This one will be short and sweet (ha ha!).
Recently on the internet and social media, I have noticed that lots of people are working on breaking their sugar addiction. Sugar and added sugar cause major health issues in our bodies. High blood pressure, diabetes, weight gain, inflammation – just to name a few. Let’s take a look at this sweet addiction and start breaking your sugar addiction.
What is added sugar and how can we take control of it?
We all know that cake, candy, pastries, etc. are loaded with sugar. This is not what I am talking about – I am talking about added sugar. You know the stuff food manufacturers add to your yogurt, ketchup, salad dressings, pasta sauce, instant oatmeal, granola bars…you get the picture. It can be found everywhere, even in seemingly “healthy” foods.
Do you know what the recommended amounts are for added sugar? Consider this: Americans average about 20 teaspoons daily. The recommendation is 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men.
Let’s clarify what “added sugar” means. Fruits and some vegetables have naturally occurring sugar in them. The difference in naturally occurring sugar is the nutrients and fiber in fruits and vegetables that help our body process them. Added sugar is simply that – added to a food – not naturally occurring. It does not have any additional nutrients or fiber, does not process through your body like the natural stuff and it remains as fat in your body.
Americans consume massive quantities of sugar and it’s contributing to the rising rates of obesity. Most of the consumption comes from sodas and sweets like candy. Sugar is delicious AND terrible for you. It triggers huge spikes in your blood sugar, causing your body to store its excess energy as fat, and Type II Diabetes (the kind you give yourself from over consumption of sugars because it desensitizes your pancreas, rendering your pancreas unable to produce insulin in proper quantities) is rampant in America because of added sugar in our diet.
So, what can you do? Really work on recognizing where added sugars can be limited in your diet. Here are some ways to help you keep too much added sugar out of your body:
- Avoid purchasing items such as pasta sauce and salad dressing that have more than 6 grams per serving.
- Keep an eye on your fruit intake – 1 to 2 servings per day is plenty of naturally occurring sugar.
- Learn what the various names for added sugar are and look for them in the groceries you purchase. Here is a list of common names that sugar appears under in food labels:
Anhydrous dextrose, brown sugar, cane crystals, cane sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, crystal dextrose, evaporated cane juice, fructose sweetener, fruit juice concentrates, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, liquid fructose, malt syrup, maple syrup, molasses, pancake syrup, raw sugar, sugar, syrup and white sugar
GIVING UP THIS ONE ITEM WILL GREATLY IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH!
Plan your sweet treats according to your liking. If you are going to consume some sugar, make sure it is something you love and that the additional calories are worth it – homemade is much better than store bought (in most cases).
PLAN YOUR SWEET TREATS
I love sweets. Nothing better than a sweet treat. What I have learned for myself is that I feel much better when I don’t eat sugar all the time. I actually plan for mine on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. When I say plan for it I mean that I chose to have something homemade rather than store bought and it’s something I truly love – like cupcakes!
The best way to curb your addiction is to eat whole, healthy foods at least 85% of the time!
Here are some additional resources regarding added sugar:
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This was a timely read, as I’ve just been warned by my doctor about sugar and the threat of becoming a diabetic. (Mom is a diabetic who takes daily shots, and my grandma also had diabetes. Plus Grandaddy died from diabetes complications.) Thank you for the valuable information!
~ Suzana Barton
So glad this was helpful Suzana! It’s easy to get the sugar under control. You got this!
I don’t use sugar, sometimes I crave for sugar and I take fruits. But it feels so much better to not use sugar, or very little! Happy weekend!
Sometimes, I get more sugar than I want too but I make sure that it is something that I love!
I appreciate this short and to the point post!! You make it seem DO-ABLE! It’s on my to DO list! : )
I think the most important thing is to pay attention to sugar and to keep it under control!
This post is awesome! My husband and I have just embarked on a vegetarian journey. We have both cut out sugar. We only eat natural sugars that are in Whole Foods. We both feel so much better and he has lost 12 pounds! I have always kept soft drinks from my kids (because I’m a hygienist) but we are also trying to limit their intake. People just don’t know how bad sugar is for us!!
I wish I knew about sugar a long time ago. Glad you are helping your kids. I do at least 1 or 2 vegan meals each day. It makes such a difference!
I was happy when I started looking at sugar under 10 grams – both of my parents have diabetes so I am always cautious. However, as always, I feel you have to change when time passes so I guess I will start looking for 6 grams or under now.
Sugar is everywhere. There are probably some things I would be okay with 10 grams but I really work hard to stick with 6 grams!
I know that I consume too much sugar and it was great to read your post reminding me to check for allllll the types of added sugar in groceries!
It’s crazy all the things they add it to!
I have to say sugar is probably my drug of choice, and I do not say that lightly, I know how addictive it can be. It is so hard to break that cycle, when it is everywhere.
Start with the added sugar. You will feel a difference.
I broke up with sugar in 2019 and have seen such a different in my body, attitude and skin! Love how digestible you make it all!
Thank you for your comments. I started really cutting sugar back in 2018 and it does make a difference!