Why eliminate sugar from your lifestyle? It could be related to supposedly inconsequential changes in your health. Have you been noticing little things happening with your health as time goes on? I am referring to some small things that seem kind of insignificant on their own, but the impact seems to be adding up and perhaps you are starting to wonder what’s going on. Maybe you gained some weight around your middle within the last year that you just can’t get rid of, or you notice that you are craving certain fast foods or snack foods more often than usual, or maybe you are simply starting to wonder why you don’t have as much energy as you used to have. Perhaps your joints are starting to bother you, and you know you are much too young to have arthritis. If you identify with any or all of this – you are certainly not alone!
…could very well be the culprit in all of these seemingly insignificant issues. Sugar is sweet, but make no mistake – it is incredibly harmful! It is so toxic for us that I have dubbed it ‘Public Enemy #1’! It is a substance that we, as a society and as individuals, have become addicted to. There are many reasons for our addiction – but that is a topic for another article.
We in North American (and likely all over the world) are consuming more and more sugar every year, both as traditional sugar and from highly refined foods. Here are some staggering statistics:
- In the USA – the average person consumes 156 lb of sugar /year
- 26 lb from traditional sugar, and 130 lb from foods
- In Canada – stats are estimated to be 1/3 less or 104 lb of sugar year
- 18 lb from traditional sugar, and 86 lb from foods
The importance of eliminating it
Medical research tells us that sugar causes an incredible number of chronic health issues including inflammation, fatty liver, heart disease, obesity, immune issues, cognitive issues, blood sugar imbalance, pre-diabetes and full blown diabetes. The latter three issues are currently the most concerning problems associated with sugar and refined foods: blood sugar imbalance, insulin resistance and pre-diabetes. These can ultimately result in type 2 diabetes. The increasing number of people with new cases of diabetes is astounding! But here’s the good news: about 90% of diabetes cases can be totally avoided by making healthy dietary and lifestyle changes! And most cases of pre-diabetes can be totally reversed!
That’s why it is SO important to eliminate sugar – Public Enemy #1! There are 5 steps you can take, starting right now – to permanently eliminate sugar. Taking these steps is one of the best things you can do to be pro-active about your health!
Here are the 5 Simple Steps to Eliminate Sugar:
1. Eliminate refined foods and sugar from your dietary lifestyle.
While this might sound like an over-simplified, incredibly obvious step to take, it is not as obvious as you might think. The reality of the situation is that most people don’t even realize how much sugar they are taking into their body every single day.
Another fact that people are not aware of: the body reacts to highly refined foods exactly the same way it reacts to sugar itself! Even if it is not actually ‘sugar’ you are consuming – that refined, packaged food will digest at the same rate as sugar, it will have the exact same impact on the body as sugar does, and it will virtually be treated by the body just like sugar. For all intents and purposes, most refined foods are the same as sugar! Here’s how to accomplish Step #1:
- Become aware of how much sugar and refined foods you are buying and eating.
- Eliminate packaged goods of all descriptions, deep fried foods, refined white flour and wheat products including white pastas, candies and baked goods.
- Make a conscious choice to systematically eliminate refined foods and sugar.
- Do it one step at a time (first permanently eliminate baked goods and candies, then white breads and pastas…).
- Clean out your pantry to get rid of all junk foods, refined foods, and sugar.
2. Eat whole foods at least 90% – 95% of the time
- Have a plan when you go to the grocery store – make a list of healthy, whole foods to buy.
- When grocery shopping: make conscious choices – don’t buy refined or sugary foods.
- At the grocery store – shop around the perimeter of the store, starting with the produce section. The refined, packaged, sugary and junk foods are found in the center of the store.
- Cook your own meals as much as possible, from whole foods ingredients.
- Make a healthy lunch daily and take it to work with you instead of buying whatever fast foods are available.
3. Eliminate all soft drinks and sweetened beverages
Soft drinks, and seemingly innocent beverages are loaded with hidden sugars. Commercial iced tea seems quite harmless but you would be surprised at exactly how much sugar one iced tea will contain! You might think that ‘diet’ or ‘no sugar’ or ‘zero’ soft drinks are the answer, but those chemical sweeteners are brain toxins that are harmful to your health and they can trick the brain into reacting the same way as if you have just had sugar.
- Eliminate sweetened beverages – even eliminate the ‘diet’ drinks that are sweetened with chemical sweeteners.
- Eliminate all commercial juices – most of them are extremely high in sugar (natural or otherwise).
- What to drink instead:
- Drink pure water
- o Make your own iced teas from unsweetened herbal teas
- o Make infused fruit or veggie water – using fresh fruit or veggies
- o Use a small amount of stevia to sweeten tea, iced tea or coffee – it is not a harmful sweetener.
4. Eat balanced whole food meals and snacks every day
- Eat 3 balanced meals and 3 balanced snacks / day.
- Eat enough protein, fiber and carbohydrates from healthy, whole fruits and vegetables.
There are 3 reasons for this:
- to keep your metabolism burning evenly all
- to feed your body at intervals so you have energy when you need it
- to help you avoid excessive hunger so you won’t be grabbing the wrong foods
5. Become a label reader!
- Learn to read labels to know what is in the products BEFORE you buy them.
- Educate yourself about what the labels tell you.
- Know what the product’s Nutrition Chart is telling you.
- Read the ingredients list – it is very important!
- Rule of thumb – if there is a long list of ingredients you can’t pronounce or don’t understand – it’s probably full of chemicals and fillers. Best advice: put it back on the shelf and walk away!
What are the benefits to eliminating sugar?
As surprising as it may seem – taking the steps to eliminate that one item, sugar, can have really big benefits to your health! You will be able to:
- have more energy!
- look good and feel great!
- support your cells, organs and all body systems to work more efficiently.
- drastically reduce your risk for common chronic illnesses, such as:
- Insulin resistance
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Digestive issues
- Fatty liver
- Immune disorders
- Accelerated aging
Here’s the bottom line…
Sugar is a health hazard, no matter how you look at it! There will be more on the exact hazards in a future article. When you eliminate sugar and refined foods from your life, it could drastically change your health situation in a positive direction. In many cases the body can heal itself from the toxic affects of sugar, once sugar and refined foods consumption has stopped.
If you are struggling with sugar and refined foods, and want to eliminate sugar – I can help! My health coaching program, The Sugar Switch™ ONE, is designed to deal with sugar issues, stop sugar cravings, eliminate sugar, and completely reverse pre-diabetes. In fact, I guarantee it will reverse pre-diabetes! Contact me to find out more about the details of my Guarantee and how I can help you to reverse pre-diabetes.
The above 5 Steps are part of a Sugar Talk and More Radio Program Episode which I recorded on Tenacious Living Online Radio. Immediately below I have placed a link to the Transcript of that Episode, called Sugar – Public Enemy #1. You will be able to download the Transcript (a PDF file) if desired. A word about the Transcript: this copyright material is written in point form – not written as an article. When recording, I always used bullet points and verbally expanded on those points during each of the programs, rather than reading a fully written script.
In the near future, watch the Member’s area for the downloadable MP3 audio file of the radio program Episode Sugar – Public Enemy #1– I will post the link, probably at the bottom of future article about sugar.