Why You Need to Kick the Sugar Habit
If the only part about dinner that you love is the dessert, it might be time for a sugar detox.
And a 5-day break isn’t going to cut it. Your ultimate goal is to begin to eliminate sugar from your diet until it becomes a permanent lifestyle change.
Your sweet tooth may seem harmless enough, but the truth is that most Americans eat much more than they should. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends that women eat no more than 6 teaspoons. of sugar per day, and men eat no more than 9 teaspoons of sugar per day. But, unfortunately, on average, Americans consume roughly 22 teaspoons each day — that’s 3x the recommended amount!
The worst part is that is that research suggests that not-so-innocent sweet tooth could be doing serious damage to your health, leading to weight gain, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and an increased risk for diabetes.
Many doctors and researches feel that eating too much sugar is just as dangerous as smoking cigarettes. It’s not enough to cut out sugar for a few days. It needs to be eliminated or greatly reduced from your diet on a permanent basis.
Why It’s Hard to Quit Sugar (But Worth It)
Sugar addiction is no joke. Once you’re hooked, cravings can be hard to resist, leading you down a slippery slope towards obesity and other health problems.
Studies are showing that in some people and animals, the brain can react to sugar very much like it can to drugs and alcohol.
That’s why when you initially cut added sugars from your diet, you feel deprived for a few days. When your body is overloaded with a chemical or toxin, you feel more uncomfortable when not consuming it. It’s like stopping coffee.”
Your efforts to cut back on sugar will pay off though. In the short term, people notice their energy levels improve right away and after a short period of time they notice cravings and fatigue diminishes.
Plus, the long-term benefits of cutting back on added sugar in your diet are impossible to ignore. One study published in the journal Circulation suggests that sugar-sweetened drinks directly cause the cardiovascular disease and diabetes that kill about 184,000 people worldwide every year.
You should also be armed with a plan for when cravings hit. Expect to struggle the most in the afternoon and after dinner when you’re watching TV. For instance, you may decide to substitute natural sugars, like fresh fruit for processed sugars like brownies, cookies, and ice cream.
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