The average American eats over 20 teaspoons of added sugar every day. Yikes! Everybody knows they should avoid processed sugar, but knowing isn’t all that helpful… Doing it is the hard part! Here is what the latest research says about winning your war against sugar:
- Watch out for taste-bud ping-pong. When a sweet flavor is eaten along with a salty one–think French fries with soda or pretzels with juice–the brain doesn’t get satiated and it is very difficult to stop eating.
- Push the fruit after exercise. Fruit (which is about 80% water) tends to taste better after exercise because a thirsty body prefers watery foods.
- Sweeten it yourself. Buy breakfast cereals, drinks, and other snacks with NO sugar and then add your own if you need to sweeten it. This makes you much more aware of how much sugar you consume.
- Serve protein at each meal. This helps keep blood sugar levels steady, which can help prevent cravings.
- Make sleep a priority. Sleep deprivation can lead to sugar cravings.
- Finally, avoid even the occasional sugar-binge. Why? Psychology researchers at Princeton have finally proven that sugar is addictive. Granted, they studied rats (so they could look inside their brains) but they found that eating sugar produces similar results as taking addictive drugs. Rats fed sugar had altered brain chemistry similar to drug addicts; they had cravings, withdrawal, relapse and even increased preference for alcohol. Perhaps re-classifying sugar as an addictive substance will help us have the discipline not to buy it or keep it in the house.
Fight a good fight for me!
Have a good week,