Moderating Sugar

Sometimes we need a reminder of how bad something is for us to help us be more mindful of how often we use it. As a health nut, I’ve given up sugar quite a few times. It’s not a great struggle for me to keep from buying sweets by myself, but I’ve been weak at parties – especially in the wintertime – when all I want to do is nibble yummy homemade sugary treats. Made with love by my friends, who can resist? Eating out requires me to mentally steel myself against a dietary pitfall BEFORE I can lay eyes on a treat.

Things I remind myself about sugar:

It depletes your natural collagen. Collagen is what keeps your skin elastic and keeps you from getting wrinkles. The more you eat, the more it is addicting! When the body is detoxing from a food substance, you are very likely to crave more of the very thing that is coursing through your veins. If you give into the craving, the “hunger” stops. And you will crave it again and again. Sugar desensitizes your taste buds! Fruit tastes so much more delicious, like a dessert, when you are free of sugar addiction.

Sugar represses your immune system, increases fasting levels of glucose and interferes with calcium and magnesium absorption, among other minerals. Sugar feeds Candida! Sugar can cause fluid retention. Sugar produces acidity in the body.

Sugar can impair DNA structure, reduce your learning capacity and can cause hormonal imbalances.

Sugar can cause depression.

Sugar can mess with your menstrual cycle and make PMS worse.

Sugar weakens your adrenal glands.

I read in one of Dr. Ben Kim’s newsletters, many months ago, that eating excessive amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates can cause deterioration of blood vessel walls.

I try to limit both sugar AND refined carbohydrates. It’s hard. But I feel really high energy when my diet is free of either of those things. There’s a sneaky time of the month when I am especially susceptible to a sugar/carb craving (where I feel like making gluten free crêpes is the only thing that can cure my moody blues). I found that the only way to combat this is to think ahead. Refined carbs are tough to beat! Having other snack options on hand is best.

I’m still going to eat sugar. I know I will. I can do my homework and keep alternative, tasty, protein-rich snacks on hand as a precaution. Reading the above reasons helps steel my resolve. But when I break, I try not to beat myself up for it. Being a fanatic about it just sets you up for a guilty splurge.

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