GMO Sugar – You Can’t Get Away From It!
More and more recent research is saying just how bad sugar is for your health. From obesity to insomnia, this stuff seems to interfere with everything.
What’s worse, there’s a lot of evidence that sugar is highly addictive—even as addictive as some drugs. It seems that sugar, especially processed sugar, causes a release of dopamine and other feel-good chemicals that get you hooked right away.
And you want to know something quite interesting? I was just on a trip where I met a guy who used to work with Monsato – the corporation who has been suing farmers for ridiculous patent claims (read the business week article on them here), and what he told me I had to make sure I shared with all of you. What is most scary is that over the past few years Monsanto has been farming GMO (genetically modified) sugar beets to produce sugar and the ramifications of the herbicides used as well as cross-contamination are a threat to organic farmers.
Natural sodas coming from the Pepsico corporation have also been recently exposed of containing these GMO sugars and the health implications are quite unclear (read the full article here).
What I’m getting at here is that perhaps its the GMO sugars that are causing some kind of hormonal imbalances or in more simple terms, interfering with our natural body chemistry and the cause effect is a harsh addiction.
That unknown is a big one and I think it’s time we kick the habit. I’ve tried all of these myself, and I can tell you that it is highly effective in curbing the irrational sugar cravings.
Let’s start with the basics…
Sorting Out Carbs and Sugars
Sugars are carbohydrates, but they’re the simplest carbohydrates you can get from your food. All carbohydrates are essentially composed of different numbers of sugar molecules. The problem with the simple sugar molecules, like the ones you get in processed sugars, is that they enter your bloodstream quickly and cause a very fast spike in blood sugar levels.
This spike can cause a number of problems, from nasty cravings to insulin resistance and obesity. This is also where the addictive properties of sugar really come into play.
But some other carbohydrates cause a pretty fast spike in blood sugar as well, especially processed grains like white bread, white pasta, and white rice. Because they’re so heavily processed and stripped of their nutrients, they end up acting much like processed sugar when they enter your body.
What’s the Solution?
In addition to cutting out all processed sugars (including foods that have added sugar), you should also be cutting out highly processed carbohydrates. Make sure everything you eat is whole grain, and go for minimal processing whenever possible. Fruits are okay in moderation, because they tend to include a lot of other nutrients.
Vegetables are the kind of carbohydrates (called fibrous carbohydrates) that you want to get more of in your diet. Starchy carbs like those found in potatoes and peas should be eaten less frequently, but overall veggies are the thing to go with.
The biggest challenge is to remove foods that contain added processed sugars. Everything from ketchup to salad dressings can contain sugar, so you really have to monitor your labels.
If you think you’re ready to give it a try, here are a few more ways to quit sugar in 30 days.
How to Quit Sugar for Good
1. Avoid Artificial Sweeteners – Unfortunately, artificial sweeteners just remind you of what sugar tastes like, and can keep that craving alive. Some of them also come with their own health risks. If you can ditch these too, now’s the time.
2. Eat Natural Foods Regularly – In order to stay satisfied without sugar, you have to be eating enough. Keep your meals and snacks healthy, but make sure you’re constantly fuelling your body.
3. Avoid Processed Foods – The first problem with processed foods (biggest culprits – cereal, bread, dry pasta, chocolate, rice crackers, chips, etc.) is that they often contain added sugar. But even if that’s not the case, you need to boost your nutrient intake to get through the first 30 days. Go whole foods as much as possible.
4. Go with Reduced or even Full Fat Foods – Fat-free foods are usually packed with added sugar. Go with reduced-fat or even full-fat, whole foods all the time. They’ll also be far more satisfying and keep you full longer. Plus, recent research of 72 different studies and 600,00 people is saying that saturated fat really isn’t all that bad for you (read it here).
5. Drink Lots of Water – Coming off of sugar can sometimes be dehydrating, so make sure you’re drinking lots of water (a minimum of 8 cups). This is also a good way to fight some of those cravings, and you don’t have to do it all plain-jane, add some lemon, cucumber or mint to give your water a kick and some extra calorie-free nutrients).
6. Avoid Eating Out – if at all possible in the first 30 days, try to avoid eating out altogether. It’s extremely difficult to control your added sugar intake at a restaurant, so prepare your own meals for the first month. If that is simply not a possibly then just make sure it is the exception to the rule.
7. Focus on the Positive Outcomes – Throughout the first 30 days, stay focused on why you’re quitting sugar. Be aware of the positive effects of this dietary decision, whether it’s weight loss, energy, or improved sleep. In the end, I guarantee you’ll be better for it.
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