Today’s Power Tip: Crowd out Sugar
Just the other day, I came across an article in the New York Times by Mark Bittman entitled “It’s the Sugar, Folks.” He discusses a recent study which looked at the amount of sugar people consumed in 175 countries. The researchers found that an increased sugar intake led to an increase in diabetes. High fructose corn syrup had the same effect.
It seems hard to believe that something which tastes so good can have many negative effects on our health. Did you know that sugar reduces the absorption of calcium and magnesium; two important minerals for our bone health? Additionally, sugar may cause the release of calcium from our bones, increasing our risk of osteoporosis.
Sugar creates a vicious addictive cycle. You eat the sugar, feel the rush, crash, and then want to take in more. I know this first hand as a recovered “sugar addict.” My favorite sweets to binge on were chocolate chips. They are always around my house because my husband likes to bake. After numerous dental cavities and constantly feeling drained from my snacks, I decided to take sugar off my plate and out of my life. I have never felt better or had more energy. My clients have also followed suit and have not turned back.
These are my top four tips to reducing sugar consumption:
#1. Crowd out sugar by eating sweet vegetables and fruit. By adding sweet vegetables and fruit to your diet, your cravings for sugar will be significantly reduced. You are replacing the sugar with more nutrient dense food. Sweet vegetables include: beets, corn, carrots, sweet potatoes, onions, winter squash and yams. Fruit is a wonderful healthy desert. I especially enjoy eating apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon after a meal.
#2. Drink enough water. Dehydration is often a reason people crave sweets. The first thing you should do when you feel a craving for sweets is to drink a glass of water, wait a few minutes and see what happens. Often times the craving will subside.
#3. Try using spices. Certain spices like cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, cloves, and nutmeg can reduce cravings by naturally sweetening your foods.
#4. When you are tempted by sugar, ask yourself four questions.
These questions created by Julia Cameron (The Writing Diet) really help you control sudden cravings.
Crowding out sugar will have positive effects on your bones and overall well-being. If you are a sugar addict like I was and need help, please feel free to contact me. Together we can start you on the path to becoming a healthier you.