Why does it have such a hold on us? Why can't we slay that sugar beast?
Naturally occurring sugars found in fruits and some veggies are carbohydrates that our body uses for energy as well as brain and cellular function. These are good - eat them!
Added sugars found in processed foods don’t influence blood sugar levels in the same way as naturally occurring sugars do, though.
Simple carbohydrates like white bread, potato chips, cake, candy, and alcohol contain few to no necessary nutrients, are digested quickly, spike your sugar levels, and leave you wanting more carbs – creating a vicious cycle. These are bad - avoid them.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could spot sugar easily on any food label? Sadly, it's never that simple. The food industry is always 10 steps ahead of the consumer. They use savvy descriptors designed to disguise the ultimate enemy's presence: sugar.
Here are some common and sometimes misleading pseudonyms for sugar:
- Brown sugar
- Corn sweetener
- Corn syrup
- Fruit juice concentrates
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Invert sugar
- Malt sugar
- Raw sugar
- Sugar molecules ending in -ose (dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose)
Why can sugar be addictive?
Happiness and dopamine, the "feel-good" chemical released in our brains, go hand in hand. Typically, the brain releases dopamine when doing activities that we enjoy. Cake anyone?
Sugar also stimulates the dopamine pleasure centers; that's why eating foods that contain "sugars" (whether real or artificial) feels good ... satisfying. And once that shot of happiness begins to wear off, guess what? Your brain will dispatch an SOS alerting you that dopamine (aka: happiness) is dropping and you need to do something about it. Pronto! Enter your BFF to the rescue: Sugar.
How to manage sugar cravings
I would like to assure you that it'll be an easy fix. It won't.
Clearly, the best way to stop this vicious cycle is to just Q-U-I-T!
- Opt for foods with natural sugars, like fruit. This is what your body needs
- Avoid artificial sweeteners. In case you skipped over the identifier: Artificial. Anything artificial or made in a lab is bad.
- Commit to eating a clean diet: proteins, healthy fats, veggies, and real fruits - nothing packaged.
Each person is has different needs: bio-individuality. This means the way your body responds to sugar will be different from the person next to you, and your journey to eating less sugar will depend on many factors.
There is no right or wrong, just trial and error; we are constantly modifying our wellness routines as needed.
Do you need a little extra support in quitting sugar? The 5-Day Sugar Detox is absolutely free.
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