In our last couple of short articles we've talked about what sugar is, raising awareness of how much sugar we actually consume in a day, and the difference in refined sugar vs. natural sugar. You can view these articles here: "Sugar" and "Natural Sugars".
According to Cleveland Clinic, "We need sugar to live. But we don’t need added sugar." Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which provides energy to the body. Some glucose is actually needed for the brain, central nervous system and red blood cells to function properly. When we eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, dairy products and other complex carbohydrates we get adequate glucose for health and wellness along with fiber, vitamins and minerals. It's added sugar we want to avoid as much as possible. Added sugar does not provide any health benefits, and too much added sugar can lead to a variety of health issues including inflammation, obesity, diabetes and dementia.
The average American consumes around 2-3 times or more of the recommended sugar intake in a day. Whether you identify as just having a sweet tooth, as sugar dependent or as having a sugar addiction, reducing your sugar intake is important to improving your overall health and wellness. Abstaining from sugar completely is not an option, but taking action with a few small lifestyles changes each day can help you begin to manage your cravings and create new healthy habits, and in time reduce your intake of added sugar. Use the download below for some ideas to help you get started.
Free Download: Ten Tips for Dealing with Sugar Addiction
~Nicole Hutchison, PT, CSCS, Holistic Health & Integrative Nutrition Coach