I know that we all want to identify the ONE factor that is making us unhealthy.
One thing is so much easier to remember than – let’s say – three things.
I am a fan of making life simple and working on problems with baby steps. Ask any professional in the field of getting people healthy and they are going to tell you that eating fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains – AND – exercising, sleeping, drinking less alcohol, ending smoking, etc. etc. etc. are the foundations of a healthy lifestyle.
Or you could simply cut down on your sugar intake.
I’m not kidding about this. Check out this statistic:
Americans consume 22 to 30 teaspoons of added sugar daily, half of which come from soda, juices and other sugary drinks. New York Times
Hello! That is 10 tablespoons or just over 1/2 cup of sugar per day of ADDED sugar. They are not talking about sugar that naturally occurs in fruit or raisins – they are talking about sugar that (for example) Americans drink in their orange juice in the morning.
I know it isn’t news to you that sugar is linked to obesity and other diseases. I bet it isn’t news that sugar is addictive.
Sugar isn’t evil but it is consumed at way too high a rate to be good for us and the rate of diabetes confirms that we eat too much of it. Our bodies literally give up after we soak them in sugar.
So, what to do?
How about a day without added sugar?
I did this exactly once and I noticed something. I felt a craving about 2 PM for a cookie and it would NOT go away. I found myself hunting under the seats in my car for some sort of snack so I could get my “fix”.
You don’t even notice how much your body wants it until you quit for a day – and that is a bit scary.
I limit my consumption of sugar in a number of ways that work for me. I don’t drink soda, juice, Gatorade or anything like it. My empty-calorie choice is wine and I drink a glass or so per day.
I don’t eat baked goods unless I bake them myself or they are homemade and I stick to dark chocolate if I want a treat.
What is the most difficult about lowering the amount of sugar you consume is how much of it surrounds us. Coffee drinks, granola bars, yogurt, and whole grain cereals have tons of sugar added – forget the obviously high sugar foods like ice cream and brownies.
If you were to stop drinking the obvious problems such as juice, soda, or whatever other crazy drink (like Monster) you consume, you would be halfway to cutting your sugar intake. How about it?
Have you tried to reduce the amount of sugar you eat? How have you done it?