Today, most people eat between 90 and 180 pounds of sugar each year — or a quarter to a half pound each day.
Compare that to 100 years ago, when people ate 5 to 7 pounds of sweeteners per year. (These were natural sweeteners, by the way.) These people were much healthier than we are. More factors are involved than sweeteners, but certainly the level of sugar consumption is a major contributor.
Yet those are just the numbers. Time to put them in perspective and share their impact.
Just what is wrong with consuming high amounts of sugar? The biggie is that sugar makes us fat.
Here's how that works:
When you eat sugar, your blood sugar levels rise. Your pancreas sends out insulin to grab up the extra sugar in the blood, converting it to glycogen for storage. Then — and here's the problem — your liver uses up that glycogen for fuel, instead of transferring fat out of your fat cells.
What are some other things that sugar does to your body? I'm warning you, it isn't pretty.
- Suppresses immune system
- Upsets mineral relationships in the body
- Produces an acidic digestive tract
- Causes tooth decay
- Causes food allergies
- Lowers enzymes’ ability to function
- Causes headaches, including migraine
- Causes depression, fatigue, moodiness, and nervousness
- Can cause hormonal imbalances
- Is an addictive substance
- Can exacerbate the symptoms of PMS
- Causes emotional instability when sugar intake decreases (because they're not getting the fix)
- Can increase the amount of food a person eats
- Induces salt and water retention
- Causes constipation
Don't you agree that we would be better off consuming much less sugar — natural or otherwise?
I thought so.
That's why I'm sharing these 5 ways to help you in overcoming sugar addiction. They're below; you can listen, watch, or read them.
If you want to join me and others in overcoming sugar addiction, leave a comment saying you're in. I'm committing to praying for you by name, too.
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How To: Overcoming Sugar Addiction
High-fructose corn syrup is industry's sweetener of choice because it is very sweet and also very cheap.
Natural sweeteners are better than industrial sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup or white sugar. Natural sweeteners contain minerals and some, like raw, unfiltered honey, have anti-bacterial and other beneficial properties.
However, sweeteners are sweeteners and a high consumption can be detrimental to our health. For our overall health, it is best to back way, way, way off on the sweets — and choose natural sweeteners when you do consume them.
You can be successful in overcoming sugar addition by tackling it slowly or doing it cold turkey.
I’m a fan of going cold turkey because I think you can get it over quickly and get on with life.
However… You should expect some withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability, headaches, fatigue, and maybe even some tummy upset. These usually pass within a few days.
Here are 5 tips that will help you in overcoming sugar addiction!
Tip #1 — Be busy, not bored.
Make sure you have things to do to occupy your hands and your mind. Boredom makes any diet change harder!
Tip #2 — Fill up with veggies, good protein/meats, broth, and fat. Get the bad stuff out!
These foods are SO satisfying. When you’re satiated, the cravings are less. When your body is nourished, the cravings are easier to manage.
(Try not to even have fruits during this time.)
Tip #3 — Reward yourself emotionally (either ups or downs) with something other than sweets.
We turn to food when we feel good or feel bad. Let's break that cycle by turning to other (non-food) activities to soothe or celebrate. Like:
- a date night
- watching a special movie you've been wanting to see for awhile
- invest in a hobby (reward yourself with new tools or supplies)
- get some sunshine!
- prayer — gets us through so much!
- a good book, fiction or non-fiction; whatever you enjoy!
- spending time with someone you love
- a walk
4. Keep a food journal so you can have tangible evidence of the ups and downs.
You want to especially document the good things that have happened since overcoming sugar addiction. This will motivate you to keep going! These are things that I have experienced that I remind myself of often!
- clarity of mind
- weight loss
- fewer mood swings
- skin clears up
- digestion is better
If you need to keep this list in a prominent place as a reminder, do it!
5. From here on out, eat sweets in moderation. If at all.
You have to decide what you can handle. A weekly dessert?
Likely your tastes will change so the former sweets will taste overly sweet, but even with natural sweeteners, you can fall back into the same habits.
Perhaps look into stevia as a sugar alternative. It tastes sweet but is not sugar. Some people report it doesn’t help them, however, because it keeps them hankering after a sweet taste. I do not have this struggle personally, and my favorite brand is Sweet Leaf.
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