Happy Monday friends! This week we are going to talk about Sugar.
We all know sugar is bad for us, so why do we continue to eat it? Well, it’s because Sugar is severely addictive! This week we dive into some of the reasons sugar is bad for us, why we have such a hard time staying away from it, and ways that can help you to reduce your sugar intake!
First of all, why is sugar bad for us? What does it do that is so awful? Sugar has been linked to obesity, inflammation, and high triglyceride levels – which are all causes of heart disease! Sugar also plays a part in causing Atherosclerosis, which is like a plaque buildup inside of the arteries. Another reason you may want to reduce your sugar intake is because it causes Acne, sugar causes spiked glucose and insulin levels, inflammation, androgen production, and oil secretions in the skin, which all lead to acne. There have also been studies recently linking sugar intake to Dementia and Alzheimer’s, sugar also reduces performance of the hippocampus which is in control of memory related tasks. So the brain fog your experiencing may be related to your sugar intake. Another interesting study I recently read was when supplementing rats diets with Omega 3s they saw less of the impact from the sugar. Just another reason to take your fish oil! Watch out for the foods labeled as “low in sugar” anything with less than 5 grams of sugar per 100 grams of food is allowed to use that label.
So why is it so hard to quit eating sugar?! A Neuroscientist in Oregon recently used an MRI to conclude that sugar activates the same regions of the brain as cocaine. When you eat sugar you’re activating the reward centers of your brain releasing dopamine.
This creates a sugar addiction cycle:
One of the best techniques to start with is to evaluate all the foods you’re eating. If you’re looking at a lollipop vs a banana they have around the same amount of sugar, but the banana has much more nutrients! Also practice mindful eating, if you are having a craving for sugar try eating something small, but healthy (try for some protein) Jenna prefers Cashews. So if you’re feeling a craving try a handful of nuts and a glass of water, if you’re still craving it in 20 minutes then maybe you need to eat something denser. Make sure to watch your nutrition labels when picking out foods, you’ll be surprised how much hidden sugar is in everything.
Here are some ways that sugar is labelled and hidden in food:
- Agave nectar
- Beet sugar
- Brown rice syrup
- Brown sugar
- Cane sugar
- Coconut sugar
- Coconut palm sugar
- Corn syrup
- Dehydrated cane juice
- Evaporated cane juice
- Fruit juice concentrate
- High fructose corn syrup
- Malt syrup
- Maple syrup
- Palm sugar
- Raw sugar
- Rice syrup
- Turbinado sugar
When you do feel the need to have a “cheat” or treat try making it at home so that you can control what is in it. Simply reducing the amount of processed and refined sugars by making healthy choices while cooking can make a significant difference in your diet. If you need some ideas for some easy healthier options check out our recipes section.
Our goal is to create a healthy relationship with food that will leave you feeling satisfied and happy, but also healthy. To do this we have to go beyond the physical nature and into the psychological relationship to enhance our experience and create a sense of balance in our eating.