Thursday, June 26, 2014

YOU are sweet enough... Part 2!

Ok so the second that sweet stuff touches your tongue, your brain is jumping for joy and killer cravings subdue.... For just a minute! But then you want more. You have to have sugar. You NEED to have sugar. Your body is craving it like mad and when you deny those cravings maybe you feel anxious? Depressed or sad? Cranky or angry? You are not crazy. Sugar can be an addiction wreaking havoc on your body.

On part one, I mentioned a few things sugar does to your body. Here are a couple more things that occur when you consume too much. 

Did you know that the average American adult consumes the equivalent of 22 sugar cubes every 24 hours?! Translation, the average woman consumes 70 pounds of sugar per year. 70 freaking pounds! (Stats are from WHO) 

Too much sugar, specifically fructose, can cause your HDL (think good cholesterol) to lower putting you at risk for coronary artery disease. When your HDL is lowered it also triggers for the production of triglycerides, a form of fat that moves from the liver to the arteries and can cause a build of plaque within the arterial walls. 

Sound as sweet as it tastes? Too much sugar can cause pre-diabetes or full on type II diabetes because it triggers the pancreas to release insulin, which in small amounts is harmless and necessary. However when large amounts of sugar are consumed and in turn large amounts of insulin are secreted.  Your pancreas has released so much insulin that your cells become resistant to it and leaves the remaining glucose floating around in the bloodstream. 

Still want those cookies? If you think you might be addicted too sugar or if you want to cut down on your intake, I'm not going to lie, it is going to be hard! Just as a smoker trying to quit or a shop-o-holic dicing up their credit card. Sugar can be an addiction and like other addictions, you will have to detox your system. You will have to fight through those urges but it WILL be worth it! 

There are several sugar detoxes out there, ranging from 10 days to 2 months. If you think you need to reset your system and punch sugar straight in the kisser, try these steps! 

Try to eliminate all sugary snacks and junk food. I'm talking cookies, cake, granola bars (yes those bars  you think are healthy can easily contain at least 15 g sugar per serving), and candy! If you know you have a trigger (fro yo anyone?), try to eliminate that FIRST. Get rid of the main player and all the others will seem easy! 

Next try to go sans- sugary drinks. That Caramel macchiato may seem like a great drink since it's nonfat but that syrup probably has upward of 22 g of sugar per serving. Try to sip on water, unsweetened ice team or black coffee. 

Watch out for those tricky sugars found in BBQ sauce (15 g per 2 TBSP), pasta sauce (12 g in 1/2 cup) or ketchup (9 g per 2 TBSP). Opt to make your own sauce with fresh tomatoes and other fresh ingredients or look for low-sugar varieties. Be proactive and read food labels! You will be amazed at what you might find! 

When I have a hunkering for something sweet, I try to stick to fresh fruit! My new favorite is a frozen watermelon-strawberry-orange drink! 


1-1 1/2 cup frozen watermelon chunks 
1/2 cup strawberries 
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice 


Place all ingredients into a blender and pulse until desired consistency. Soooo good! 

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