Do you have a sweet tooth too? While I love sugary sweetness, (especially chocolate), the effects on health just aren’t worth it. So, instead I try to avoid sweets.
This can be especially hard around the holidays, when it seems like sugar is everywhere you look.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends eating no more than five teaspoons of sugar per day. That’s only about the amount in half a can of soda! Crazy, right?
A few tips for avoiding sugar:
Whole foods prepared from scratch are always best, because you know just what’s in them. But failing that, read labels carefully.
And whenever possible, make healthier substitutions –like stevia.
Still need a little convincing to reduce your sugar intake?
Here are six healthy reasons to keep sweets to a minimum, even during the holidays:
1. You’ll have more energy.
You get a sugar rush from eating sweets, but it is quickly followed by a sugar slump. This is because when your blood sugar crashes, so does your energy. Avoiding sugar and processed foods will help you feel a more even kind of energy all day long.
My Micronized Purple Rice will help with energy, too. Many people feel the energy right away, while for others it takes a little longer. I like to eat an extra tablespoon if my energy starts to lag.
2. Keep mouth bacteria to a minimum.
Before the dawn of agriculture, and the cultivation of grain, people seldom had cavities. But bacteria just love sugar. Even if you brush and floss regularly, just having sugar in your bloodstream gives bacteria a breeding ground to wreak havoc in your mouth.
Especially as we age, it’s important to maintain oral health. A vital part of this is keeping sugars out of our diet.
3. Keep your appetite even.
There’s something to the old advertising slogan, “You can’t eat just one.”
That was about potato chips, but chips are a simple carb that is made into sugar in our bodies. Eating simple carbs makes us want more, more, more. Soon we are eating all day long!
Instead, eat high-quality balanced meals. If you make fresh vegetables a mainstay of your diet, you can’t go wrong. Add in some fresh fruit, some healthy protein, and some healthy fats such as olive oil and coconut oil, and you’re good to go.
When you avoid sugars, you’re not hungry all the time.
4. Your brain will stay healthy longer.
Sugar has been shown to impair memory and cause other neurological problems. A recent UCLA study showed that keeping your blood sugar on an even keel will help you remember things better and even stay sharper as you age.
5. Keep inflammation at bay.
Sugar and other refined carbohydrates have been shown to increase inflammation throughout the body, causing joint pain, heart problems, and many other issues.
6. Your heart will love you for it.
Having a high sugar intake has been shown to double the rate of heart disease, according to the American Heart Association.
Keep your circulatory system healthy by eating healthy whole foods with no sugar added, getting some exercise every day, and making sure you get enough omega-3s (such as fish oil, krill oil, or flaxseed oil if you’re vegetarian).
So, do your heart and your loved ones a favor — keep sugar to a minimum, all year round!