The clink of ice in a glass, the pop of the can being opened, the fizz and bubbles, that crisp, refreshing taste when that cold soda hits your mouth for the first time on a hot summer day. There’s nothing better, right? And once you’ve had one, you want another one and another one. While that Coke or Pepsi probably tastes great in the moment, the ramifications on your health have never been greater. Did you know that the food industries in our country are deliberately making you a sugar addict? Nutrition experts are calling out these companies for the amount of sugar they’re adding to our foods, even going so far as comparing the addictive properties of sugar to a smoking.
A hundred years ago the average American consumed only two pounds of sugar in a year. By 1970 that had increased to 123 pounds of sugar per year. Today, the average American eats 152 pounds of sugar in one year. That’s equal to three pounds of sugar each week–or just under half a pound of sugar a day. It’s no wonder that we are suffering from obesity and diabetes at an alarming rate. And food companies are profiting off our addiction the same way the tobacco industry profit from smoking addiction. Sugar has been proven to be just as addicting as drugs, alcohol or gambling.
Many people think a calorie is just a calorie. If you’re going to consume 1500 calories a day, it shouldn’t matter that some of those calories come from sugar, right? Wrong. Calories in different foods are burned, absorbed and digested in different ways and have difference effects on our bodies. When we consume sugar, it goes to the liver. The liver gets overburdened because it cannot metabolize all the sugar we consume. The liver has a limited capacity because it’s busy taking care of ALL the toxins we put in our bodies. When we overdo consumption, our liver has no choice but to take the excess that it can’t metabolize and turn it into liver fat, which causes almost every chronic disease that our country is suffering from–Type 2 diabetes, lipid elevation, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, cancer, dementia, fatty liver disease, ovarian disease and more. Fructose sugar also causes premature aging, wrinkles and cataracts.
According to Dr. Robert Lustig, professor of pediatric endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco, food companies, “know what they’re doing.” It’s all part of what he calls the Coca-Cola Conspiracy. Lustig says, “We will not solve this problem until the food industry solves it for us. And they have no interest in doing so because this is their gravy train…And unfortunately, the government’s in bed with them because they’re making $56 billion a year off export tariffs off of our food.”
So much like the tobacco industry of decades ago, the problem isn’t going to be solved by the companies themselves. The problem is going to be solved by individuals choosing to take control of their health and avoid the excess sugar in processed foods. This is not an easy task. Sugar addiction is a serious issue. It’s far harder than just saying you won’t eat sugar anymore. However, there are real steps you can take to ease yourself off the sugar habit.
- Drink more water. Soda contains 20-48 grams of sugar in one can. It isn’t enough to replace the soda with a diet soda. Diet soda contains even more chemicals that are unhealthy for us. Unsweetened herbal teas or plain water are a good way to break the addiction to soda many of us have. For a twist, add lemon or fruit slices to your water.
- Increase healthy fats intake. Having enough healthy fats in your diet can decrease sugar cravings. It also helps keep your blood sugar stable to avoid crashes where you might grab a sugary snack. Eat plenty of avocado, coconut products, nuts and seeds.
- Supplement with Glutamine. Consider this amino acid, especially in the late afternoon when cravings tend to hit. Glutamine isn’t naturally produced, so we have to get it from our food. Unfortunately, the standard American diet is lacking in this nutrient so supplementation can help level out blood sugar and keep you on the right track.
- Eat fruit for a sweet boost. If you routinely reach for sweets after dinner, try weaning yourself off that habit by replacing sugary desserts with fruit. Fruit does contain sugar, but it also contains healthy fiber to slow the absorption into your blood stream.
- Eat adequate proteins. It’s important to get protein throughout your day but especially in the morning. It will help keep you satiated and keep your blood sugar regulated throughout your day.
- Avoid simple carbs. It’s okay to eat complex carbs like sweet potato or butternut squash but avoiding things like pasta, bread and rolls is important. Those simple carbs turn into sugar and spike your insulin levels, contributing to the incidence of Diabetes and obesity.
- Have a healthy snack. Instead of reaching for sugary snacks, such as cookies or ice cream, choose a healthier snack option such as hard-boiled eggs, olives, nuts or cheese. Being prepared with snacks on hand will help you stay on track.
- Reduce your stress and get plenty of sleep. If you let stress rage out of control, you’re far more likely to crave sugary snacks. The same can happen if you’re not getting enough good quality sleep. (For more on how important sleep is, click HERE.) Stress also depletes you of nutrients that your body needs like B vitamins. To keep your life as stress free as possible, use your BrainTap along with the 700 + creative visualization sessions available on the BrainTap Pro App. They’ve been proven to reduce stress and help you sleep more soundly.
For our country to reduce the instances of obesity and other weight related disease, we’re going to have to make some changes to the typical American diet. Reducing your sugar intake is a great way to start. You’ll find that with healthy dietary changes you will feel better and have more energy than ever before. BrainTap is here to help. Sit back, relax, and feel your cravings melting away when you utilize the BrainTap Pro App!
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