Excess Sugar: the Obesity Villain of 2013


With every 1g of sugar you eat being converted into 2g of body fat, sugar is the biggest culprit in rising obesity incidence. A fact that needs to be taken charge off before 2014!

Its high time to cut out all sugar and artificial sweeteners, including the 'stealth' sugar that manufacturers add to both sweet and savoury foods (even ones you wouldn't expect, such as pizzas and pasta sauces). According to Dr Robert Lustig, in his book, Fat Chance: The Bitter Truth About Sugar, the rivers of Coca-Cola and Pepsi consumed by young people today have as much to do with obesity as the mountains of burgers. Multiple studies link excessive soda consumption with obesity. For example, a study of Massachusetts schoolchildren found that for each additional sugary drink a child drank per day, his odds of becoming obese increased 60%.

Foodstuffs containing sugar raise insulin levels in the body. Insulin is the hormone, which causes energy to be stored in fat cells. Sugar energy is the most egregious, but there are three other categories: trans fats (which are on the way out), alcohol (which children do not drink) and dietary amino acids. Originally, when high-fat foods were blamed for making us overweight, manufacturers tumbled over each other to produce low-fat products. But to make them palatable, they added sugar, causing much greater problems.

Tips to Limit Sugar Craving

  • Switch from white to brown bread in order to balance your insulin levels.

  • Ensure that wholegrain carbohydrates make up less than a quarter of your meal.

  • Protein and vegetables should become the new-found heroes on your plate. Use beans (aduki beans, cannellini beans, butter beans or kidney beans) or lentils to bulk out a meal instead of potatoes or bread. Opt for lean protein to keep calorie intake down and choose from fish (not breaded or battered), chicken (no skin), pork (fat trimmed), beef (steak or 5 per cent fat mince) or eggs.

  • Include Chromium in diet. Diets high in simple sugars increase the urinary excretion of chromium and rob the body of some of the chromium it needs. This mineral is used to help the body balance blood sugar. Studies have shown that many patients found it also helped lower sugar cravings. Concentrated foods sources of chromium include onions, tomatoes, brewer's yeast, oysters, whole grains, bran cereals, and potatoes.  The effective dosage range is 600-1,000 mcg a day, in divided doses, with meals.

  • Fight Stress to guard sugar craving, especially as the adrenal gland becomes more fatigued. Ways to fight stress are innumerable with exercise topping the list.  A study at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, shows that 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise that raises your heart rate to about 120 beats per minute at least three times a week can lower depression and anxiety within 12 weeks. Performing some stretching exercises or regular exercise pattern can help you combat stress.

  • Watch your Thyroid Levels. Low thyroid activity may contribute to sugar cravings. Symptoms of this condition include dry skin, fatigue, cold hands and feet, brain fog, constipation and hair loss. Thyroid function can be monitored using simple blood tests under the care of a physician. Thyroid function can be affected by low levels of selenium and zinc.

  • Find Substitute: Replace sugared sodas with diet ones, one regular soft drink (or one diet soda) per day with an alternative drink. The best choice: water. If it's the caffeine you crave, you're better off with tea or coffee, with minimal added sugars.

  • Set Diet Goal and Rewards, too. Overcoming poor diet habits is a big challenge, but, setting up rewards can leave something to look forward to. For every effort congratulate your self with a dollar or  beauty treatment.

 A healthy weight, mental sharpness and optimal aging are the sweet rewards for your efforts to handle sugar craving.



Dated  03 December 2013


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