5 min read
Too much sugar in our diets can be one of the biggest threats to modern health. Yet, in the year of 2020 when stress, anxiety and isolation is high, it’s fair to guess the average intake of 156 pounds of sugar a year, will be higher.
Being educated on the sweet danger of sugar can be the fuel we need to create change.
9 Reasons Sugar is Bad for Your Health
- Sugar impairs mental health by skewing cortisol and neurotransmitters. In the era of a pandemic, comfort eating with foods that have excess sugar can be an insult to the body and the mind.
- Sugar can deplete important nutrients in our body, including B vitamins, which are important for energy levels, sleep, anxiety, fertility and much more.
- Sugar intake is linked to endocrine disorders.
- No doubt, sugar is addicting, yet, hides in so many packaged foods like salad dressing, marinara sauce, sausages and more.
- Sugar contributes to yeast overgrowth, inflammation, dry skin and acne.
- It can make you irritable and cause mood swings.
- It weakens the immune system.
- It can cause cravings.
- It can cause indigestion and decrease the amount of good, healthy gut bacteria in our colon.
How can I break up with sugar for good?
Curb habits around sugar by focusing on overall blood sugar control.
For my clients, I implement a 4-Part Meal Formula for better energy and post-meal blood sugars.
The 4-Part Meal Formula:
- Protein (size of the palm of your hand)
- Fiber, ideally cover half of a plate (fruit, veg, legumes, intact grains), and
- Some form of healthy fat (avocados (1/2 avocado), nuts, seeds, coconut, olives, healthy oils).
- Something green
This is the ideal meal formula for steady blood sugar control and gut health.
In addition, these tips can help you break up with sugar for good:
- Observe sources of sugar and be savvier about what you put in your grocery cart.
- Start the day with a meal that has adequate protein (>20 grams), fiber, and fat.
- Eat 4 (or fewer) times a day and eat around the same time of day.
- Cut ties with liquid calories, including fancy coffee drinks.
- Aim to have at least 20 grams (the palm portion of your hand) of protein at each meal.
- Opt for something bitter or sour in your meals, like kimchi, green apples, pickled veggies to cut cravings.
- Avoid naked carbs, i.e. avoid eating an apple solo. Add nuts to create a more balanced snack.
- Make sure you are nurturing a bedtime and getting adequate sleep.
Emotional eating is real and it can stem from our own expectations. Use food as fuel and not as entertainment, and above all, be very kind to yourself.
Kelly Schmidt, RD, LDN is a Type 1 Diabetic Dietitian speaker and coach, providing practical solutions and personalized nutrition for her clients.