Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How to Cut Out Sugar and Why

You've got to read this incredible article. Mike O'Donnell talks about the 3 steps to cutting out sugar from your diet, reminds us why sugar is so incredibly detrimental to our health, and what we gain health-wise when we do cut it out of our diet.

You may be thinking, "Oh, I know sugar causes cavities and makes me sleepy sometimes, but I can live with that..." Surprise! There are some more very serious health concerns related to eating sugar and here they are:
  • "Sugar increases fat storing"
  • "Sugar disrupts normal brain function"
  • "Sugar decreases your overall health and makes you age quicker"(1)

O'Donnell expands on each of these health concerns with compelling reasons to give up sugar. It is very well-written and he offers some easy steps to cutting out that white stuff.

The sugar revolution rages on!

(1) http://zenhabits.net/2008/10/beat-the-sugar-habit-3-steps-to-cut-sweets-mostly-out-of-your-life/


Living Visions Photography said...

This site is awesome! I went on a sugar free diet - hidden sugars and all 30 days ago, because I believe it is a true addiction, and I have a bunch of other theories. I also have cut out all additives and gluten too though, so you can imagine how hard it is to eat anywhere but home, but I manage. I just added honey into my diet as a sub sweetner, and have been coming up with chocolate recipies, like chocolate raisins tonight, they are pretty good. Your articles are great! I will keep checking back. Thanks!

My Year Without said...

Congratulations on your dedication, living visions! What are some of your other theories about sugar being an addiction?

It is definitely difficult to cut out sugar, additives AND gluten, but there seems to be an increasing number of people who just won't stand for JUNK in their food! It forces us to eat fresher fruits and vegetables and to experiment with recipes like you are doing. I would love to see your chocolate raisins recipe!

Living Visions Photography said...

Well my theory on sugar addiction just comes from watching people use it like a drug. They (and me before) use comfort foods when they feel down and it becomes a habit, and since eating is something you do to sustain life, it must be okay, right? Well, what happened to me was I watched myself and my mentality as I wasn't taking daily stress very well and I noticed my sugar intake was outrageous. I did a ton of research on anxiety and depression and found out a bunch about what sugar does to the chemicals and neurotransmitters in your brain - and if people knew, they would stop immeditatley. The increase of depression and anxiety in this country is on the rise, and the total blame might not be put on sugar, but the building blocks of helping you think thouroughly and clear are in your neurotransmitters, and sugar affects them. I am also a psychology major. Anyhow, I gave it up - all of it, and I feel as though I have gone through an entire month of detox, and I am not sure that I am done, but I feel a heck of a lot better. The whole point of me quitting sugar, and starting to eat healthy was to get my vitamin and minerals at the level they are suppposed to be at, and sugar stops your body from absorbing certain vitamins and minerals, just like alcohol. Such as, iron. I learned that iron is very low on the totum pole as far as people think about it for anxiety or depression, but it is very important. All of the vits and mins have to work together so it is very important to get them all daily. I quit gluten for the same reason, and I gave up dairy just because I am not too sure about it yet, and I figured while I am basically giving up all my favorite things, why not, you know? Lent should be easy this year! J.k.
But, I am growing a little suspicious of honey as being as bad for you as sugar - even though I have had organic local tupelo honey, I just can't find good unbiased support of why it is better - have you found any? I was doing great, but when I introduced it back in, I started getting headaches in the morning again, like I used to get with icecream. Anyhow - if you have a good link or book let me know. I looked for a link that might back up my book research, for those who want more information, but I didn't find much yet. But, I did find 144 reasons not to eat sugar, and I believe them all...
Oh, and BTW, I like my raisins, and I will give you the recipe as soon as I perfect it! Me and my husband have come up with some awesome stuff, I would love to share them with you as we make them taste better! But, I had natural peanut butter and raisins for a snack this morning and it rocked my socks, if no one has tried that one.

My Year Without said...

As far as honey goes, I have researched it and have found information both supporting it and damning it. I've found that WHY you are quitting sugar(s) will determine whether or not honey is bad for you.

If you are trying to maintain a low glycemic index, you would probably want to cut down on honey. Though it is not as quickly absorbed as sugar, it is broken down fairly quickly and still has a fairly high glycemic index (a numerical index that ranks carbohydrates based on their rate of glycemic response).

If you are wanting to stay away from substances that have been refined and are nutritionally absent, then for sure stay away from sugar, but raw honey can be a great substitute from those refined sugars. Honey has been around since the beginning of time and referenced through the ages in various reading materials as being substantive. Because it is natural, I like it. This being said, my guess is that because there are so many sugary options out there, including chemical sugar substitutes, there must be a conspiracy against honey so that we don't eat it--that we choose something else instead. Well, it has been around the longest and is natural, so I like it! Obviously, if you are having a reaction to it, I would respect your body and choose wisely.

As for baking, try date sugar. It acts almost exactly like white sugar, but is healthy ground up dates!