Sugar is highly addictive and it comes in many hidden forms in your food and beverages. High fructose corn syrup, dextrose, and glucose. Basically, anything that ends with “ose” plus much more. It’s time for you to break away and take charge of your sugar habit.
If you’re eating processed foods you’re eating hidden sugars. Food manufacturers add sugar to their ingredients to get you to buy their product again. Less than 100 years ago the average American ate about one pound of sugar per year. Today, that number is anywhere from 100-150 pounds per year!
The number one source of sugar is from beverages, soda and fruit juices. It seems impossible that a person can consume that much sugar. But one can of regular soda has about 40 grams of sugar. That’s almost 10 teaspoons of sugar or one cup of ice cream.
Most fruit juices contain even more sugar. One eight ounce cup of lemonade is about 30 grams of sugar and orange juice is 48 grams. Apple juice has an amazing 52 grams of sugar or 1-1/2 cups of ice cream.
If you drank one can of regular soda every day for one year that equals out to approximately 14,600 grams of sugar. That’s 73 cups, in other words, that’s 32 pounds of sugar.
Kicking Your Sugar Habit
Even if you eat a healthy diet, addiction to natural sugars is still possible. I’m not saying natural sugars are a bad thing but too much can do harm to your body. Bad bacteria and yeast overgrowth (Candida) feed on sugar.
Blueberry Lara Bars became my addiction, I would even make them at home. The problem was, I would eat way too much in one sitting. I don’t make them anymore, I don’t even buy more than one bar at a time because I know it’s too tempting.
High sugar intake leads to inflammation. It may raise the risk of heart attacks, Alzheimer’s, some cancers, and autoimmune diseases. Changing to a low sugar and low carbohydrate diet can help protect you from many health issues. (Carbs are sugar).
Candida is a yeast found in the small intestine. In a healthy person, it stays in balance along with the bacteria living inside you. However, when candida begins to grow aggressively it can become a serious problem.
Candida thrives on sugar and creates strong sugar cravings. It breaks down the gut lining and enters the bloodstream and blood brain barrier. It causes many health issues, from food allergies, nutrient deficiencies, to autoimmune diseases.
Reduce Your Sugar Intake
An easy way of reducing your sugar intake is to keep it out of your house. Remove the fruit juices, the chocolate chips, anything that will tempt you. Watch out for starchy foods that are high in carbs like sweet potatoes.
Pay attention to the amount of sugar in your food. Fruits and other natural sugars can still lead you to an addiction. If you’re struggling with sugar cravings you may want to stick with berries only. They have a lower glycemic index (blood glucose level) than other fruits.
Cut down on sugar in your drinks. Sugar in your coffee or tea, fruit juice, and a soda it all adds up. Even “healthy” drinks can be full of sugar. Flavored water can contain lots of high sugar fruits.
Eat a Low Carbohydrate Diet
Eating a low carb diet can benefit those with an autoimmune disease like multiple sclerosis (MS). Low sugar and low carb diets stop feeding the bad bacteria and candida overgrowth. Benefiting and calming the chronic inflammation that’s ravaging your body.
Researchers have discovered people with MS have a higher level of bad bacteria. Further studies funded by the National MS Society is currently underway. They hope to find treatment plans using probiotics strategies for stopping the progression.
Refined sugar causes the body to release more insulin. It lowers the glucose (blood sugar) amounts in the blood. The higher the glycemic index in the food, the more insulin your body releases. It can trigger temporary symptoms in people with MS like numbness or tingling.
Meanwhile, your best option is to stop eating refined sugar. Also, limit your natural sugar intake. If you aren’t used to counting carbs it can be a little difficult at first. Especially if you’re making all your food at home since you don’t have the nutritional labels to refer to.
When our son was a teenager he received a diagnosed of Type 1 Diabetes. His dad and I had to go through a crash course of insulin and carb counting while he laid in the hospital bed. It’s actually not that hard and before you know it you’ll be an expert.
Fortunately, if you have a smartphone there are many apps that can help you out. More and more restaurants have special menus that include carbs, you just need to ask.
Cortisol is a hormone that helps control blood sugar levels. It also supplies energy and reduces inflammation. When you are under stress, your body produces more cortisol as part of our “fight or flight” response. Afterward cortisol levels return back to normal levels.
However, when you’re under constant stress your body doesn’t have a chance to return back to normal. This leads to many health issues. Including brain fog, chronic fatigue, decreased bone density, decreased muscle mass, increased abdominal fat, and impaired immune systems.
Cortisol can affect our gut microbes and alter the gut lining. This can lead to increases in pathogens like candida. Cortisol also raises blood sugar which helps feed candida and bad bacteria.
It’s impossible to avoid stress but here are some tips:
- Good quality sleep
- A well-balanced diet
Just like any addiction, a sugar addiction is hard to break. Don’t try to go “cold turkey” it rarely works. The sugar cravings may become too strong to resist. Instead, gradually reduce your sugar consumption so it’s more manageable.
Start by reducing the amount of sugar each week. Add more spices and herbs to your meals in place of sweeteners. Before you know it your taste buds will have adapted and you won’t even miss the sugar.
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