Hello, my name is Jessica and I am a sugar addict. Or at least I am pretty sure of it. Not in the doughnuts for breakfast kind of way, but apparently sugar is a more substantial part of my diet than previously realized. It is in a sneaky way; a few chips here, picking at my kids’ French fries there and some good old starchy complex carbohydrates to take the stress away.
In April, CBS ran a story about sugar, the way Americans are consuming and craving sugar and how sugar may be a significant factor in some of the most prevalent diseases in this country. Too much sugar in one’s diet is being associated not just with visual physical effects such as weight gain and acne but also with unseen issues such as heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and cancer. In fact, nearly one in three common cancers can grow as a result of consuming glucose.
According to the CBS story, Americans consume 130 pounds of sugar per person a year, the equivalent of a third of a pound every single day.
Most of us do not even realize just how much sugar we consume. That may be a result of hidden sugars, especially those in otherwise healthy foods. We are craving sugar without even realizing it. Nutritionists and dietitians will vow over and over again that reading labels is the key to keeping an eye on hidden sugar in our diet.
Another reason, perhaps, is that sugar may be as addicting as cocaine (according to some researchers). Being such a huge part of our daily lives, we do not even realize how much we rely on sugar to make us feel good.
Fortunately, experts say that we can reverse our sugar tolerance relatively quickly by making a concerted effort to cut out sugar. Some say you can quit cold turkey while others recommend decreasing slowly, so if you are planning to cut back do what works best for you and your body. Once largely eliminated from the diet, our bodies let go of that subconscious need to consume sugar.
This week I am starting on my own journey to eliminate excess sugar, especially those hidden added sugars that sneak into the body. The goal is to make sugar a once-in-a-while treat rather than a multiple-times-daily occurrence. This will be a lesson in getting back to basics since I am not keen on sugar substitutes or sugar-free foods either. Wish me luck!
If you too are interested in cutting back on sugar intake, here are some helpful resources:
- Break Your Sugar Addiction: The Dr. Oz Show
- 9 Steps to Break Your Sugar Habit: Fitbie
- The Sugar Blockers Diet: Prevention
- How to Stop Sugar Addiction: Mother Nature Network
- Easy Ways to Kick Your Sugar Addiction: Oprah.com
Are you giving in to those sugar cravings too? Is sugar a major food group in your diet? Check out this infographic about nursing your sweet tooth. Do you see yourself in here?
Infographic created by: www.OnlineNursingPrograms.com