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Obession with Sugar Can Get Us Killed, Here’s How I Curbed My Sweet Tooth

Obession with Sugar Can Get Us Killed, Here’s How I Curbed My Sweet Tooth

When we feel stressed or sad, the first thing that pops up in our minds is the tempting sugary food. The pleasure brought by it is just soooo incomparable. From child to adult and to elderly, very few of us really hate the taste of sweetness. We’re born to like sugar.

But we also know how bad it can be when we consume much sugar.

Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and many more serious health issues are the possible results of consuming too much sugar. All of these increase our risk of dying.

And here’s the shocking fact: the average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar daily, which is more than two times the amount suggested by the American Heart Association.[1] Perhaps it’s one of the reasons why obesity rates see startling increase over the past few decades.

It’s time to do a sugar detox before it’s too late.

Not All the Sugars Are Your Friends…

Sugar is everywhere. But it exists in different forms. Some are inevitable while some are not.

If you have ever studied some science in high school, you would know that sugar comes in at least three major forms: simple sugar, double sugar, and carbohydrate. Sometimes they exist in foods naturally: bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, fruit, milk, and so on. So it’s quite impossible to avoid the intake of sugar when carbohydrate makes one of the major staple foods.

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Actually, what we should avoid is the added sugar.

Added sugars, or refined sugars, are the sugars added during the manufacture of foods. They are often found in soft drinks, sports drinks, cookies, candies, desserts, ketchup, and salad dressing. These are the culprits of obesity and all the other related health problems.

Let’s see how you can quit the addiction of sugar to take back the control of your health.

1. Quit Soda Drinks (and Other Sweetened Beverages)

Soda, fruit juice, iced tea, energy drinks, smoothies, and many other sugary drinks are the sneaky sources of added sugars. One can of cola contains 39 g of sugar, which is more than 9 teaspoons, and equal to the suggested daily limit of sugar intake for most men.

Diet soda is not a good alternative either. It is associated with health problems like heart diseases. Diet soda drinkers are also more likely to be overweight than regular soda drinkers.

Liquid sugar calories are even worse than the solid ones, as you don’t feel full and you’ll keep drinking more throughout the day.

So quit sugary drinks. Perhaps start by switching to diet soda, or mixing the sugary drinks with water, and then gradually stop drinking all kinds of sugary drinks.

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    2. Give Up Simple-Carb Sweet Treats

    Cookies, muffins, pastries, and other sweet treats have little nutritional value but are dense with added sugars. They mess with our blood glucose level, providing energy that doesn’t last long.

    So next time, when you want to have some treats, have some whole grains instead. They’re more complex in structure so it takes longer time to digest. As a result, they’re absorbed more slowly and provide us steady energy.

    Or you can go for the non-starchy vegetables such as greens, the broccoli family, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, eggplant, and so on. You get to eat as much as you want and they can surely help you lose weight.

    3. Ease off the Table Sugar

    If you’re that kind of person who always adds sugar to your coffee or food, it’s time for you to change the habit. Cut down the amount of sugar or honey you add to your tea or coffee. From 2 teaspoons to 1 teaspoon, and then from 1 to 0.

    You may also find substitutes. A slice of orange or some milk will do. Or you can use vanilla powder to add flavor. Order an unsweetened drink and add sweet kick with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. These are all the possible ways to make your drink taste sweet without using sugar.

    The same goes for French toast or pancake. Skip the sugar or the maple syrup. Gradually, you will find yourself less addicted to sugar.

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      4. Indulge in More Healthy Fats

      The word ‘fats’ sounds scary to many people. But actually, fat doesn’t make people overweight, sugar does. Fat gives you the sense of fullness, balances your blood sugar and serves as the energy fuel. Healthy fats can be found from food like olive oil, peanut oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados.

      Remember, when we say healthy fats, this means there’re unhealthy fats. They are the saturated fats and trans fats. Food with saturated fats includes fatty cuts of beef, pork, and lamb, high fat dairy foods (whole milk, butter, cheese, ice cream), and tropical oils (coconut oil, palm oil), while fried foods, margarine, processed snack foods (crackers, microwave popcorn) contains trans fat. Don’t mix them up with those healthy fats.

      5. Have More Lean Protein

      Protein is a very important element for our body. Many structures in our body are made up of protein. It is the key to balance blood sugar and insulin and cut cravings. You may start your day with a high protein breakfast and continue your day with other foods with a high composition of protein in every meal. Forget about the traditional starch and sugar combo breakfast. Go for nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, chicken or grass-fed meat.

      6. Buy Foods Labeled ‘Unsweetened’

      When you’re in a grocery store doing some shopping, buy foods labeled ‘no added sugar’ or ‘unsweetened’. Some manufacturers now produce unsweetened versions of some common foods and they’re easily found in most grocery stores. You can find unsweetened non-dairy milk like almond and soy, nut butters (those made with only nuts and salt), applesauce, oatmeal, and canned fruit easily.

      7. Suss Out Sugary Restaurant Foods

      Eating out is not always a healthy choice. Many types of cuisines we find delicious are in fact smothered in sauces or coatings with added sugar. Glazes, condiments, and even pasta sauces are often loaded with sugar. The crust of a pizza is also likely to pack hidden sugar.

      So be aware of what you’re eating in restaurants. Avoid those foods with brown sugar, corn syrup, and all the other ways to say ‘sugar’. The best way is to cook at home so that you can have delicious healthy foods in a cheap way.

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        8. Have a Fruit-based Dessert

        If you can’t resist your strong craving for dessert, go for a fruit-based dessert. Fruit contains fructose, which is a kind of natural sugar and gives you the similar taste of sweet. That way, at least you can enjoy the sweetness without doing too much harm to your body.

        Instead of desserts like macaron and tiramisu, you can choose to have something like apple pie or blueberry cheese cake. But remember, it’s always better to say NO to dessert!

          9. Get Enough Sleep

          A good health is not only about diet but also every other aspect of your lifestyle. Insufficient sleep drives sugar and carb cravings by affecting your appetite hormones. Studies show that people who sleep for just two hours a day suffer from a rise in hunger hormones and a decrease in appetite-suppressants. Your body is simple. If you sleep less, you need more energy so you need to eat more. If you sleep less than 8 hours per day, get more sleep tonight!

          Slash Sugar from Your Diet Now

          These are all the ways to do a sugar detox effectively. But remember, none of these helps if you lack the determination. Start from the smallest thing to the biggest thing and do it step by step. One day you will find changes on your body!

          Reference

          [1] Harvard School of Public Health: Added Sugar in the Diet

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          Sheba Leung

          Translator. Sport lover. Traveler.

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          Last Updated on December 9, 2019

          5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

          5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

          Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

          Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

          Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

          1. Get Rationally Optimistic

          Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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          This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

          In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

          The result: no more mental stress.

          2. Unplug

          Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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          How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

          It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

          Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

          3. Easy on the Caffeine

          Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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          Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

          4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

          That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

          How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

          • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
          • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
          • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

          While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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          5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

          This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

          The result: mental stress will be gone!

          So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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          Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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