21 June 2012

What's Really Wrong with Sugar?

Posted in Weight Management, Diet and Nutrition

Curb Cravings Blog Series Pt. 1

What's Really Wrong with Sugar?

Sugar used to be my crack! I literally would wake up eating it and wouldn't stop until I went to bed at night. Now I refer to sugar as my crack in a light manner but in all actuality, sugar really is a drug. Over the next few weeks in my Curb Cravings blog series I will identify exactly what sugar is, explain why it is an addictive substance, root causes of sugar cravings and ways to help reduce them. So let's begin....

Refined table sugar, also called sucrose, is extracted from either sugar cane or beets and then refined. During the process, it is striped of its vitamins, minerals and fiber. It actually requires extra effort from the body to digest and assimilate. The body must deplete its own store of minerals and enzymes to absorb sucrose properly. Therefore, instead of providing the body with nutrition, refined sugar creates deficiencies.

Sugar has a lot of negative health impacts: it can suppress the immune system, weaken eyesight, cause hypoglycemia, cause weight gain, exacerbate arthritis, contribute to the development of osteoporosis, increase cholesterol, lead to prostate and ovarian cancer, contribute to development of diabetes, speed up skin aging, increase fluid retention, cause poor concentration, and lead to mood swings and depression. Sugar is also related to ADD and ADHD, in both adults and children.

If sugar causes us so much trouble, why are we still hooked? The reason is, sugar is an addictive substance, because:
1. Eating even a small amount creates a desire for more; and
2. Sudden quitting causes withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, mood swings, cravings and fatigue.

It is important to realize that sugar is an addictive substance – just like caffeine and even alcohol – because then psychologically you won't blame yourself for being "weak" and give up when you try to "quit" and fall off the wagon. It's not just about willpower – your cravings have a physical cause and in my five part blog series 'Curb Cravings' I am going to teach you the tools so that you can get to the root cause of your cravings, and wean off your intake gradually and painlessly.

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