We all know sugar tastes AMAZING! This is clearly what is driving us to constantly reach for more and more of it. Regrettably, it is one of the most addictive substances on Earth. Studies have shown that it actually triggers a similar response in our brains as cocaine. In fact, in a study using rats they compared cocaine and sugar. The rats in the study preferred and chose sugar over cocaine! What makes this substance so irresistible to us? At the end of the day, all the foods we consume and break down the end goal is to produce glucose (sugar). It is one of the fastest burning energies we have access to. Sugar is able to cross the blood-brain barrier which means it goes straight to our heads. This can create a temporary feeling of euphoria that we crave and start to chase later on.
Pour Some Sugar On Me
There are few people who can either totally avoid sugar, or who are completely immune to its effects. The majority of us will easily pop a candy bar in and not feel much guilt. But, sugar is a dangerous poison to your health.
- Sugar has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. The more sugar a person consumes, the more risk they are at.
- High amounts of sugar can lead to mood swings and headaches. It also has addictive properties, causing you to crave more and more.
- Sugar impairs your immune system.
- Sugar is empty calories. A diet heavy in sugar is not filling or nutritious, so even after consuming you feel like junk.
- Sugar expedites aging.
- Sugar sticks in the crevices of your teeth, causing tooth decay. There is an experiment where a piece of meat is marinated in soda overnight, and the next day the meat is rotten, or the DIY solution of using soda to clean battery corrosion. Imagine the corrosion on your teeth.
- Contrary to popular belief, sugar does not alleviate stress. In fact, it increases it and can make some people more prone to anxiety.
- Sugar prevents certain nutrients from being absorbed into your body, like vitamin A, vitamin C, B-12, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and iron.
- Excessive sugar consumption leads to weak memory. Researchers have found that people who consume sugar frequently experience brain fogginess.
Best Sugar Substitutes
Even some sugar substitutes can have the same effect as sugar. Your best substitutes are natural fruits such as mangoes, peaches, strawberries, and other sweet fruits, or add-ins like honey. But, even with these, be sure to consume in moderation because sugar is sugar, even if it’s all-natural. Make a point to start reducing the sugar in your diet. Take small steps, like swapping out one sugary drink or treat for something healthier.
Hidden In Plain Sight
Sugar is one of those things that no matter where you run it is going to find you. Remember our bodies break down other foods to produce them. As such, you will never be sugar-free. The best thing you can do for your health is to remove any and all refined sugars from your daily routines. This is the sugar we all think of that makes up the majority of the American diet. Seriously, if you don’t believe how much sugar you are unknowingly consuming why not try the Whole 30 challenge? This challenge is 30 days of eating nothing but whole foods. If you are not sure what a whole food is, think of foods that do not have a nutritional facts label. The only ingredient is itself. For example, an apple contains different nutrients but at the end of the day, it is just an apple. Apple sauce, however, is apples, water, sugar, and seasonings.
The Whole 30 challenge is differently challenging if you are not making all your own food. Something most people don’t realize is that our bodies treat sugar similarly to how they treat a drug. Just like a drug when we remove sugar from our daily nutrients we too go through withdrawals. So, if you are accepting my challenge to go 30 days without it be warned that you are going to feel it. Mood swings, lethargy, muscle aches, temperature fluctuations, and so much more are waiting in the future. What most people don’t understand is that the more sugar you are typically exposed to will actually increase the strength of your withdrawal symptoms. I can tell you that after 3 weeks you will feel the difference and that when you start to go back to eating normal things will be too sweet for you.
Make It Work For You
Now while I love the idea of eating whole foods every day for the foreseeable future. I understand how unrealistic it is for the majority of us to do so. That is why I do my best to constantly include additional recipes for you to make at home that are healthy versions of the foods we love. We deserve to have our cake and eat it too, without the guilt or consequences. If you haven’t at least tried the whole 30 challenge I strongly recommend you do. It is a great way to find out just how much work you really need to do to reach your health goals.
Butternut Squash Soup
Gluten Free Vegan Serves 4
- 1 Medium Carrot Cubed
- 2 Tbsp Vegan Butter
- 1 Small White Onion Diced
- 2 Medium Potatoes Cubed
- 1 Stalk Celery Diced
- 32 oz Vegetable Stock
- 1 Medium Butternut Squash Peeled, Seeded, and Cubed
- Sea Salt and Pepper to Taste
Melt the butter in a large pot, cook all vegetables for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Pour enough of the stock to cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a low. Cover the pot and simmer for 40 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft. Transfer the soup into a blender (I just use my wand blender if you use a regular blender make sure to cool the soup prior). Blend the soup until smooth and transfer back to the pot adding in any remaining stock to reach desired consistency. Bring soup back up to the right temperature and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Need A Hand?
A happy and healthy life is closer than you may think. Our health is something that we all have to deal with daily, and when we don’t feel our best, it shows. If you are tired of just making it through your day then you NEED to start investing in your health today! You are not alone on this journey. If you ever need any help I am always here to do just that. Even if it is something as small as just acting as a sounding board. Do you have any questions or concerns I can help you with? Feel free to contact me directly at [email protected] or you can even book a one-on-one call with me. Be sure to subscribe to gain access to tons of free goodies and check back daily for more great recipes and information!