SUGAR: WHY AND HOW TO RESTRICT IT
The amount of dietary sugar you consume is of vital importance to your overall health. Too much sugar consumption will typically cause your blood glucose levels to become elevated, which can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, premature aging, and an overall shortened life span. In an effort to reduce their risk of heart disease, millions of Americans have focused on reducing dietary fat consumption. Ironically, this may actually be making the problem worse. Many “low fat" foods contain excessive amounts of added sugar in order to make them more palatable. A better approach would be to focus on eating foods containing health-promoting fats.
For optimal health (including weight loss and prevention of chronic disease) it is recommended that you avoid or heavily restrict even raw, “natural", and unprocessed sugars such as unrefined cane sugar and raw honey. Artificial sweeteners and refined sugars should be avoided completely (or as much as possible), and include: agave sweeteners, maple syrup, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, and sodas.
4 tips to reduce your simple sugar consumption and stay healthy:
- One healthy alternative to sugar is the herb stevia.
- To control your sweet tooth, keep in mind that regular exercise can significantly decrease your sugar cravings.
- Another way to decrease sugar cravings is to drink water with some fresh lemon juice whenever you get a sugar craving.
- Fresh fruit or frozen fruit blended into a natural sorbet is a healthy alternative to simple sugars and unhealthy desserts.
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