December 30, 2015 · Written by Foodtolive Team
Cutting Down on Eating Sugar: Why and How
Nowadays it’s hard to imagine life without consuming sweets and sugar in particular. Even if we don’t add it consciously to our food, it’s still listed among the ingredients of any food or soda you buy at the supermarket. You eat it whether you notice it or not. Our taste sensors get so used to it that we keep craving more. Gradually it becomes an addiction that is hard to break. Nevertheless, a sweet tooth will always look for excuses to eat some more.
Health Problems You Can Avoid by Giving up Sugar
It’s needless to say that excessive sugar consumption has a number of negative consequences, such as:
- Bad teeth.
Sugar harms your teeth in a way that it leaves food for bacteria to consume. They start multiplying, which leads to caries and gum problems. As a result, you may need to have your cavities filled and you might even lose some of your teeth.
- Excessive load on the liver.
As sugar consists of glucose and fructose, the latter able to only be digested with the help of the liver that turns it into glycogen, it’s totally appropriate to eat it in small amounts, whereas excessive intake leads to the liver turning it into fat.
- Possible development of diabetes.
Too much of this ingredient actually prevents insulin from working. Body cells just stop responding to it. Thus, your blood sugar level can rocket, causing diabetes and in some cases, even blindness.
- Cancer risks.
Сonstant high insulin levels are believed to be one of the triggers of the growth of cancerous cells. Therefore, a lover of sweets has a higher risk of getting this mortal disease.
No need to say that this substance consists of only “empty calories”; that’s why your body wants more food to make up for the energy loss, which leads to gaining extra weight.
This product is known as one of the most addictive substances due to it triggering a dopamine (“hormone of happiness”) release when consumed.
- High levels of LDL.
Sugar is a driving force of the increase of “bad cholesterol” when your insulin can no longer cope with the sugar. This leads to serious cardiovascular diseases.
- No signals of fullness.
Leptin is a hormone that’s responsible for signaling the body when you’re full. Too much of this sweet poison can cause you to develop leptin resistance.
- Poorer brain functionality.
In contrast to the common belief that your brain needs sugar when you’re overwhelmed with your work, it’s been proven that it causes your memory to decay and lowers your brain efficiency.
- Kidney problems.
Kidneys overloaded with high blood sugar levels stop coping with it after some time, which allows harmful wastes to penetrate into the bloodstream.
Simple Steps for Quitting Sugar Forever
It’s obvious that this problem should be dealt with. If you’re reading this article, it means you haven’t found the solution yet. Therefore, here’s a list of simple tips to help you in this journey:
- Make up your mind to quit sugar once and for all.
Some people try to get rid of this bad habit by gradually reducing the amount of its intake. This isn’t the best strategy. Accept a 30-day challenge to not consume any sweet stuff at all. As you know, 30 days is the period within which a new habit can be formed. Your palate will change and you’ll start enjoying good food.
- Treat yourself with something healthy.
After a hardworking day we all long for some pleasant feelings and positive emotions. However, instead of seeking a dopamine release triggered by the wrong levers, it’s better to find a pastime or hobby that will occupy your mind and give you a sense of comfort and security. Think of something you really enjoy, like hanging out with your friends, walking by the sea, or even painting. Be creative.
- Avoid addictive substitutes.
When seeking different ways to activate your dopamine rush, avoid selecting something just as harmful. It isn’t a good option to resort to alcohol or cigarettes, which are most likely to cause you to form another addiction.
- When craving for sweets, go for “no carb” or “good carb” foods and fruit.
You should go for fruit and berries with a low glycemic index and value like limes, strawberries, peaches, etc. They will please your taste sensors and fill you up with useful vitamins.
- Stop deceiving yourself with the idea that “it’s just one time”.
Sugarholics often deceive themselves into thinking that they’ll satisfy their cravings only once more and will stop afterwards. This is a total misconception. This compulsive habit will worsen every day. Eventually you’ll come to the point that it’ll control you. You should eat to live, not live to eat.
- Get rid of the sugary goods at home.
Make sure to do away with sweet food and sugary drinks. By the way, the latter presents no less harm to your health. If you have these treats indoors, you’re very unlikely to be able to resist this temptation. Moreover, keep yourself away from the shelves with this stuff at the supermarkets. Just pass them by. You’ll reap the fruits of your efforts.
- Find the real reason for this habit: emotional or physical.
A strong desire for something sweet may signal a lack of magnesium in your body. In this case, you should check its level. If so, try eating more magnesium-filled foods like raw spinach, pumpkin seeds, grains, and nuts. Moreover, consider any emotional factors that may play into your desire for sugar. You might just be trying to hide your real problems behind this addiction.
- Make your life stress-free.
During stressful times, your level of cortisol will skyrocket. Your body starts requiring meals that are fatty and sweet. Do your best to avoid such situations and stick to a healthy sleeping routine.
- Stop eating sugar substitutes.
Most people tend to think that aspartame or stevia may be used as an alternative at the initial stages of your habit-breaking process. This is a very dangerous path as your brain starts requesting more sweet food as a result. Thus, you can easily be trapped by this tricky enemy again.
- Forgive yourself when you slip back and start again.
When, not if, you give in to your urge again, punishing yourself isn’t an option at all because it’ll give rise to stress, which will activate this vicious circle of desiring a dopamine release again. As a result, you’ll seek some easily accessible sugary food and it’ll turn into a never-ending process. So, forgive yourself for your minute of weakness and begin a new sugar-free quest.
No matter what kind of motivation you get from others, it’s only a matter of your desire and choice. If your health is of value to you, you’d better start thinking of it now. It’s never too late to start. It’s better to understand that getting rid of any addiction is a process. It isn’t just a momentary event. You can make this journey pleasant by adopting these very simple and beneficial strategies. Stop procrastinating. Today is your day!