Did you know that today’s 12-ounce soda can contain up to ten teaspoons of sugar and that the average American eats 22.7 teaspoons of sugar a day (National Geographic, 2013). The reason the consumption is so high is because sugar is added to processed food to enhance both the flavour and texture. I suggest staying away from processed sugary foods all together, but often times this is hard to do. When you grocery shop the best way to avoid processed foods is to stick to the outside of the store and stay away from the aisles.
According to Phycology Today sugar can be addictive and have severe effects on the brain and body. “Sugar leads to dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens – an area associated with motivation, novelty, and reward. This is the same brain region implicated in response to cocaine and heroin.” How ridiculous is it to think that eating sugar stimulates the same response as an illegal drug does.
Fructose and sugars are also bad for you because they are processed in the liver and turned into fats. These fats can build up and also enter the blood stream. This can cause health risks that include obesity, hypertension and diabetes. According to AMA Wire these are all prevalent problems affecting the greater part of the American population. “Obesity impacts one in three Americans and is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes,” said AMA President .
If you are addicted to sugar there are a lot of affordable alternatives to sugar that are readily available and that I use regularly. These alternatives are available at grocery stores, health food stores, specialty food shops or even some corner stores. These alternatives include; Stevia, Xylitol, Coconut Sugar, Maple Syrup, Natural Honey and Brown Rice Syrup. Some times they can be an adjustment and when used in recipes and drinks you may not even notice the difference.
Do your body a favour and try to cut out as much processed and refined sugars that you can. Start by slowly replacing refined sugars and sweeteners and eventually your sweet tooth won’t even notice the difference.