dips, sauces, frozen fruit, processed deli meats, yogurt, dried fruit, bread, instant oatmeal to granola. Sugar really is added to everything these days, so I’d start with paying attention to ingredient lists and serving sizes which can be deceptively small on the nutrition label.

2. Don’t always think of sugary foods as just candy or sweets.

Sugar is not just limited to desserts these days. You could be thinking you’re doing your body good by eating a low-fat yogurt, when in reality you’ve just downed 20 grams of processed sugar. Same thing goes for Starbucks lovers, since even a medium non-fat latte can pack over 47 gram of sugar. Alcohol is the next big offender here, especially when you use mixers. Liquids can hold a ton of sugar, and we tend to down them much faster.

 

3. Replace “bad” sugars with natural sources.

Don’t worry about the natural sugars from fruit or starchy veggies. Your body is capable of differentiating those types of sugars from processed sugars, not to mention the ton of nutrients delivered with a bite of an orange or a sweet potato. Some of my personal favorite ‘sweets’ are berries, figs, and dates. I also enjoy green juice with some added beet or apple, or a bit of raw honey in my green tea. For me personally, it’s really not about finding foods with the fewest grams of sugar on the label, but choosing real sources of sugar like fruit or raw honey from my aunt’s bee garden.

I’d love to hear from you about your three favorite sources of natural sugar. Please share below!

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