No sugar challenge

Posted on February 17, 2013. Filed under: diet, health, wellness | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Sugar: that delectibly, incredibly addictive white stuff. Why am I so infatuated with it and how did I become so addicted especially when I know better?!

I love sugar. I do. It is difficult to deny the sweet stuff and the rush of energy and good feeling it gives  within minutes of popping something sugary in my mouth.  But with that rush also comes the knowing that the sugar will not effectively do anything to better my body and will in fact, hurt it.

Many of us know that consuming excess sugar is bad for us, but why? What does it do to  our bodies?

Here are the facts:

–  Excess sugar is directly related to obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes,  high blood pressure, and increased risk of stroke

– Excess sugar causes an increase in the bad cholesterol, LDL.  As the liver works to filter all the excess sugar, it becomes overloaded. The liver then converts the extra sugar into LDL, aka fat, that circulates in the blood. This type of clogs arteries, causing heart disease, hypertension, and increased risk of stroke.

– Increased sugar is linked to increased risk of cancer. Approximately 1/3 of common cancers such as breast and  colon cancer need sugar to grow. If a person has a cancerous tumor, they will be essentially “feeding” this cancer by ingesting sugar because instead of going to supply the organs and muscles, it goes straight to the tumors.

– Sugar is addictive. Sugar activates the same regions in the brain as cocaine does. We experience pleasure from ingesting sugar by the increased release of dopamine (the good feeling chemical) that occurs. Over time, our bodies become sort of immune to this response and our brain requires more sugar to release dopamine. We have to eat more sugar to get that same good feeling. It causes an addictive cycle.

Check out any YouTube videos with Dr. Lustig, who has started a campaign against the overconsumption of sugar in the American diet.

It is decided; it is time I break-up with sugar. I will deny myself any cookies, cake, candy, sugar in coffee, honey on my peanut butter sandwich or in my tea, syrup, processed foods sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (salad dressings, peanut butter, yogurt, pop), refined white bread, pasta and the like.

My no sugar challenge is fullfilling my Lenten obligation, thus it will last 40 days. I have successfully made it four days without wanting to attack someone. Perhaps after these forty days, I will have a healthy relationship with sugar, not be addicted, and I can enjoy the sweet stuff in moderation–the way in which it was supposed to be enjoyed.

Are you addicted to sugar? Please join with me and begin your own no sugar challenge. Whether it is just a week, a few months, or whatever you decide, it is a step towards bettering our mind and bodies.

Be vigorous,

Angela

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