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Do You Really Have to Give Up Sugar?

By Genevieve Cunningham

Sugar adds so much delicious flavor to life. We love it, and it shows up in almost every part of our modern diet. We turn to sugar in various situations as well. When we're feeling bad or down, we often turn to sugar. When we need energy, we turn to sugar. It solves a lot of problems, right? Not quite. Even though we often eat sugar to give us a boost or make us feel better, it's actually really bad for our health. But do you have to give it up? If you love the sweetness of sugar in your diet, take a look at how to eat it responsibly for better health. 

Why Sugar is Bad

Not every drop of sugar is bad. A little bit of sugar is OK. But when you consume sugar in excessive amounts, these negative side effects can happen:

  • Weight gain - Sugar is converted to fat. If you eat too much sugar, it will most certainly lead to excessive weight that you'll have to work off later.

  • Heightened risk of disease - Research suggests that excessive sugar consumption can lead to a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. The bottom line? Sugar can lead to sickness.

  • Addiction - Yes, you can be addicted to sugar. The more you eat, the more you want to eat. And breaking an addiction is never fun or easy.

Healthy Alternatives

For a lot of people, the need for sugar is really a need for two things: energy or a sweet flavor. If you need energy, consider eating a protein source or another kind of carbohydrate. Each of these can provide energy without the dangers of sugar. If you're looking to satisfy a sweet tooth, consider snacking on fruit or replacing sugar with an alternative such as stevia. 

The Final Answer on Sugar

So can you eat sugar? Of course you can. In fact, we need a little bit. But it's best if the sugar is natural (like fruit) and if we monitor our consumption. In moderation, you can enjoy a little sugar without risking too much damage to your overall health and well-being. 

You don't have to completely give up sugar in your life. Sometimes you may need it for a little extra energy. But it's definitely important to find a good balance. Eat sugar -- but do it responsibly. With practice and a little restraint, you can have the best of both worlds in diet and in life.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Wichita, Kans.

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