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How to Manage Your Sugar Intake During the Holidays

In continuing our three-part series on sugar, part two further illustrates that sugar is not such a sweet story. Besides setting you up for injury, as explained in our last post, the over consumption of sugar creates insulin resistance, which is the cause of Metabolic Syndrome, a condition that can lead to obesity and ultimately type 2 diabetes. Yes, too much sugar makes us sick and fat!

Over the past three decades, the adult consumption of added sugar in the US has increased by more than 30%. The average American consumes 19.5 teaspoons of sugar daily. Both the World Health Organization and the American Heart Association recommend the following daily sugar intake levels:

  • 6 teaspoons for women

  • 9 teaspoons for men

  • 3 to 6 teaspoons for children

Just one 12oz soda contains a whopping 10.2 teaspoons of sugar! With the holidays upon us, we are tempted with sugar in just about every form imaginable. Cookies, candy, cakes, pies, and sweet drinks are everywhere!

As you begin to reduce your sugar intake, it is important to understand that starting with a mental list of what you can’t have can cause feelings of deprivation, which often lead to binging. It is best to navigate the holidays (and we mean Halloween through Valentine’s Day) with a clear intention of what you want...not what you can’t have. You are in control of what you eat and drink. You have the freedom to choose what you eat and drink and how you desire to fuel your body.

Here are some simple tips to help you stay/become healthy and fit through the holidays.

  • Eat primarily organic meats, poultry, wild caught fish (tempeh if you are vegetarian or vegan) and lots of good, deliciously prepared vegetables. You won’t be so hungry when it’s dessert time.

  • Sweet potatoes (minus the marshmallows) are very nutritious and can also satisfy sugar cravings.

  • If you are at a function that includes a lot of sugar-filled choices, then decide on the one that really appeals to you the most. Take a small portion, eat it slowly and enjoy every bite. When you are finished, feel good about yourself because you have had a treat without doing damage. Remember you are in control.

  • Small samplings and, whenever available, fresh fruit are always better choices than big portions of sugary desserts.

  • See sugar for what it really is: a highly addictive substance that, when consumed in large amounts, is more of a poison than a treat. Choose not to poison yourself. At the very least, the over consumption of sugar can leave you in a brain fog, bloated, and craving more sugar.

In our next post, we will share with you more about how sugar can wreak havoc on your body by causing dysregulation in multiple internal systems, such as the immune system, and ultimately lead to serious health conditions and diseases. See you back here soon!

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