The Sweetest Poison

Spoon with sugar cubes isolated on a white backgroundYou may have heard that sugar is a drug, but did you know that it’s been labeled the sweetest poison?

That’s because sugar, the evil, yet so tasty additive is considered a “toxin” or a “poison” for your body and overall health.

It does seem a little extreme to label a food as a drug, but when you look at how sugar is metabolized by your body (especially the highly refined and processed kinds), then you can begin to understand why.

When I speak of “sugar” I mean both sucrose — beet and cane sugar (aka refined sugar), whether white or brown — and high-fructose corn syrup.

Refined sugar is quickly broken down into glucose and fructose when ingested. The increase in glucose spikes insulin and blood sugar levels, giving you a quick surge of energy. If you do not use this energy immediately your body may turn it into fat. The quick digestion of refined sugar also prevents fullness even after you eat a calorie-rich chocolate bar, leaving you hungry.

Fructose (fruit sugar) is metabolized in your liver and is absorbed at once, increasing fat cell production and overworking your liver, compromising your immune system, creating crashes in energy levels, causing weight gain and creating a physical addiction.

But what about artificial sweeteners? Because they are a chemical-based product, sugar-like alternatives like high-fructose corn syrup, are not advised as a healthy alternative. Long term use of chemical artificial sweeteners have been shown to cause:

  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased appetite
  • Neurological damage

To step off the blood sugar roller coaster, and step into a healthier – and yes, sweeter – way of life, here are 7 Tips to break your sugar habit:

  1. Eat well – Eat blood sugar balancing whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. Less from a box and more from the Earth.
  1. Stay hydrated – Drink enough water half your body weight in ounces or until your urine is clear.
  1. Make it fun – Crowd in healthy fun foods that you enjoy.
  1. Use the magic 15 minutes – When you have a craving or urge for impulse eating, take 15 minutes and do something positive for yourself before you give in to that treat, and then see if you still want it.
  1. Live 80% – Plan your meals and plan your fun and treats. Do not strive to eat 100% healthy or you’ll never stop thinking about cake. Plan nights out or treats in the house and enjoy them.
  1. Plan Ahead – Set an intention every morning.
  1. Have a habit breaking buddy – Everything is more fun with a friend to share the experience.

And remember to start the next day fresh with no guilt. Lifestyle changes take time. If you fall, start over the next day.

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