25 Sep Cutting Out Sugar Will Improve Your Health
Did you know that sugar can be addictive over time? The more you ingest regularly, the more your body will want in order to feel “normal”, even though sugar damages your health. Sugar has been linked to directly causing diabetes, obesity, addiction and more. Unfortunately, added sugars are found in almost every food and drink you can buy. With our help, you can cut out sugar or cut down on it to improve your health!
What Is That Sweet Stuff?
We all have eaten sugar at some point in our lives. This is because sugar is found in most foods on the market today. Even foods such as pretzels, yogurt, breads, granola and other “health” food items are swimming in sugar. If you are on a diet, take a look at your nutrition labels on your “diet” foods. You’ll find that many have more sugar in them than a candy bar.
The tricky thing with sugar is that it’s not only listed as “sugar” on food labels. It goes by many names based on the components that make it up. This is a clever way for food producers to trick people into thinking they are eating “diet” or “low-fat” foods that are healthy, when really the sugar is going to hurt you and make you gain weight. Sugar goes by at least 61 different names on food labels that include:
- Corn syrup/high fructose corn syrup
- Cane sugar
- Corn sweetener
- Fruit juice concentrate
- Anything ending in “ose”
Know Your Sugar Limits
Did you know that there are sugar guidelines specified for each age group? Added sugars is not something your body actually needs, and they can significantly harm your health when you have too much sugar in your system. The American Heart Association recommends the following:
- No more than 9 teaspoons for men, which is 36 grams or 150 calories of sugar.
- No more than 6 teaspoons for women, or 25 grams or 100 calories.
- Less than 6 grams for children.
- Little or no sugar for infants.
Why Should You Cut Out Sugar?
Although sugar is so sweet when you eat a treat, it’s not so sweet on your body. Added sugars have no nutritional value whatsoever for your body, but they do have a lot of empty calories that can cause you to continually go up in weight. This is how a person can drop a lot of weight quickly if they are avid soda drinkers and cut out soda from their diet. It’s the sugar that was causing them to maintain and gain weight. The more weight you put on, the more you overwork your body’s systems, especially your heart.
There are many health problems that can come from sugar. It directly leads to weight gain and obesity, which leads to heart disease and countless chronic diseases. Sugar causes tooth decay and premature tooth loss in both children and adults. Too much sugar can lead to developmental issues in children because they lack protein and vital nutrition from foods they could be eating. Poor nutrition can in turn lead to psychological and behavioral issues. Too much sugar can also lead to low bone density, hyperactivity and Type II diabetes.
When you eat sugar, your blood sugar levels spike. Your blood sugar is important to your body because it’s where your energy comes from. You eat food, your body breaks it down and your blood sugar regulates how much is used for energy. You need a bit of sugar (which comes from foods like fruits) for energy. When you eat too much sugar, your blood sugar levels are overloaded and you store tons in your cells for later use, which is how you gain weight. Insulin is a hormone that regulates your blood sugar for energy use. When you eat too much sugar over time, you become insulin resistant and your body fails to produce insulin like it should. This could mean you have a chronic disease (diabetes) for life.
Overcoming Sugar Addiction
To improve your health, you have to watch for high-sugar foods like sodas, cakes, donuts, cookies, candy, pies, ice cream and fruit juices. However, sugar is found in almost every food now, even the “healthy” ones. That’s why it’s so important to check food labels when you buy food and limit foods that are obvious sugar havens. If you struggle with sugar addiction, start with this step. Just checking food labels can help you get a better idea of what you are putting into your body. The more sugar you eat, the more dopamine your brain makes, which is a “feel-good” hormone that makes you eat more sugar.
Start overcoming a sugar addiction by:
- Choosing 1 or 2 food items to take out of your diet or to reduce. If you drink 4 sodas a day, cut it in half and then do it again when you’ve mastered a diet with less. Continually cut more and more until you have overcome the need for that food item.
- Pack more protein in. Often, high-sugar intake leads to less protein and nutrient intake. You can help combat some of what sugar does in your body by upping your protein when you eat sugar. For example, if you have some cake, pair it with a protein shake.
- Have a medical evaluation and see if you are pre-diabetic. If you know you are at risk for diabetes and are on that track to get it, it can help you overcome your sugar addiction.
- Get professional help. We help many patients all the time with their diets and with proper exercise. We can run blood tests to see what nutritional deficiencies are present if you know you have a high sugar intake. Professional help can allow you to be accountable to another person, who can help you kick the sugar habit.
If you want to improve your health with a professional, call Mile High Spine & Pain Center today at (720) 507-0080!