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If You Have A Sweet Tooth, Your Immune System Is More Likely To Suffer

If You Have A Sweet Tooth, Your Immune System Is More Likely To Suffer

We all know sugar is bad for us. Health experts who disagree about other aspects of diet, seem to come together on the topic of sugar: just don’t eat it.

You are probably used to hearing that weight gain and tooth decay are two common and unpleasant side effects of an obsession with sugary treats. Yet, sugar has other lesser-known but equally dramatic effects on the body’s overall health. Researchers have found that excess sugar consumption weakens your body’s immune system, greatly impacting your body’s ability to fight infections like the common cold and flu.[1]

When our white blood cells are not functioning at their optimum, we become more vulnerable to getting sick.

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    5 Ways to Reduce Sugar Intake

    1. Substitute stevia instead of sugar.

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      Avoid artificial sweeteners and stick with stevia, which is made from a simple plant extract. Many candies, chocolates, and other sweets are now sweetened with stevia and available in grocery stores. You can also purchase stevia in liquid or powder form to make your own desserts or to sweeten your coffee and tea.

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      2. Smaller portion size.

      Try planning out portion sizes ahead of time. For instance, tell yourself that if you are craving chocolate, you will only eat one or two squares of a chocolate bar. Sometimes allowing yourself to have a small amount of something sweet is more effective than restricting sugar completely. That way, you can still satisfying your craving for sweets without drastically affecting your body’s overall health.

      3. Stick to drinking water or tea.

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        One of the biggest ways people get themselves into sugar trouble is by drinking sugary products like soda and sports drinks. To avoid the temptation of sugary drinks, make sure you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day. You can also drink tea to add some flavor and variety, just make sure your tea is unsweetened or sweetened with stevia.

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        4. Spread out your intake of sweet foods.

        Consider spreading out your intake of sweets throughout the week. Allow yourself to have that small bowl of ice cream, just make sure to have your sweetened tea, lemonade, or chocolate chip cookie several days down the line. Let yourself enjoy sweet treats one at a time. That way your blood sugar levels will stay more stable and your immune system will have more time to recover.

        5. Always have wholesome, healthy snack foods available.

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          Most of us crave sweets when it’s been a while since our last full meal. Common snack foods are loaded with sugar and when you’re hungry, its hard to limit yourself to just a few bites. Plan ahead and have healthy snacks available for when those snack cravings strike. Stock your fridge and shelves with carrots, hummus, nuts, berries, and other wholesome foods.

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          Remember, as with any new habit, you are bound to make a mistake or two. Don’t beat yourself up. Even moderately limiting your sugar intake will make a positive impact on your health, so focus on reducing your sugar intake one step at a time. Trying out just two or three of the suggestions above will get you on track toward better health and a stronger immune system. With a fully armed immune system, you may just skip your bout of cold or flu this season.

          Featured photo credit: ABC News via abcnews.go.com

          Reference

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          Lindsay Shaffer

          Freelance Writer, Artist, Photographer

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          Last Updated on December 2, 2019

          10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

          10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

          Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

          In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

          These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

          1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

          Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

          But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

          Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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          2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

          You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

          The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

          3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

          If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

          Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

          If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

          4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

          Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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          To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

          In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

          5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

          We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

          If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

          Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

          “Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

          6. Give for the Joy of Giving

          When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

          One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

          So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

          7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

          Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

          Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

          8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

          When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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          So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

          9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

          Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

          It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

          It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

          10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

          There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

          But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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          Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

          More About Living a Fulfilling Life

          Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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