Ellen Syverson, Pathways for Health, LLC, is a member in good standing of ONLINE WELLNESS ASSOCIATION. Below is an article she has just written on “eliminating sugar from” diets.
BEATING THE SUGAR BLUES
Most of us know that sugar is bad for us, but many people struggle with eliminating sugar from their diets. I just did a workshop on how nutrition can support those in recovery from drugs and alcohol. One of the big ideas that I stressed to the workshop participants is that food addictions and alcohol and drug addiction are the same kinds of biochemical processes.
The sugar habit is an addiction for many people. It can cause physical changes in the form of nutrient depletion as well as behavioral changes resulting from blood sugar imbalances. After the extraction process, most of the nutrients are gone. So, we are left with a potent, crystallized concentrate not unlike cocaine or opium. Over consumption of sugar can cause brain chemistry imbalances that fuel the sugar addiction and literally rewire the brain. This is serious stuff!
Never before in the history of mankind have we had such an emergency need to lower blood sugar. We know that in 1812 the average person consumed 10 pounds of sugar a year compared to 141 pounds of sugar per year in 2004! That is a lot of dietary stress. If you think about this from an evolutionary perspective, it becomes clear that our bodies were NEVER meant to handle this sugar load.
So, what is a sugar addict to do? I think the first step is to understand how sugar harms the system. There is a wonderful little book called “Lick the Sugar Habit Sugar Counter” by Nancy Appleton. Not only does it help you assess the sugar that is hidden in every day foods, but it also lists 100 reasons to avoid sugar. Here are a few of my favorites:
•Sugar can suppress the immune system.
•Sugar upsets the balance of minerals in the body, contributing to osteoporosis.
•Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.
•Sugar leads to cancer of the breast, ovaries, and prostate.
•Sugar can cause arthritis and asthma.
•Sugar can cause premature aging.
•Sugar can contribute to diabetes.
•Sugar can cause depression.
The next step is to admit there is a problem & make a plan to beat the sugar habit just as you would for any other addiction. Try these ideas:
•Clear the sugar out of your life and out of your cupboards.
•Bring your own healthy snacks with you to social events.
•Eat balanced macronutrient ratios (30/30/40 model). This will help balance your blood sugar and reduce cravings for sweets.
•Use low glycemic natural sweeteners like stevia.
•Include lots of healthy fats in your diet.
•Switch from juice to herbal teas.
•Keep the benefits of low sugar intake in mind; healthier weight, better brain function, stronger immune system, and improved digestive function.
© Ellen Syversen, Pathways for Health, LLC. (541) 912-8624. 2011.
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