Cookies, cakes, brownies, ice cream, candy, soda, pies, frappuccinos, it never ends. At this time of year, we are bombarded with high sugar treats. If the Halloween candy didn’t get you, then the Thanksgiving and Christmas goodies are waiting! As if that wasn’t enough, sugar is even hidden in foods we normally wouldn't even consider, like sauces, sandwiches, and even soups. Increased sugar intake actually causes us to crave sugar even more.
High blood sugar levels have a direct impact on our overall health. It can cause numerous health issues such as diabetes, high cholesterol, migraines, cancer, constipation, and weight gain. Less noticeably, high blood sugar can cause depression or worsen mood disorders. The infamous sugar high is usually followed by a low or crash that causes feelings of sadness, fatigue, and hopelessness. It is also shown that sugar contributes to hyperactivity and attention problems in young children and teens. In a study conducted in Great Britain, 80% of people with mood disorders noticed that food choices affected how they felt. They named sugar as a food stressor, and supportive foods were water, vegetables, fruits, and oil-rich fish.
In this book, The Brain Chemistry Diet, Dr. Michael Lesser says that reducing refined carbohydrates such as white sugar and corn syrup, will keep the blood sugar and accompanying mood swings under control. A diet that has an overabundance of refined sugar is usually deficient in essential nutrients like; B vitamins, vitamin C, zinc, chromium, co-Q10, and essential fats. This is due to the fact that high sugar treats use up a lot of nutrients during digestion and they don’t usually contain many nutrients themselves.
Quitting a sugar habit cannot be done overnight. Sugar reduction may take weeks or even months but it is an important step in controlling mood issues, especially during the winter months when depression usually Worsens.
Here are some easy steps to get you started.
DON’T PURCHASE IT. If sugary snacks are in your home, children and adults are more likely to indulge. Replace cookies and candy with fruits such as grapes, apples, or even prunes. These fruits help satisfy sugar cravings and contain many healthy nutrients.
PLAN AHEAD. Sugar cravings occur when you are tired or hungry. Try to have 3 meals a day and high-protein snacks to avoid energy drops and hunger. Take a lunch bag to work with your snacks.
BE REALISTIC. Allow yourself to cut down sugar intake gradually so you don’t feel deprived.
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