Do sugary treats make you cackle with joy and send spells of disdain towards your waistline? Unfortunately, one of our favorite candy-filled holidays is upon us, as the retail world likes to remind us. As in all ghoulish fairy tales, the wicked witch ensnares us with tantalizing sugar laden tricks that do not fool our waistlines.
The Ginger Bread House In Nutrition
One of the most addictive substances on earth is not found on a dodgy corner but right here in your local supermarket. That’s right; it’s not crystal meth but crystal cane. The cane extract, commonly known as sugar, by itself, is natural and provides pleasant sweetness to our food and drinks. Without controlled limits, it may begin an addiction that will later end in obesity and other health hazards.
Sugar is in nearly everything we eat. In the typical western diet, the amount of sugar that is now in our food products brings our consumption of the sweet stuff up to 22.7 teaspoons per day. Adding to our natural intake processed foods have added more sugar to extend their shelf life. While we know that sugar is a huge contributor to weight gain, diabetes and heart disease, we still find it hard to resist.
We have been naturally programmed from birth to crave sweet things. One study at Washington University has revealed the direct correlation between the development of the sweet tooth to the very high concentration of sugar lactose which is introduced to us first through the form of human breast milk.
Some Scary Consequences
When we consume sugar, the hormone serotonin is released. Serotonin releases from the same area of the brain that responds to heroin and cocaine, which induces feelings of happiness and euphoria. This great feeling becomes very addictive. A current study has now shown how even the mere expectation of sugar can also affect our cognitive ability. The simple truth is that it’s not always obvious where sugar is hiding in the foods we eat, but the more sugar we consume, the more we want. The sudden rush of sugar spurs the release of insulin, which causes the infamous “sugar rush,” and makes us crave even more to combat the crash.
A Spell That Needs To Be Broken
Although sugar casts a powerful spell, it is possible to overcome an addiction to sugar and win the weight loss battle.
The key is to gradually use less sugar where you can, such as in coffee or tea and your breakfast cereal. Reduce or eliminate your consumption of soda and water down any fruit juices you may drink. The benefit is that your body will adjust to the taste. After a few months, if somebody suddenly gives you a coffee with sugar in it, you may find the flavor odd. Also, avoid buying desserts from the store, and if you make your own, reduce the amount of sugar that is given in the recipe. Many baked goods use unsweetened applesauce as a substitute.
Click Your Heels Three Times
Looking for a way home to better health and weight loss? Follow the yellow brick road which leads to our office. Our expert team will help you break the spell of sugar and guide you with proper nutritional counseling and optimal health recommendations. Just click the buttons on your phone!
For Your Health,
Dr. Joseph Gambardella, Dr. Todd Brown and Dr. Benjamin Erb