Sugar, a Highly Functioning Sociopath
Public enemy No. 1 is sugar!
One of the major problems contributing to weight issues is excess sugar consumption. To put this into context, the average daily consumption of sugar by Americans in 1822 was 9 grams a day. It is currently 153 grams a day. The average person in the U.S. consumes 130 pounds of sugar per year. This is nearly a 17-fold increase in less than 200 years. We change very slowly biologically, yet we have drastically altered what we are eating and the amount of sugar we are consuming.
Added sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet. It provides calories with no added nutrients and can damage your metabolism in the long run. Eating too much sugar is linked to weight gain and various diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and increased risk of cancer to name a few.
To monitor sugar consumption, it is helpful to understand that 4 grams of sugar is equivalent to one teaspoon. It is recommended that a healthy daily consumption of sugar should not exceed 24 grams or six teaspoons for women and 36 grams or nine teaspoons for men.
Although the U.S. leads the world in sugar consumption, this is a global problem. The top sugar loving nations include the following:
None of these rates of consumption for individuals is close to recommended daily allowance.
Sugar is highly addictive. Sugar activates the reward center in our brain the same way as many drugs, provoking similar cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
There are two simple Self Care principles that we can do to break the sugar addiction.
Read food labels
The first step we need to take is to read food labels to keep your daily consumption at a healthy level.
This becomes apparent given the fact that there are over 600,000 food items in the U.S. and 80% of them contain added sugars. Sometimes in foods that we wouldn’t suspect as having added sugars. So read labels and journal your daily added sugar consumption. Heather has created a simple Weekly Self Care Journal to help track this and other self care activities.
Let protein help
Eating protein is an easy way to curb sugar cravings. High-protein foods digest slowly, keeping you feeling full longer. Protein doesn't make your blood sugar spike the way refined carbs and sugars do. Protein shakes are ideal for this.
Nikken’s Kenzen Vital Balance protein shake contains organic moringa and naturally sweet monk fruit in addition to organic pea protein and organic vegetables. It is designed to help burn fat and boost metabolism as well as promote healthy brain function and the elimination of toxins in the body. With pre- and probiotics to assist in digestive and immune system activity, Kenzen Vital Balance is food for action and food for thought, perfect for all ages and a great way to not only nourish your body but also break the sugar addiction and Be Healthy by Choice.