Research has shown that sugar is as addictive as cocaine. From a young age, we are rewarded for good behavior with sugary treats. It makes us want more and more and the more you have, the more of it you want. And it’s not only in candy, but also in cakes, cookies, ice-cream and “healthy” foods, such as instant oatmeal and flavoured yogurts.
The recommended daily allowance of sugar is four teaspoons maximum, but a single serving of instant oatmeal contains up to 7 teaspoons, depending on the flavor. One can of soda contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar.
Excess sugar causes a host of problems, with weight gain being one of the least… But because it tastes so good and is irresistible, we pay no attention to the fact that it has been linked to:
- increased risk of type 2 diabetes
- elevated triglycerides
- low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol
- heart disease
- poor eyesight
- autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis)
- and dental cavities.
You might think a hole in your tooth is not the end of the world, but it affects your oral health in many other ways. From receding gums to infections, too much sugar can easily cause you to lose several teeth, making it hard to eat and talk, and it can affect your appearance.
How to Cut Out Sugar
An occasional sweet treat is not a problem, but when it becomes a daily habit, you might have a problem. Follow these tips to detox from sugar, reduce cravings and live a healthier life.
- 1. Eat more fruits. It will provide the sweet taste and nutrition you need to stop cravings in their tracks.
- 2. Eat sweet vegetables to combat cravings.
- 3. Drink lemon water. Sour or spicy foods and beverages are often great for reducing cravings.
- 4. Chew your carbs. The longer you chew on complex carbs, the sweeter they will taste.
- 5. Exercise more. By exercising daily, your body will become more alkaline and your cravings will reduce.
- 6. Eat homemade food. Eating on the go is dangerous, as you are bound to resort to junk food laden with an addictive combination of fat, salt and hidden sugar.
- 7. Don’t go cold turkey. Instead, slowly reduce your sugar intake. Switch from 3 sugars in your coffee to two and from soda with dinner to light flavored water. In no time, you will notice that some things are just too sweet and you will feel so good that your body will want what’s good for you.
- 8. Avoid sweets on an empty stomach, as it will rush straight into your bloodstream. Saving sweets for dessert will provide built-in protection that keeps your blood sugar levels even.
- 9. Restock your kitchen. Look through your pantry and replace all the cookies, cake mixes, processed foods, chips, and sodas
with healthier alternatives, such as whole-grain crackers, sugar-free oatmeal, greek yogurt, raw veggies, and fruit. Instead of soda, make unsweetened ice tea, flavored with a squeeze of lemon, crushed raspberries or fresh mint.
Before you know it, you will feel lighter, healthier and more energized. Your breath will be fresher (without all that plaque the sugar packs on) and your teeth will be in a better condition than ever.