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7 Myths About Sugar That We Should Stop Believing Now

7 Myths About Sugar That We Should Stop Believing Now

There is a lot of misinformation floating around these days about sugar consumption and how it can affect your health. Here are some common myths that are important to dispel and in order to set the record straight once and for all.

1. Sugar is responsible for hyperactivity

This common myth has been debunked in the scientific community by extensive research. In one study where parents were told to record their child’s behavior after they were given sugar by the researchers, all the children’s behavior was described as “problematic or hyperactive”. In reality, the children were given no sugar. This myth seems to hold true because sugar is often consumed in social settings (parties, events, conferences) where there is a lot of other non-food related stimuli (visual and auditory) and this can have an affect on an individual’s mood.

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2. Sugar is the main cause for developing diabetes

Sugar is not the main culprit for individuals who develop diabetes, but is instead the result of an inactive lifestyle, poor diet and genetics. Gaining unhealthy calories from any food source definitely contributes to this disease, but eating sugar alone will not make you an automatic candidate.

3. Brown sugar has higher nutritional value than its white counterpart

You may have heard the old expression “the whiter the bread the sooner you will be dead,” and have realized the trend of switching over to not only whole grains, but brown rice as well. This rule unfortunately does not apply to sugar, since brown sugar has simply had molasses added to it. Please note that there is a difference between unrefined or raw sugar which can have a brown hue to it and is completely different in nutritional value.

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4. Natural sugar is better for you

There has been a recent appearance of “alternative sugars” on supermarket shelves. Coconut sugar, agave nectar, date sugar are advertised as healthier versions of the refined version. This claim is false, since it will always be metabolized by the body in the same way. These natural sugars have some added minerals, but the amount is minimal. A much larger amount would have to be consumed in order to reap the benefits.

5. Sugar-free labels means a product is healthier for you

If the actual food item in question is sans sugar than it is definitely healthier for your body, but this is not usually the case when sugar-free appears on a food label. This particular label often means that the item is replaced with artificial sweeteners. These can do more harm than good to you. Even natural sweeteners like Stevia can cause issues, so it is better to consume natural sugar in moderation than any amount of artificial sweeteners.

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6. Fruit is bad because it contains too much sugar

Fruit contains a high level of naturally occurring sugar named fructose. Unlike a few cookies or a piece of cake, fruit has other key nutrients like soluble fiber that helps minimize cholesterol and has anti-inflammatory properties, vitamins and antioxidants that help prevent disease. The insoluble fiber in fruit helps monitor the absorption of sugar into the blood stream and helps keep you full longer.

7. No added sugar on a product means you are in the clear

Just because a food item claims to have no added sugar in its ingredients does not always mean there is absolutely none present. Sugar has many different disguises and it is important to identity them in your groceries. It can be under names like dextrose, high-fructose corn syrup, malt syrup, fructose, and fruit juice concentrates. A good rule of thumb is that anything with the ending -“ose” translates to sugar.

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Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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