Seems like everyone is becoming increasingly aware that sugar is bad stuff, and yet I often get asked if it’s really necessary to cut it out of your daily diet. Yes, it is.
It’s pretty simple really. Sugar turns to fat.
But that’s not all. As sugar is broken down, digested and absorbed in the human body, it becomes an inflammatory substance. And science is figuring out that inflammation is at the root of most diseases.
Diets high in sugar (i.e. carbohydrates) are contributing factors in diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, hypertension, and gout. It is also a key factor in cases of candida overgrowth in the intestinal tract, which is linked to many autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis.
If all of that isn’t enough to convince you that you need get sugar out of your daily diet, then maybe this last point will help. Sugar is highly addictive.
In a NY Daily News article a couple years ago[i], Dr. Mark Hyman called sugar the “new tobacco”, and rightfully so. There are many peer-reviewed studies proving that sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine, and yet the average American consumes 152 pounds of it every year.
I challenge you to do a sugar elimination starting right now. Here are my top 5 suggestions to help you get started:
1. Reduce or eliminate processed carbohydrates.
This is one of the most important steps in a no-sugar diet. Processed carbohydrates include breads, crackers, cereals, pasta, cookies, cakes, bagels — these “foods” are packed with ingredients that reduce down to sugars once they are digested in your body. They have to go!
2. Stop adding sugar to foods and beverages.
Switch to Stevia or Xylitol for coffee or tea. Even those may cause a spike in your glucose levels, but are not the inflammatory substance that sugar is.
3. Eliminate use of artificial sweeteners.
Artificial sweeteners are as bad as sugar in terms of cravings, carb addiction and insulin production. And even worse
there are studies showing they cause more weight-gain than sugar[ii], and also deplete the body of vital nutrients like calcium and chromium.
4. Get rid of soda, diet soda, flavored water and fruit juices.
There is zero nutritional value in any of these and they are loaded with sugar. They gotta go! As the
author and nutritionist Johnny Bowden said, “Parents who have their kids drinking fruit juice should be sentenced to a lifetime of community service hauling vending
machines out of our schools”. Don’t be your children’s drug-pusher – get them off sugar starting with the fruit juices!
5. Know what’s in your food – check food labels.
If you want a quick education on just how much sugar you’re consuming, check food labels. It’s alarming when you first start paying attention. Even things labeled low-sugar, fat-free or all natural can have a ridiculous amount of sugar.
Eliminating sugar is hard to do – remember, like most people in this country, you’re probably addicted big time. If your plan is to just reduce the amount of sugar you eat, that’s a good step but is equally difficult and may not reduce your cravings.
Be brave. Be tough. You can do this! Give yourself 2 weeks and you’ll feel better, have more energy, think more clearly and wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.
Wishing you good health and happiness!
Note: This information is provided as a resource and for educational purposes only. These recommendations are not intended as a substitute for consulting a physician or licensed healthcare practitioner. Individuals dealing with a serious or chronic health issue should consult with your doctor before beginning a nutritional program, taking supplements, discontinuing medications or eliminating foods from your daily diet. This information is not intended to replace medical advice from your doctor or to diagnose any health condition.
[i] NY Daily News (2/10/14) “Sweet poison: How sugar, not cocaine, is one of the most addictive and dangerous substances”.
[ii] Mercola.com (2012). “Artificial Sweeteners Cause Greater Weight Gain than Sugar”.