We are all aware of the vices in life that are dangerously addictive: cigarettes, alcohol, and gambling, just to name a few. But what about sugar? While you know that eating icecream for breakfast and drinking soda with each meal are not great health choices, you may not realize just how dangerous sugar actually is to your body. In fact, cutting down on your sugar intake could be the best resolution you make for yourself in 2018!
As explained by the medical director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program, “People generally know that sugar isn’t good, but they don’t appreciate how powerfully negative it really is. If you look at all of the things in our diet we can change, pulling away from refined or added sugar will do more good than anything else.” This means that the sugar found naturally in apples and blackberries are just fine, but the sugar added to your favorite cookies is not so innocent. Worse yet, added sugar sneaks in where you’d least expect it, such as in cereals, sauces, yogurts, and salad dressings.
The concept of sugar being dangerous to your health isn’t new, but it has gained extra steam in recent years as consumers become increasingly aware of what they place in their bodies. Sugar is linked to a number of health problems like obesity, type 2 diabetes, tooth decay, and heart disease. In addition, eating sugary foods limits and replaces the healthy foods you could place into your body instead. Ideally, you should eat about 100 to 200 calorie worth of sugar each day, but most Americans far exceed this threshold.
Saturated fat spent many years being targeted as the worst dietary villain, but the truth is that sugar is worse! Fats don’t have the addictive quality of sugar. If you have a “sweet tooth”, then you really have an addiction to the way that sugar tastes and makes you feel. Animal studies have actually shown that sugar releases dopamine and opioids in the brain, which fuels sugar dependency. As explained by a clinical dietitian Jessica Murgueytio, “Consuming large amounts of added sugar activates the reward center and makes us want to eat that food again. When this happens, you can have increased cravings for sugar [and] feel a lack of control when around sugar.”
Given all of this information, cutting down your added sugar intake has the potential to revolutionize your health in 2018! Read labels on processed foods to make sure they don’t have high levels of added or artificial sugar, gradually reduce the amount you add to coffee and tea, and make your purchases from the perimeter of the grocery store. It might feel tough at first, but over time you will stop missing sugar. Instead, you can focus on feeling your best!
For help staying healthy and active, turn to The Clinicians Urgent Care in Tampa, Florida when you need medical attention. The Clinicians is open seven days a week to address your most pressing health care concerns. Just call (813) 701-3260 for more information.