If you can make one change in your diet…eliminate sugar or at least significantly reduce your intake! I know this seems like a golden rule of eating healthy but most of us do not realize exactly how much refined sugar we’re eating!
Did you know that refined sugar was introduced in 1750 and the average person ate only ten pounds of sugar per year. By 1985 that number had risen to 124 pounds. Today that number has reached a whopping ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY POUNDS! YUCK!
Most people cannot even begin to comprehend consuming this much sugar because they do not take processed foods into consideration. So it’s not just that piece of cake you ate at the birthday party or the ice cream cone you treated yourself to. Sugar is literally in practically every single processed food ..especially in the form of high-fructose corn syrup.
*So shop OUTSIDE OF THE GROCERY aisles. If you stay on the perimeter of the grocery store, you will be avoiding the unhealthy processed foods and getting more of the nutritious ones!
Why is sugar so bad for us?
Here goes the science nerd in me…
Refined sugar is an ANTI-nutrient which literally means sugar robs your body of nutrients. In order for your body to metabolize refined sugar, certain nutrients are mandatory, which refined sugar lacks. Your body must obtain these nutrients somehow, therefore they are drained from your own tissues, diminishing your health.
Sugar raises your insulin levels which prevents fat from being released in your body, inhibiting its removal from the body. It also directly interferes with the hormone leptin, the hormone which suppresses appetite.
Eating too much refined sugar directly causes free fatty acids to turn into triglycerides that get stored as fat, so yes sugar makes you FAT! Too many of us obsess over the fat grams in things when what we really should be regulating is SUGAR.
It is also highly addictive. Have you ever noticed if you go a significant period of time without something sweet, you don’t think twice about it? But the second you indulge, you become a sugar feen. So if you are having a sweet tooth, go for the fruit! You’d be surprised how satiating it can be! Sometimes I even use frozen fruits such as strawberries or bananas in a blender with a little bit of almond milk and “Ta-Da” you have yourself an ice cream alternative! Or make yourself a green smoothie!
So remember, SKIP the sugar and if you’re going to use an alternate sweetener…use Stevia or Honey (in moderation)!