The Not so Sweet Truth

Happy Friday! I just got back from a trip to the Farmer's Market and the grocery store. Any day I get to grocery shop is a good day. Grocery shopping is one of my favorite activities of all time!

After seeing the movie Fed Up, stores have been looking a little different to me this. Fed Up explains how much sugar is having an impact on the obesity epidemic in our country. I am so happy this documentary was made! I have been weary about the negative effects sugar can have on our bodies for a while now. I didn't realize the vast impact it was having on our entire country. I definitely recommend seeing it if it is playing in a theater near you! If not, watch it as soon as it comes out on DVD or Netflix. Sugar hides in so many different foods under so many different names! 

I used to have a hard time with sugar. To this day when something "goes wrong" or I am having a hard time, my bodies initial reaction is to consume sugar. It took me quite some time to realize this was the case but now that I know it, I am empowered and I am able to consciously make different choices. Of course, sugar in moderation from time to time is not a bad idea (as long as your blood sugar levels are normal). But if you are reaching for a sugary treat every time you want to reward yourself, feel down, or just reach for a snack, it's probably time to reevaluate your relationship to sugar. It's a powerful substance! In fed up they explained how sugar stimulates the same part of your brain as cocaine does, which is what causes it to be so addictive. 

That is crazy!! I always knew sugar was addicting, but I did not realize just how powerful it could be. According to the American Heart Association, women are recommended to consume no more than 5 teaspoons (20 grams) and men no more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams) of sugar per day. This amount may sound generous but when you realize that most "healthy" flavored yogurts contain about 19 grams of sugar or a Vanilla Latte from Starbucks contains 36 grams of sugar it becomes pretty apparent that we overdo sugar quite a bit. 

When I started to cut sugar out of my diet a few months ago, it was a slow process. First I cut out lattes and other coffee drinks that had added flavors. Next, I stopped buying foods at the grocery store with added sugars, including sweetened almond milk, cereals, and crackers. Recently I have been cutting back on sweet desserts, which has definitely been the hardest part for me! You may not know this about me but I have a HUGE sweet tooth! Letting go of sugar has not been easy. But I can't lie; I feel so much better! The less sugar I consume the better I feel. When I do decide to indulge or I slip up because of a hard day I can feel the effects pretty clearly now. 

The less sugar you eat the less you will miss it. One of the greatest things about being human is that we are so adaptable. Your pallet will adjust to whatever way you choose to eat. So the more you move away from processed sugary foods the better and sweeter naturally occurring sugar will taste. It may be tough to give up your morning latte or your evening dessert but believe me, your body will thank you. You are sweet enough as it is. And remember, it's all about balance! I am not quitting sugar all together, nor am I recommending that. As long as you are aware of what you are putting in your body and making conscious choices, you should be feeling great! 

Stay Sweet and Balanced!

Natalie