A recent article by Leah Zerbe listed 7 reasons to give up sugar, or seriously limit our intake, and some of the places that the sweet stuff can be found. Below are some of her reasons to give up sugar:
- You’re overdosing on sugar. Americans get 13% of daily calories from sweets. That is 130 pounds of sugar a year or 22 tablespoons per day! The American Heart Association recommended no more than 6 teaspoons for women and 9 for men. 67% of added sugar happens at home.
- It tricks your brain. Too much sugar messes with our hunger hormones. It tricks your system into thinking that you haven’t eaten.
- It accelerates aging. Too much sugar leads to higher rates of cell damage and death and contribute to Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease.
- It “browns” your tissues. Oxidative stress turns our tissues “brown” as we age. Excess sugar speeds up this process.
- It makes your liver fat. Overdosing our livers with sugar forces it to turn the sugar into liver fat. This can turn into non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
- It can be addictive. Eating too much sugar shuts down the healthy signals to our brain, requiring us to eat more and more in order to trigger the pleasure sensors in the brain.
- It annihilates your arteries. Too much sugar hurts the cells coating the insides of blood vessels
Sugar can lurk in the most surprising places:
- Salad dressing
- Bread, including multigrain
- Tomato sauces
- Most processed foods and only half of that is in soda, fruit juice and desserts
- Processed smoothies
Remember, addiction recovery is not just about giving up substances that you abuse. It’s about whole health recovery. An addiction free life is a life transformed. We don’t give up substances only to continue to abuse our bodies with poor choices. Whole health means making good nutrition part of our lives – and that includes limiting our intake of sugar.