Does sugar cause you to cackle with delight and send spells of disdain to your waistline? Unfortunately, several of our favorite sweet treat holidays are upon us as you can see in the aisles of any grocery store. If you are a fan of fairytales, you will love to know that you will not need a powerful OZ to rise against a wicked witch who loves to ensnares us with tantalizing sugar laden tricks that do not fool our waistlines. But a little help from your friends can’t hurt.
The Sugar Spell
One of the most addictive substances on earth is not found in a drug den but right here in your local supermarket. That’s right it is 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 added to our food products brings our consumption of the sweet stuff up to 22.7 teaspoons per day. To add to our already natural sugar intake, the processed foods that we eat have added even 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.
The Tornado Effect
When we consume sugar, the hormone serotonin is released. Serotonin is released 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.
Breaking the Spell
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. For instance, 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 it tastes odd. Also, avoid buying corn syrup laden desserts from the store. 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.
The Ruby Slippers
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 healthy nutritional counseling and optimal health recommendations. Just click the buttons on your phone!
For Your Health,
Dr. Scott Van Dam