by Henry Richardson
Sugar! Is it really as bad as they say? If you are anything like me, a piece of chocolate cake (think Meryl Streep’s beautiful creation in It’s Complicated) sounds pretty much amazing on pretty much any occasion. However, if you do a little research on sugar and its effects on the body, you will quickly find that the majority of leading doctors and nutritionists, especially in the natural health world, find that sugar is one of the leading causes of a large majority of our most common health concerns: diabetes, obesity, tooth decay, and hyperactivity.
So what are we supposed to do? Should we give up all sugar? Should we give up desserts? Should we drink diet soda instead of regular soda?
I propose a very simple, yet in my opinion, very useful approach: BALANCE your approach to eliminating sugar from your diet. Consider doing the following as a great first step.
- One of the easiest ways to manage the amount of sugar you intake is to lookout for the ubiquitous culprit, High Fructose Corn Syrup. This cheap and very sweet additive is in a large majority of the food and beverages that many of us are accustomed to consuming. Check the label. If you see this ingredient, check to see if there are other options without the corn syrup. A lot of stores carry various healthy options to our favorite products. You will be doing yourself a huge favor to avoid it.
- Secondly, enjoy your sweets on special occasions. After cutting sugar out of your diet for a few days, you will quickly see that a lot of the foods we eat are so extremely sweet that you almost stop wanting them. Jitters aren’t very fun! However, if you can make eating sweets a special treat, instead of every meal, that chocolate cake will be something you can savor and not feel guilty about.
- Avoid Soda! Definitely avoid regular soda, and in my opinion, avoid any type of Soda (including diet soda.) Whether you come from the school of thought to avoid diet soda because it hinders our bodies ability to identify calories (causing us to over indulge in calories), or you think that “diet” soda is clearly a bunch of unnatural chemicals (because honestly, how can anything we consume be 0 calories? ). It is so much safer and easier to drink some carbonated soda water with some fresh juice or a squeeze of orange or lemon. Or, if you want the convenience of can, check out LaCroix sparkling water. This delicious and low calorie beverage is all natural and a great substitute for any soda-holic. It comes in a wide range of flavors as well.
Basically, do your body and your long-term health a favor by eliminating the unnecessary sugar that you are consuming on a daily basis. That way, your sugary treat will be well worth your wait!