Sugar! We crave it. We want it. We eat it. 156 pounds of added sugar per year is what the average American consumes according to the USDA. Only 29 pounds of that is attributed to regular sucrose or table sugar, the rest comes from foods with added sugar and 33% of that comes from sweetened beverages such as sodas and sports drinks. WOW!!! We are a nation ADDICTED to sugar and it’s showing in our health and well being with Type II Diabetes and heart disease sky rocketing in our population. Though there are those who say sugar is not the direct cause of these diseases, it is a huge factor in our over consumption of calories, and too many calories day in and day out can lead to obesity which is a direct factor.
The World Health Organization recommends no more than 8 teaspoons a day of sugar, which is less than the 10 teaspoons of sugar in a single can of soda. How then do we cut out sugar? Most people fall to it’s addictive power and find it difficult to eliminate, but there are ways to overcome the addiction and take action for your health:
1. Read labels. If you are buying any kind of processed food, it more than likely contains sugar. Go through your kitchen and read the labels there. Start pitching sugar laden products and don’t buy them in the future.
2. Beat cravings by keeping fruit handy. Substitute fruit for that afternoon candy bar and hot tea for that morning caramel vanilla latte. Even if you add a teaspoon of sugar to the tea, this is far less than the 9 teaspoons in that tall latte.
3. Pay attention to your body. Sugar gives us an instant rush of energy, but the downside is a depression of no energy once the high is gone. When you free yourself of this addictive pattern, energy will stay on an even keel, allowing more productive hours in the long run. Keep a journal of cravings, moods, and how you feel. This will allow you to see how much better things run when the sugar is no longer a part of the diet.
I know there is no easy way to overcome the ever present sugar beast, but taking charge of your health and wellness requires vigilance and dedication. No one can do it for you. Take action today and feel your best!
Peace and joy!