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Mindful Health®

Beat Your Sugar Habit

March 5, 2018

Sugar is an energy source that’s fine in moderation; however, many Americans have a tendency to overindulge. If you have a sugar habit you’ll need Mindful tips to beat your sweet addiction.

Believe it or not, sugar can become an addiction. It activates the “reward center” of the brain, which encourages us to eat more than is necessary. Americans sugar addiction has gotten worse over the years. In 1822, the average American consumed 45 grams of sugar every five days, that’s the equivalent of a 12-ounce can of soda. Today, the average Americans consumes 765 grams of sugar every five days, that’s the equivalent of 17 cans of sodas. This is becoming a major problem for Americans as sugar lacks nutritional benefit for the body and too much of it can lead to major health consequences like sugar crashes, anxiety, fatigue, headaches, and even obesity.

Curb your sugar addictions with these Mindful tips: 

  1. Become informed: Most of Americans are living a very busy lifestyle on very little rest. That’s why sugary, caffeinated drinks have become so popular. Unfortunately, a typical Starbucks latte can have up to 35 grams of sugar, a twelve-ounce can of soda typically have 39 grams of sugar, and energy drinks generally have 34 grams or more of sugar.
  2. Use energy alternatives: Reduce your sugar intake and boost your energy by considering other alternatives. Eating foods rich in vitamin C can boost your energy. Half of a papaya has 150 percent of your vitamin C daily needs and contains only nine grams of sugar. Half a cup of strawberries has 149 percent of your vitamin C daily needs and contains only seven grams of sugar.
  3. Try fruit: Instead of baked desserts like cookies and cakes, consider eating fruit. Fruit contains sugar too but it also has other healthy nutrients like vitamins, proteins, and minerals. You can try them fresh, frozen, or dried (however, beware that canned fruit has a lot of additional sugar).
  4. Try sugar-free desserts: Or try making new sugar free desserts like No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Balls made with coconut, apple cider, and oats. They have about 2 grams of sugar per serving.
  5. Use sugar alternatives: Substituting sugar in recipes with agave nectar, honey, brown sugar, molasses, or even cane juice is better for your health. However, these options are still sugar, so remember that moderation is key.
  6. Beware of hidden sugars: A large amount of sugar is hidden in various foods, not just your sweet treats. So to benefit your health and kick your sugar addiction, be on the lookout for hidden sugars. For instance, two tablespoons of barbeque sauce can contain 13 grams of sugar, half a cup of pasta sauce has 12 grams of sugar, and sweet and sour chicken has 19 grams of sugar. For more hidden sugary foods check out this link.
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