Here are some sobering facts;
1) Over 95% of Americans will be overweight or obese in two decades
2) By 2050, 1 out of every 3 people will have diabetes
3) 80% of food items sold in America have added sugar.
Yup, you read that right, 80 PERCENT! Researchers at Princeton University have found that sugar is a highly addictive substance, effecting our brains in the same way as heroin and cocaine! Sugar triggers the release of the feel-good brain chemical dopamine in the section of the brain associated with addictive behaviors. The dopamine release produces a drug like “high.” But the brain adapts, and what used to be enough to trigger this high, is no longer enough, so the sugar addict is forced to consume more to produce the same effect. Reducing sugar makes the body want more dopamine. Cut out the white stuff all together, and the abuser experiences physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. The body is addicted. Moon pies and Krispy Kremes aren't on the DEA's list of controlled substances, but maybe they should be!
If sugar effects the same parts of the brain as heroin and cocaine, then going cold turkey may be too extreme. Start by keeping a food journal. Jot down what sugary foods you consume, when you crave them and your mood. This can help you to understand what brings on your cravings, such as stress, boredom, tiredness and allow you to plan better in order to combat these desires when they do strike.
To simplify this process, start by reading food labels. Sugar comes in many forms. Below are just a few of the different forms of sugar lurking in your food.
Avoid the following ingredients:
Barley malt Corn syrup Dextran Diastase
Ethyl Maltol Fructose
Fruit Juice Concentrate Galactose
These are just a handful of the different forms of sugar in your food. No wonder it can be confusing trying to decode food labels!
Eliminating packaged foods from your diet and shopping for whole foods is an easy way to abolish sugar. Shop the perimeter of grocery stores and stay out of the isles. The isles are typically filled with packaged, GMO laden, plastic wrapped FRAN-EN-FOODS, while the perimeter is where you will find fruits, veggies, meats and dairy. Also, steer clear of refined carbohydrates. That NY style everything bagel from the corner deli elevates blood glucose just as quickly as a Twinkie, so while I love a good NY style bagel as much as the next New Yorker, these delicious doughy treats should be avoided like the plague!
We’ve all heard the term, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” and whoever said this was right! Your blood sugar is typically the lowest upon waking up in the morning, and yet what do you find on most breakfast menus? Muffins, bagels, pancakes, pastries, french toast and sugary cereals! These choices are loaded with simple sugars and refined carbohydrates, which cause blood sugar to skyrocket and then crash, leaving us feeling more hungry and sluggish than before we ate. Replace these sugar packed energy zappers with protein powerhouses and healthy fats, such as a spinach and egg white omelet with a side of avocado, the real breakfast of champions! Combining fiber, protein and healthy fats with carbs slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream. So remember, if you can’t resist those home fries, combine them with fiber, protein and healthy fats to avoid the release of high levels of insulin.
Last but not least… Move! Daily exercise not only helps rid your bloodstream of sugar, but also produces feel-good endorphins. No one ever said breaking a sugar habit would be easy, but I can guarantee you it will be worth it!
Feel like you are addicted to sugar? Take the "Fed Up Challenge" and go sugar free for 10 days. Learn more about the Fed Up Challenge at http://fedupmovie.com/#/page/fedupchallenge