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The Sugar Addiction Epidemic 0

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There is a major addiction problem occurring throughout the world, and specifically our country. It isn’t drugs, though it can be equally addictive. It isn’t alcohol, though it can be equally as dangerous. This addiction often goes unspoken… but deserves quite a bit of attention. We are talking about sugar addiction!

Americans consume 130 lbs of sugar each and every year… no, not as a whole, but on an individual basis. This is comparable to 17 cans of soda every 5 days, or 15 gallons of soda each year. That is enough sugar to fill an entire dumpster per person, per year.

In the average American’s diet, sugar comprises 500 calories each day. The scariest part is that these numbers are rising each year. Sugar consumption has been linked to obesity, hypertension, depression, fatigue, diabetes, headaches, acne, and anxiety.

Why is sugar such an issue? Consuming sugar sends “feel good” hormones to the brain, much like many drugs, making this a very addictive substance. Unlike many drugs, it can be difficult to go “cold turkey”. Though sugar is not something we have to consume on a daily basis, it can be hard to avoid. It’s not only found in soda, candy, and sweets, but can be hiding in a variety of foods in a variety of forms.

Many people reach for sugar when they are in a slump, either an energy slump or an emotional slump. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate, meaning it gives you an almost immediate “rush” which is shortly followed by a crash. This often leads to a sugar binge to sustain the wanted energy. So what’s a better option? Opt for complex carbs, they are more slowly digested by the body leading to a more even and long lasting effect.

You do not need to completely cut sugar from your diet, though some studies show that a sugar detox can be extremely helpful to retrain your brain, and your taste buds to not crave sugar. If you are craving something sweet, reach for sugar in it’s natural form… such as fruit. We should be consuming no more than 9.5 teaspoons per day. Though it is not necessary to drive yourself crazy counting calories and sugar grams, you will more than likely find it beneficial to cut back. Your body (and your skin) will thank you!

The Not So Sweet Side of Sugar 0

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 MmmmmmSUGAR! It seems to make life so sweet… or does it? We all know that though sugar may taste delicious, it can have a negative impact on our health. Sugar can increase cholesterol, contribute to diabetes, weaken eyesight, cause cardiovascular disease, contribute to osteoporosis, interfere with protein absorption, and fuel the growth of cancer, but did you know that it can also wreak havoc on your skin? When simple sugar molecules such as glucose, or fructose attach to fats and proteins rogue molecules begin to form. This process is known as glycation. Glycation causes the onset of wrinkles, can make your skin brittle and inflamed, and destroys both collagen and elastin.

How can you have your cake and eat it too? There is no need to cut out sugar completely. Sugar naturally occurs in many healthy foods such as fruit. There are also healthy and natural substitutes such as stevia. Honey and agave are other great substitutes as they have a lower glycemic index than sugar. Just remember to steer clear of those nasty chemical substitutes. They don’t come without a price and are accompanied by a whole new slew of health problems.

Another way to fight the glycation process is by upping your intake of antioxidants. Filling up on green tea, berries, and spinach are good ways to keep the nasty side effects of sugar at bay and help protect your skin.

Just remember… 

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