10 Steps to Kicking Your Sugar Habit RIGHT NOW
The last eight weeks of the year can be BRUTAL on our mouths and bodies. It starts with the “trick or treat” candy on Halloween, plows through the smorgasbord of Thanksgiving desserts and ends with us slumped on a couch making dire New Year’s resolutions and promising to live healthier in the following year.
It’s not too late to rewrite your ending to 2014. If you want to feel better on December 31st, all you have to do is one simple thing—dramatically cut your sugar intake! If you commit to eating and drinking healthier in December while avoiding sugar, you will have a much greater chance in sticking to your resolutions for 2015. Think of it as a running start to the New Year!
Be warned! It’s not as easy as you think. Many consumer advocacy groups have declared that we are "drowning in sugar." In the last 20 years, the amount of sugar each person consumes yearly in the United States has soared from 26 pounds per person to more than 135 lbs. per person. The average teenage male now consumes more than 34 teaspoons of sugar per day! Most of that sugar comes from man-made or "refined sugars," which are from cane sugar, beet sugar, corn syrup and corn sugar especially in the consumption of soft drinks.
Since 1983, sugar consumption has increased steadily every year by an average of 28 percent, fueling an epidemic of obesity, dental disease, diabetes and other health problems.
While research has shown sugar addiction to be more powerful than addiction to cigarettes, heroin or cocaine, this December is a good time to reduce your addiction to sugar, and protect your health and the health of your children and loved ones.
Here are 10 sensible steps to take BEFORE the end of the year.
- Drink lots of water. Besides replacing soda, water helps clear toxins like sugar from the body.
- Avoid juices. Even 100 percent fruit juices are essentially sugar and water in disguise.
- Eat low-sugar and fiber-rich fresh fruit. Increased fiber helps regulate sugar. Blueberries are a good example being low on the glycemic index.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners especially sugar alcohols like xylitol and erytritol.While these non-caloric sweeteners are popular right now, they are poorly metabolized or absorbed and far from "natural" as they are manufactured by a hydrogenation process. Try a natural, herbal, low-calorie sweetener like organic stevia.
- Increase your consumption of healthy proteins and healthy fats (omega-3's).These regulate blood sugar levels.
- If you crave something sweet, have it AFTER a meal. It does not cause as strong a gyration with blood sugar.
- Limit alcohol.Alcohol is made from sugar and acts like sugar in the body.
- Eliminate the empty white stuff: White flour, white rice and white potatoes. These act like sugar acts on the body.
- Learn to like local natural honey as a sweetener. It’s has natural sugar but with a lot of health benefits but don't go overboard or you will feed a sugar addiction.
- Read the labels.You will be amazed at how much sugar is hidden in products you would never expect.
With a few smart decisions, you can enjoy the holidays even more knowing that you have taken steps to live a healthier and more productive life. That’s the best possible present you can give to yourself and your family.
Source: Dr. Gerry Curatola