Americans tend to consume too much sugar in sodas, processed foods and sweet treats. Pretty much, every processed sweetener (including, but not limited to, sugar, Splenda, Nutrasweet, Stevia, honey, etc.) out there has NO long term health benefit. Food and drinks with added sugar can be considered “empty calories” – it provides no real nutrition.
Many studies have linked high sugar intake with increased risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and many others. The list goes on and on… Sugar weakens our immune system, making us more susceptible to getting sick. Sugar also decays our teeth – causing cavities and other dental diseases. A high sugar diet affects kids’ grades in school. It’s also really bad for skin – sugar is linked to acne! Behavioral disorders and depression are also linked to sugar. Additionally, when blood sugar is high, it can contribute to yeast infections.
Need we say more? Seriously, there are so many reasons why we should keep our sugar in check. Your best bet is to minimize the amount of sugar you intake.
The American Heart Association recommends women intake only 6 teaspoons per day!
These are the first few steps to minimize your sugar consumption:
- Limit sugar. Instead of 3 packets of sugar in your coffee, cut down to 1 or 2.
- Choose water (with pieces of fruit and berries for flavor) or unsweetened tea instead of soda.
- Limit pastries, cookies, deserts and cakes to once a week.
- Choose dark chocolate (like 70%+) versus milk chocolate.
- Snack on nuts and dried fruits instead of cookies or candy/candy bars.
- Shop for juicy organic fruits in your local produce market.