Reboot Your Health By Ditching Sugar

Sugar
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Sugar is not your friend. It does you absolutely no favors in the health department, and so I seriously recommend you remove it from your diet. It’s the first thing that I advice a client to do, and since you are my virtual client, it’s what I’m going to ask you to do – for 30-days.

Let’s look at why added sugar doesn’t have a place in your diet. And when I say “added” sugar, it’s because sugar occurs naturally in many foods, the most obvious being fruit, and that’s not what I’m talking about (more on that in a bit). I am talking about the sugar that you add to your diet by way of any sweetener that you use, or that is added to almost all packaged foods from yogurt to pasta sauce. SO many foods that you buy from the grocery store are loaded with hidden sugars – they are hidden under so many names that the typical person won’t even recognize as sugar. So we have to get good at label-reading. Here’s how you might be getting a bunch of sugar during your day without really knowing it:

A latte or sweetened drink from the coffee shop (non-dairy milks are sweetened, powders to make green tea/chai lattes are sweetened, sugary syrups are used for flavor etc).

  • Breakfast cereal/muffin
  • Orange Juice
  • Bread (trust me it’s hidden in there)
  • Salad dressings
  • Iced Tea
  • Crackers
  • Frozen Foods
  • Pre-packaged meals
  • Soda
  • Drinks Pouches
  • Pasta Sauce

Breaking News!

News has just broken that food manufacturers will be required by the FDA to clearly list any ADDED sugars in a food product, on the nutritional label. This is huge because the labeling laws haven’t changed since 1094, and in the light of the current obesity epidemic, the Obama administration have been vehement in pushing this through. The added sugar will still be there, but this labeling law will make manufacturers think twice before added 5 teaspoons-worth of sugar into a single serving of yogurt.

Okay, now that we’ve got an idea of how sugar is laced into almost everything we eat and drink, let’s take a look at how it affects the body and our overall health.

  1. Weight Gain: No surprise here! If we consume more sugar than the body needs for it’s energy expenditure, the extra sugar are converted to a type of fat called triglycerides. This fat is typically stored around your hips, thighs and belly.
  2. Depressed Immune Function: A USA Study found that eating sugar (all sugars from honey to orange juice), depressed the immune system of healthy volunteers by 50%, for up to 5 hours after consuming the sugar. This is really significant because now, more than ever, we need a strong immune system to ward off bacteria, viruses and parasites, and to deal with environmental pollution.
  3. Diabetes: Again, no surprises here! Fluctuating blood sugar levels caused by regular intake of added sugar can lead to anyone becoming pre-diabetic, or having full-blown diabetes type 2.
  4. Chronic Disease: Overloading your diet with sugar causes your pancreas to have to pump out the hormone, insulin. Chronically high insulin levels are associated with an increased risk of some cancers, heart diseases, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and acne.
  5. Breast Cancer: The high amounts of dietary sugar in the typical Western diet may increase the risk of breast cancer and metastasis to the lungs, according to a study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Hopefully this is enough information to scare you off the stuff, but sugar is highly addictive. What’s the girl or guy to do whose developed a taste for a LOT of sweetness? My husband comes from GA, where the sweetness of a simple glass of iced tea almost knocked me sideways. If you are used to this kind of sugary sweetness, you’re going to have to take a breath! You may be addicted to the sugar high you get after consuming sugar or refined carbs*. If this is the case, worry not, just two weeks of sugar will have your energy levels balance out (I promise).

You do need to cold-turkey it! You can’t wean yourself off sugar. For some people, it’s almost as addictive as nicotine. Just like a cigarette, it’s the first one that does the damage because you’ll never stop at one. My friend Paige went sugar-free for 20 days until she was on a flight with no food left except for candy. She eat a bunch of red vines and cookies, and the next day she was right back onto a sugary doughnut for breakfast.

Artificial Sweeteners

I don’t recommend that you consume most artificial/chemical sweeteners. They have been associated with too many health issues for them to be safe.

What about Stevia? The jury is out on Stevia because there is some concern that it could affect hormones, however, you would have to eat it in pretty large quantities for this to be an issue. I believe that your best bet is to eat whole leaf unprocessed stevia in moderation.

Monk Fruit is a viable choice.

My top choice is the sugar alcohol

My personal preference, particularly for baking, is ZSweet – this is imade of erythritol that is naturally cultured from sugar, infused with natural botanical extracts and then crystallized.

I would also recommend date sugar to add to cereal, oatmeal etc.

Fruit

A lot of you ask me about fruit. I think that fresh fruit is fine. Remember this:

An 8-0unce glass or orange juice contains 22 grams of sugar. One whole orange yields only 2 ounces of juice, but more importantly the fiber in the orange cause its sugar to slow-release, so you won’t get the blood sugar spike as you do from orange juice.

Fresh organic fruits are SO filled with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, that I recommend you eat as many servings as you can. My only caveat would be that if you are pre-diabetic or diabetic, you might want to exercise moderation when it comes to the more sugary fruits such as grapes, dates, and bananas.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sophie Uliano is New York Times best-selling author and leading expert in the field of natural health and beauty, who takes a down-to-earth approach to beauty focusing on what's truly healthy. Join my masterclass to get started.

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