Sugar is Sweet, But Maybe Not so Neat!
In 2011, Americans ate, on average, 130 pounds of sweetener per person. That is a lot! Research has found many links between sugar and an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.
If you want to decrease your sugar intake, these reasons and tips might help you:
* Stress causes your adrenal glands to release cortisol, which makes blood sugar levels spike. Chronic stress exhausts the adrenals, and they can no longer produce enough cortisol. This leads to sugar cravings. Find ways to reduce your stress.
* Add Omega-3s to your diet. Cold-water fish such as salmon, 1000 mg of an omega-3 supplement daily, or plant-based sources can help protect the brain against the effects of fructose.
* Skip the processed sugars found in candy, white bread and baked goods. Opt instead for tomatoes, onions, or sweet potatoes, as they contain natural sugars and natural fiber, which slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream, making it easier for you to metabolize it.
* When you’re sick or tired, you crave sugar. Sadly, eating too much of it can spur the release of cortisol, which can lead to inflammation. Protect your immune system by having no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar a day, and avoiding excess caffeine and alcohol.
* Rather than eating candy (with the exception of moderate amounts of dark chocolate of 65% cacao or higher) or refined carbohydrates, try plain Greek yogurt with fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth.
* A strong link exists between weight and sugar. If you’re having trouble dropping weight, it could be due to excess yeast (candida) in your digestive system, which feeds off sugar and produces the byproduct acetaldehyde. In the bloodstream, acetaldehyde can cause chronic fatigue and muscle soreness.
* Chinese medicine looks for balance, which in this case, means salt. If you overindulge in salty foods, your body tries to reach equilibrium by triggering your desire for sweets. The solution, according to this holistic way of viewing health, is to limit your salt intake to less than 200-250 mg of sodium per serving.
We know that people of all ages take our QiDANCE and QiFORZE classes, and we assume that everyone who is currently under the age of 70 wants to make it past that age, so it should be of interest to you to know that the Mayo Clinic has just published a study showing that people 70 and older who eat food high in carbohydrates have nearly four times the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, and the danger also rises with a diet heavy in sugar.
Readers: What do you think, are you sweet enough without lots of sugar? We love sweetie-pies who subscribe to our Pinterest page, follow us on Facebook, and tweet with us at @QIgnition. Join the conversation!
Sources: Eat Less Sugar, Delicious Living magazine, Oct. 2012 issue, and http://www.mayoclinic.org/news2012-rst/7128.html.