Hey everyone and welcome. Its been a while since we have published a blog post with all the work bringing you some awesome Paleo Indian Recipes. Our friends, Sam and Gray from the Caveman Diet Blog wanted to share this interesting piece on the 5 ways that sugar is destroying you.
Sam Milner & Gray Hayes are passionate paleo practitioners, bloggers & busy parents. Initially, they started the Caveman Diet Blog to share their weight loss journey. Now they focus on the tips, recipes and topics that arise while living Paleo in the modern world. You can visit Sam & Gray at Cavemandietblog.com and check out their new cookbook, Paleo Breakfast Cookbook on Amazon.
So without further ado, please enjoy 5 Ways That Sugar Is Destroying You (And What You Can Do About It)
When people think about sugar addiction, they erroneously equate the term “sugar” with candy, or other treats.
Sugar is, however, much more pervasive than that. It is hidden in most food preservatives and even in artificial sweeteners. It is the base ingredient in a lot of sauces, drinks, and seasonings that we use everyday. It is also often found, in high amounts, in foods that may be considered “healthy.” All this being said, is how likely is it for any of us to become dependent on sugar, whether we actively want to, or not?
Issues with sugar addiction
Now, let’s not get into whether you are addicted to sugar or not. The answer to that is easily found the day you decide to “go without.” Gradually remove sugar and preservatives from your diet. Notice your body’s reaction. Are the withdrawals too strong? Do you feel as if “something” is missing? Can you live without it? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, consider yourself partially dependent on sugar. If this is the case, you may want to read about some of the issues related to excess sugar consumption.
- Hypertension– Salt is not the only ally of high blood pressure. Sugar has the same potential ability to damage your health as salt does. The actual increase in blood pressure comes from the highs in insulin caused by excess sugar. Remember that sugar has a tendency to “please” our brains, so our taste buds want more of it each time we consume a small amount. These highs in insulin, particularly in individuals with high sensitivity to them, can be extremely dangerous.
- Allergies– As with every food, allergies occur when some nutritional component does not agree either with our body and, hence, is not processed properly. When we feed our bodies too much of anything, the body no longer recognizes what to do with the nutrient. Rather than break the nutrient down into essential components, the excess stuff basically “floats” around until it is finally metabolized. Bloating, water retention, and excess body weight may be classified as types of allergic reactions.
- Obesity– Piggy-backing (no pun intended) on the previous item, obesity is one of the leading problems affecting our younger generations, precisely due to the high amount of preservatives, sugar, and excess starches that they eat every day.
- Dehydration– This is a tricky thing most people do not think about. When our bodies are dehydrated, the cramps and pains that are sent to our brain are often confused with hunger pangs. So, we eat. If we normally eat badly, that will be the food of choice: junk. If we are sugar addicts, that is what we will eat too. Hence, we would be feeding our bodies sugar (or anything else) when, what it really needs, is just water to replenish itself. Dehydration leads to water retention, which leads to excess weight and constipation.
- Headaches and lack of energy– The famous “crashes” that people experience in the mid afternoon are caused by those shifts in insulin that come as a result of excessive consumption of sugar. Between the dehydration caused by favoring treats over water, and the insulin spikes, we are more prone to develop headaches, energy slumps, stress, depression, and even mood swings. The value of good eating is immeasurable.
What is one to do? Even if you find yourself to be dependent on sugar, there is hope. Find out how you can kick the addiction and get that sugar monkey off your back.
- For every 5 sugar cravings you get, eat protein– Notice that we are not suggesting that you leave sugar altogether. Just control it. Say, you tend to eat up to 5 sugary treats a day. Eat a protein product or make a sweet drink made with natural ingredients. Always keep around: uncured beef jerky, almonds, bacon bits, pork rinds, boiled eggs, and fizzy water with natural flavoring.
- Play dance floor music and dance the craving away– This is a way to get your brain off the sugar funk and into funky music instead. Notice that, when we dance, our bodies enter a natural state of mild euphoria. This feeling is what most people wish to get from foods, alcohol, or drugs, depending on the individual. Dancing leaves us with no other choice but to dance. Even if you are at work, crank up your smartphone, plug your earpieces, and jam away.
- Take a brisk walk– Just like dancing releases feel-good hormones, so does any type of sudden, brisk, physical activity. When the craving hits, take a hike. It does not have to be a mile long. Just walk the craving off: around the office, in place, or go outside and enjoy the sunshine….or rain?
- Drink a water cocktail– These are super important. Hydrate as much as you can! A good drink of ice-cold fizzy water with lemon will do the trick. Remember that 80% of our bodies are made of water. Remember also that our body’s reaction to thirst is similar to that of hunger. Do not get confused and drink water as much as you can.
- GO SUGAR-FREE! The best part about the sugar-free lifestyle is that it is not a diet. It is basically a system of eating natural, preservative-free foods that teaches your body to eat the way we are genetically meant to eat. Take this chance to go sugar-free and indulge in thousands of delicious food choices that will NOT go to your belly or thighs.
Our crazy-busy schedules, our tendency to stay in our comfort zones, or an overall fear of trying new things lead us to become stuck in unhealthy lifestyles. These unhealthy lifestyles involve eating or drinking mindlessly and not exercising. Out of all the bad habits, however, the excess consumption of sugar can be blamed for a myriad of negative health issues that could be easily avoided. Creative eating, active participation in your food choices, and more body activity are the key elements to get where you want your body to be. There are so many things to do that do not involve eating mindlessly. Re-train your brain to think, and eat, the way that we are naturally meant to do it.
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