The question that I have been asked the most since I have started this journey is "Why is sugar so bad?" The following is one of the best articles I have read about the effects of sugar on the body and why it might be beneficial to reduce or eliminate sugar from your food choices.
Sugar has become a staple in our modern diet, but why is sugar bad for your health? Many foods we eat on a regular basis are loaded with sugar. Sometimes you can’t even taste the sugar but it’s still in there. As delicious as sugar-laden foods may taste, the truth is sugar is just bad for your health, especially when you start to overindulge in it.
Sugar is a sticky substance and if left in the bloodstream (instead of being burned as energy) the particles will start to stick to the cells. The result is that if you are consuming a lot of sugar each day, you will get more wrinkles, will experience a lack of mobility in the joints, dry brittle nails and hair and a range of other health problems.
Reduce the amount of sugar you eat and you will soon notice a positive change in the way your skin looks. The reason for this is that refined carbohydrates such as white bread and other white flour products, are high in sugar and will cause an inflammation of the skin. This in turn creates high levels of free radicals which attack the collagen that keeps the skin stay firm. Without enough of this collagen, you will start to notice wrinkles.
Not only are free radicals bad news for your skin they are also deadly for the body, which is another reason why sugar is bad for your health. Free radicals can cause a lot of damage in healthy cells and lead to many illnesses of the body.
Sugary foods can also compromise your immune system. Research has shown that white blood cells are less efficient at fighting illness when exposed to sugar. A diet high in sugar will also raise your insulin levels quickly which can lead to many other health problems. You’ll also lack energy as a result of these sugar spikes and the drop in blood sugar that follows.
It’s no secret that obesity and weight-related illnesses are on the rise in many countries and this is directly attributed to our diets and lifestyle. Our bodies simply aren’t able to cope with such high sugar levels and this is why illnesses like diabetes are at an all time high. Cutting the excess sugar out of your diet is one of the best things you can do for your body.
It’s not easy especially the first few weeks when you will still experience some sort of craving for sugar, but you can try to substitute with fresh fruit which has a natural form of sugar and eventually your cravings will pass and you’ll start to feel and look great.
(Sourced from www.healthymenumailer.com)
It has officially started...the HOLIDAY SEASON and of course the food that goes with it...treats, snacks, cookies, chocolate, egg nog (with just a splash of rum), fruit cake...and my own personal nemesis SHORTBREAD! How many calories are within just inches of our reach at almost any given time on any given day, through the Christmas weeks? Every event, every function, every get together with friends is centred around food and indulging. It can be an overwhelming and emotional time for anyone, but especially for people working on changing their weight and living a healthy life style.
Consider the calories in some of the common holiday foods eaten during this season.
Roasted Turkey - 6 oz mixed meat, untrimmed:
1 cup stuffing:
3/4 cup turkey gravy
1 cup mashed potatoes:
3/4 cup candied sweet potatoes:
1 cup green bean casserole:
1/2 cup cranberry sauce:
1 roll with butter:
2 glasses wine, punch or cider:
1 slice pumpkin pie with whipped cream:
1 slice pecan pie:
1 cup Egg Nog:
1 serving (3.5 oz) peanut brittle:
Lindt chocolate truffle ball:
2 shots (3 fl oz) liqueur:
2 small shortbread cookies (1.2 oz):
2 small pieces fudge (1.2 oz):
A meal including turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, a roll with butter, pumpkin pie and wine can easily add up to nearly 3,000 calories! That's not including any of the appetizers or after dinner sweets that are commonly served at this time of year.
Trimming the Calories of Holiday Foods...
Reduce the portion of all the holiday foods that you eat – try to have a small taste of everything rather than filling up on all foods. This will reduce the amount of calories you eat and it will prevent you from feeling uncomfortable around the waistline at the end of the meal, too!
Limit yourself to one helping. Planning what you will eat before you sit down to a meal can help you resist the temptation to have a second helping.
Trim the skin and excess fat from your serving of turkey.
Try to avoid the foods that you don't really care for – this way you can avoid consuming these calories and reduce your total intake. For example, if you don't really like to have cranberry sauce with your turkey, don't even put it on your plate.
Avoid going to a holiday party hungry - this will help prevent you from making poor choices at the hors d'oeuvres or dinner table.
Know your triggers. If you know that you cannot have just one piece of Lindt chocolate, avoid eating them as much as you can. If you decide to have one, make a deal with yourself that you will have one at a particular time of day (end of the day may be best for you if it is at the office, because then you are out of the office shortly afterward). Once you decide that you will have a candy, make it a deliberate event where your complete attention is on eating. This will allow you to savor the chocolate and prevent you from eating food while being distracted (while you work or watch TV), which often leads to eating more than you want or need.
(In other words...eat with PURPOSE! Take the time to savour and enjoy. You will feel more satisfied and ultimately, you will need and want less!)
(Sourced from www.healthcastle.com)
Above all else, always visualize yourself at your ultimate goal, plan ahead, and do not lose sight of what is most important; your well-being. This is a wonderful time to celebrate family and gratitude! Be grateful for your HEALTH and WELLNESS!