Hidden Sugars Can Make a Bad Day Worse
By Donna Stark
I'm sure that at some point in your life, you have had a bad day, maybe even a very bad day. A day so bad that when you got back home from work in the evening, the first thing you did was grab the gallon of ice cream, a spoon, and the canister of whipped cream. Forget dinner. You just wanted to erase the bad with something good, and delving into a sugary treat always does the trick for you, right? Well, perhaps for the moment, but you really shouldn't make it a daily habit. We all know that sugary foods aren't the healthiest thing to eat, and if you are giving in to your sweet tooth more often than not, you are probably consuming more sugar than you realize.
Hidden Sugars in Your Diet
It's obvious that you are eating straight sugar when you grab that candy bar or bottle of pop but sugar can also hide out in less obvious foods, so you need to be careful and very intentional about what you allow in your diet. Too much sugar can wreak havoc in your body. Take a look.
- It's addicting - Sugar releases dopamine in the brain, which may leave you wanting more
- It can cause certain health issues - Diets high in sugar have been linked to conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease
- It can lead to excess weight - Sugar also contributes to weight gain and obesity, which can lead to joint issues and excessive stress on the body
Reducing Your Sugars
The good news? With just a few simple changes to your diet, you can start to live a healthier life that involves less sugar intake! Here are some tips on how to get started.
- Eat whole foods - Although fruits and vegetables contain natural sugars, they are also full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals that slow digestion and the flow of sugar into the body's bloodstream. So instead of grabbing an energy bar, grab a handful of almonds or walnuts; in place of your usual cup of flavored yogurt, buy plain yogurt and add fresh fruit.
- Portion your sweets - Remember, when you eat sugar, your body often craves more, so portion your desserts and put the rest away! Do this before dinner so that when it is time to indulge, the leftover is already stashed and out of sight.
- Save the sweets for dessert - In addition to spiking your blood sugar levels, eating sugary snacks throughout the day may also heighten your cravings for more. So find some alternative options such as fruit-infused water, mints, or gum to get you through to dinnertime and save your sweets for a small dessert. When eaten after a healthy meal, the dessert won't have the same impact on your blood sugar as it does when eaten alone.
You may want to pace yourself as you start to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet because quitting cold turkey can cause cravings to intensify. So take small steps, and take them one at a time. And stop those bad days from becoming even worse.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Spartanburg, S.C.