I am so grateful to have learned the dangers of sugar. That knowledge has finally motivated me to almost entirely eliminate sugar and all its kissin' cousins from my diet. I feel so much better!
Of course I was never under the impression that sugar was a good thing. But I was never really compelled to give it up.
The thing that tipped the scales for me was a fascinating book I read called The Perfect 10 Diet. I followed up the book with an interview with its author Dr. Michael Aziz, a Manhattan internist.
Although the title conjures up images of Bo Derek, it really isn't about achieving the perfect 10 body. It's really about the 10 key hormones in our body and how to regulate them perfectly.
I'm talking about hormones like the sex hormones: estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. Then there's cortizol, which is activated by stress and leads to dangerous belly fat. There are hormones like thyroid, human growth hormone, DHEA, leptin and the one that gets so much attention: insulin.
When our hormones are balanced we feel great and behave accordingly. Among other things, we eat sensibly.
Keeping steady insulin levels is so important. They usually go out of whack when we eat sugar and refined carbohydrates, which to your body is the same thing as sugar. They cause our insulin levels to spike, which leads to a desire for more of the same food, which leads to weight gain.
Sugar and refined carbs are incredibly addictive. The more you have, the more you want, and it takes increasingly larger amounts to satisfy. Exaggerated insulin levels cause a sugar crash, too, which feels awful. It's a miserable roller-coaster ride. I highly recommend getting off!
I went cold turkey after my interview with Dr. Aziz. I will admit, however, that I had a craving for sugars and refined carbohydrates for about four days. I would satisfy that craving with fruit until the craving went away and it worked like a charm.
Here's how to get sugar out of your diet. First, check the labels of foods you eat and make sure there's no sugar in the list of ingredients. Also make sure there isn't any high fructose corn syrup or any ingredient ending in "ose," like dextrose or glucose, and don't eat any ingredient that has the word "syrup."
Once you do that, you will notice there are about three or four items in the entire grocery store that don't contain some type of sugar. Seriously, I thought I was doing great by buying 100 percent whole wheat bread until I looked at the label and noticed high fructose corn syrup in the bread! It's also in pasta sauce! It's everywhere!
Another way to get rid of sugars is to eliminate refined carbohydrates from your diet, which is just about as challenging as getting rid of sugars because they are in just about everything. At least you can see them. They are white: white flour, white bread, white pasta, white rice, etc.
The good news is their whole wheat counterparts are a magnificent substitution.
By getting rid of sugars and refined carbohydrates your insulin levels will remain nice and stead and you will feel much better...the way you should!
And you will probably drop weight, to boot!