The Power of Sugar

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The Power of Sugar

For those interested in making healthy food choices, the New York Times article “How the Sugar Industry Shifted Blame to Fat” is worth reading. In a nutshell, the article reveals that the American sugar lobby was able to get scientists to make the claim that it was saturated fat, not sugar that was the cause of heart disease.

As a result of these sugar industry-led findings, Americans have been advised to reduce the amount of fat in their diets for decades. The prepared food industry responded by producing tons of new low-fat, high-sugar foods.

What’s the down side of sugar? Scientists are starting to connect excessive sugar in the diet to increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and elevated triglycerides. And, obviously, extra weight. You may not be aware that close to 75% of the processed foods in a typical American grocery store have added sugar, even foods we don’t think of as sweet treats, such as pasta sauce and peanut butter. So it’s more complicated than just avoiding candy.

Fruit also has sugar in the form of fructose, but when eaten as a whole food, fructose is not associated with these health concerns. At the same time, it’s a good rule of thumb to eat four times as many vegetables as fruits.

Experts believe that sugar addition is a real biochemical addiction. Consuming sugar excites the same part of our brains that illegal drugs do. And just like with illegal drugs, it quickly takes more and more sugar to get the brain to release the feel good chemical known as dopamine.

Sugar is legitimately addictive. So what can you do? Experts suggest cutting sugar out of your diet for two weeks. For most people, that means no processed foods at all. Only whole, real food, like fruit, vegetables, starches and meat.

Some of the mental and physical symptoms of trying to break free of a sugar addiction include feeling fatigued, experiencing anxiety, headaches, mood swings and strong cravings. The good news is that, for most people, the sugar cravings stop after two to six days as the body resets itself. Depending on how much sugar a person was consuming, getting off sugar can also lead to weight loss and helps the palate appreciate foods in their more natural form.

Whenever you’re inspired to take control of your health, take a look at the Spatz3 adjustable gastric balloon to see how it can help you meet your personal wellness goals.

Author: Rebeca Espinoza

Rebeca Espinoza writes about health, fitness and weight loss for Spatz Medical, makers of the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon. You can find her on Google+ or at rebeca@spatzmedical.com.[:]

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