Let's Not Sugarcoat This.
Let’s Not Sugarcoat This. By: Kristie Higgs
Cravings as Old as Time
Simply for survival purposes, evolution has taught our bodies to seek out food sources that are quick in energy. Today sugar has become one of these sources that is easier than ever to consume both knowingly and unknowingly. Although we no longer need to hunt and gather our food, the average amount of sugar intake has continued to rise over the last decade.
Diets high in sugar may be directly correlated to the climbing diagnosis of obesity, CVD (Cardiovascular Disease), Type II Diabetes, depression, and some inflammatory diseases. If sugar consumption continues to rise, we can also expect American waistlines to continue to expand.
So, the big question is: How do we stop reaching for the cookie jar when we have been basically hardwired to seek it out? First, we need to understand why we crave sugar and how it effects our bodies; learn where sugar hides and how to avoid it; and, finally, adopt simple and realistic tricks to satisfy our sugary cravings for good.
Not Just a Spoonful of Sugar
Seeking out sugary foods like ice cream or candy can be simply for entertainment or on a more serious note to cope with pain, depression, and anxiety. To most, sugar is an unrecognizable form of self- medication. Did you know that chocolate can have an anesthetic effect, promoting calmness and pain relief? Unfortunately, chocolate bars don’t come with a warning label of side effects like prescription drugs do.
When sugar is consumed, it has a drug like effect on the brain and some studies show it can be as addictive as cocaine. When high amounts of sugar are consumed, our brains release chemicals producing an unnatural “high” leading to an eventual, unnatural “low.” These lows throw us into a cycle of sugar consuming destruction. And let’s not forget to mention sugary snacks are cheap, socially acceptable, and easily attainable.
Like we would any doctor’s advice, it’s important we stick to the guidelines laid out for us concerning the proper dose of sugar we should be consuming.
Sugar in Disguise
The best way to cut back on sugar is to recognize where sugar hides. You’d be surprised by the amount of hidden sugars (mostly in the form of High Fructose Corn Syrup) that can be found in foods that are
deemed healthy. Examples of high sugary “health” foods include, but are not limited to: boxed cereal, granola bars, yogurt (yes, yogurt), bread, and canned fruit. Typically, the more processed the product the more sugar it will contain. Keep in mind that the daily allowance you should be consuming should average between 20-35 grams.
Keep the Sweets Simple
Simply put, it’s always best to opt for foods that don’t have any added sugar or artificial sweeteners to enhance flavor. When you buy foods that don’t have any added sugar, you not only will save a ton of calories, but you will receive long-term health benefits such as reducing the risk of health complications related to being overweight, achieving overall balanced mood levels, and enjoying the freedom of not needing a quick sugar fix.
Devotion Nutrition is a great alternative to sweetening foods needing a flavor boost without all the negative side effects. Because Devotion Nutrition is sweetened naturally by Stevia, you don’t have to worry that you are pumping your body with artificial sugar alternatives.
Some examples of food substitutions that can easily help reduce your daily intake of sugar. 1 Serving of Plain Oatmeal + 1 Packet of Flex Flavor Strawberry = 1 gram of sugar
1 Packet of Instant Strawberry Oatmeal = 9 grams of sugar
1 Serving of Cheerios + 1 Packet of Flex Flavor Fruity Hoops = 6 grams of sugar
1 Serving of General Brand Fruit Loop Cereal = 12 grams of sugar
1 Serving of Plain Greek Yogurt + 1 Packet of Flex Flavor = 8 grams of sugar
1 Serving of General Brand Flavored Yogurt = 18 grams of sugar
For more recipes and ideas visit: Devotion Recipes
Bray, G. A. (2013). Energy and Fructose From Beverages Sweetened With Sugar or High-Fructose Corn Syrup Pose a Health Risk for Some People. Advances in Nutrition, 4(2), 220–225. http://doi.org/10.3945/an.112.002816
Stanhope, K. L. (2016). Sugar consumption, metabolic disease and obesity: The state of the controversy. Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences, 53(1), 52–67. http://doi.org/10.3109/10408363.2015.1084990
Tarman, V. I., & Werdell, P. R. (2015). Food junkies: The truth about food addiction.