Reducing Your Sugar Intake

Reducing Your Sugar Intake

Sugar has always been my weakness. Throughout middle and high school, I was addicted to candy. When I went to college I learned more about the harmful effects of sugar. As I started my health journey, I realized how horrible sugar is for you.

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Eating too much sugar causes a barrage of symptoms known as classic metabolic syndrome. These include weight gain, abdominal obesity, decreased HDL and increased LDL, elevated blood sugar, elevated triglycerides, and high blood pressure.
The effects of too much sugar or fructose can be likened to the effects of alcohol. All the fructose you eat gets shuttled to the only organ that has the transporter for it: your liver. This severely taxes and overloads the organ, leading to potential liver damage.
— Dr. Robert Lustig, a professor of Clinical Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology in the University of California

To keep my weight down and improve my health, I started decreasing the amount of sugar I consumed. It was really hard cutting out candy, baked goods and added sugar in my drinks. I had a really tough time in the beginning but it got easier over time.

When I talk to people about how their struggles with dieting, a lot of people also suffer from an addiction to sugar.

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I started off small by removing the things that I knew were unnecessary. 

I stopped drinking my calories first. Soda and fruit juices contain a lot of sugar that you don't need. I also replaced sweets with fresh fruits. 

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As soon as soda’s swallowed, the pancreas is notified and rapidly begins to create insulin in response to the sugar. Insulin is a hormone the body uses to move sugar from food or drink into the bloodstream, where cells are then able to use sugar for energy. Within just 20 minutes, blood sugar levels spike and the liver responds to the insulin by turning sugar into fat for storage.

Within 45 minutes of gulping down a single 20-ounce glass of soda, caffeine from the drink is fully absorbed, and as a result your pupils dilate and blood pressure rises. The body produces more dopamine, which stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain — just like a low-grade line of cocaine.
— Medical Daily Pulse

If you must have something sweet with your meal, replace with flavored sparkling water like LaCroix Tangerine.

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After removing the liquid calories, I stopped eating candies and baked goods. It was hard because sugar acts like a drug. Giving you a quick high and energy when you are down.

To reduce my cravings, I have been brushing my teeth right after I eat.

I have also been drinking naturally flavored teas. My favorites are:  Orange & Spice, Cinnamon & Apple and Lemon Zinger.

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I hope these tips help you when you are having an urge to grab something sweet. Do you struggle with a sweet tooth? What has helped you resist your cravings?

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