The Sweet Danger of Sugar

Takeaways

Too much added sugar can negatively affect your health. Here’s how to curb your sweet habit.

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Bowls of Brown and White Sugar on a Blue Background

Did you know Americans consume almost 57 pounds of added sugar annually? Too much sugar in your diet can be harmful in many ways and lead to weight gain. However, there are steps you can take to break free from a sugar addiction.

3 Ways Sugar Leads to Weight Gain

Empty Calories
The body needs fuel to work throughout the day, and food is how we get that energy. Certain foods are high in calories, while others have almost none. Sugar is an example of a food with hardly any nutritional value. No matter how much you eat, your body isn’t getting any real nutrition, just energy, which is turned into fat.

It Affects Your Insulin Levels
When you consume a lot of sugar, your blood sugar level rises. Your pancreas then creates insulin that your body uses to convert into energy. If your blood sugar level rises too quickly, the pancreas will overproduce insulin and lower your blood sugar level too far, making you crave sugar all over again.

Sugar Triggers a Biochemical Response
Did you know that sugar is as addictive as opioid drugs like cocaine? It triggers a biochemical response in the brain, which can cause cravings even if a person is full or has plenty of calories in their system. It’s why people will still order a dessert if they are full or snack on a candy bar, even if they just ate.

How To Break Free From a Sugar Addiction

Give Yourself Non-Sugary Rewards
This is extremely important because once you remove sugar from your diet, you will need to find non-sugary rewards that enhance the brain’s reward center. Engage in a fun activity like getting a massage, playing with a pet, or soaking in a hot bubble bath.

Read Food Labels
Ingredient lists often use words for “sugar” that you may not recognize. Look for terms like fructose, glucose, or sucrose. Try to avoid or cut back on the amount or frequency of the foods where they are found.

Do Not Have It in Your Home
This is a very simple rule, and it really works! If you don’t have it available, you can’t eat it. Before you run to the store or bakery, try to distract yourself for 30 minutes — this is how long a craving typically lasts. Chances are you will forget about the sweet treat, and you will have tolerated your craving.

How Long Does It Take To Burn Off Your Favorite Fun-Size Treat?

3 Musketeers®
(63 calories)

Pilates
(26 minutes)

Kit Kat®
(70 calories)

Rowing
(10 minutes)

Snickers® or Twix®
(80 calories each)

Elliptical
(15 minutes)

Butterfinger®
(85 calories each)

Zumba
(10 minutes)

Peanut M&M’s®
(90 calories each)

Hiking
(13 minutes)

100 Grand®
(95 calories)

Kickboxing
(10 minutes)

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup®
(110 calories)

Jogging
(15 minutes)

Looking for a partner to help guide you through your weight loss journey? Request an appointment to meet with one of our Licensed Medical Providers to get started today.

Stephanie Bray

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