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Sugar-Glazed Poison: Why Sugary Drinks Are Linked To High Death Tolls

Sugar-Glazed Poison: Why Sugary Drinks Are Linked To High Death Tolls

We all know that sugary drinks are bad for us. In fact, you can’t go a day without hearing or seeing something stating that sodas are unhealthy.

That said, do we really understand just how much these kinds of beverages are negatively affecting our health? The answer is no, as despite the fact that 184,000 deaths a year are linked to them, sugary drinks are as popular as ever.

The root of the problem is the sugar itself, which can cause a number of maladies and diseases when consumed in high amounts on a daily basis. Which of these do you have to worry about the most? Well, in my mind, sugary drinks should be avoided because…

1. They increase your risk of acquiring diabetes.

This one should come as no surprise. With the rise in popularity of sugary drinks, more and more people are at risk of acquiring diabetes. Indeed, researchers believe that around 133,000 diabetes-related deaths a year are caused by over-consumption of sodas and other sugar-laden beverages.

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2. They can heighten your blood pressure.

Overloading your system with sugar has been known to spike blood pressure numbers, in part because sugar consumption is one of the major contributing factors to weight gain.

Why does this matter? Well, the CDC estimates that nearly 360,000 American deaths a year can be attributed in part to high blood pressure. While high blood pressure doesn’t sound as dangerous as diabetes, it’s perhaps even more deadly overall.

3. They can ruin your liver.

Most folks know that consuming lots of alcohol will damage your liver in the long run, but few realize that sugary drinks can do the exact same thing.

If you abuse your body with too much sugar over a lengthy period of time, your liver will become insulin resistant, which will lead to several other maladies, including diabetes.

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And to make matters worse, it leaves you susceptible to liver disease, which is responsible for nearly 40,000 deaths a year.

4. They leave you vulnerable to cancer.

While sugar isn’t directly linked to cancer, weight gain linked to sugar consumption is.

Of all of the yearly deaths to cancer, researchers in 2010 found that 6,450 of them were a direct result of people’s intake of sugary beverages.

In this day and age, it’s probably a good idea to cut out all of the things that are heavily linked to cancer, especially since it seems like there are so many ways to increase your risk of acquiring it already.

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5. They hurt your heart.

Each year, 45,000 cardiovascular disease-related deaths are linked directly to the consumption of sugary drinks.

What’s the connection, you ask? Well, the main one is that an above-average intake of sugar is directly linked to weight gain. And being overweight increases your risk of acquiring heart disease by an exponential amount.

For your own good, it’s best to do all you can to stave off heart disease, as it’s responsible for a quarter of all deaths in the United States every year.

So in some ways that “45,000” number referenced above is slightly misleading, as the true number of folks who succumb to cardiovascular disease is closer to 610,000 a year. While only a fraction of those were directly linked to sugary drinks, there’s no doubt that they probably played some kind of role in the majority of those deaths.

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6. They clog your brain.

And I don’t mean in a metaphorical sense, either. Studies have shown that having high blood sugar greatly increases your chance of dying as a result of a stroke. That same study revealed that those with normal sugar levels had a much higher chance of surviving a stroke, should they have one.

Why is this? Well, excess sugar intake causes lactic acid to build up in your brain, which inhibits the flow of blood, causing a stroke. Therefore, having a stroke whilst also having high blood sugar is a bit of a double whammy…not only does a part of your brain lose access to normal blood flow, but it’s harder for those passageways to reopen after the fact, thus increasing the mortality rate compared to those with normal blood sugar.

This is important, because although nearly 800,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke each year, only 130,000 lead to deaths. Limiting your intake of sugary drinks is therefore crucial if you want to better your chances of pulling through after something so traumatic.

Conclusions

You should now know that, not only are sugary drinks bad for you, but they’re directly linked to several of the top causes of death in the world. While you shouldn’t feel bad about treating yourself once in a while, just make sure that it doesn’t become a bad habit! The consequences just aren’t worth it.

Did this article make you want to chance your diet, at least in regard to your intake of sugary drinks? Sound off in the comments below!

Featured photo credit: Colorful Sodas/Michael Whyte via flic.kr

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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