Food is often the centerpiece of celebrations, family get-togethers, or even just a movie night at home – and sweet treats are always a comfort in any circumstance.
Americans, in general, are addicted to sugar. From sodas to snack foods, we can’t seem to get enough of this sweet stuff.
We know we should limit sugar – especially when teaching our children to have healthy habits – but what sugar really does to the body may make you want to eliminate it altogether.
Refined sugars are in everything, including in the last foods you’d expect. It’s added, in some form or another, to most processed foods, breads, sauces, and condiments.
And “sugar-free” is really just another name for the addition of a chemical sweetener that often has the same effect on the body as the real thing.
Sugar can be as addicting as any drug — it’s scientifically proven — and leads to weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and issues with memory and brain function; i.e. that “foggy” feeling.
Yet, even though most of us know the dangers, we don’t think too much about the amount of sugar we’re consuming. Unless we’re eating an “obvious” sugar-laden food like cookies or soda, we’re not usually aware of how much we’re getting.
And, if that’s not enough, it increases the aging process. Yikes.
In fact, many in the medical community have been advocating that everyone (especially sugar-loving Americans) completely remove processed sugar from the diet, instead, using moderate amounts of more natural sweeteners like honey.
But how could this ever be possible, especially for moms who really need their nightly glass of wine after a full day of work and kids?!
Well, once you see just how drastically your body improves in every way, the results will have you wondering why you were ever addicted to sugar in the first place.
Within just a few hours of abstaining from sugar, your body may go into withdrawal symptoms so noticeable that you may be shocked. Blood sugar drops, you may be shaky, sweaty, or achy. You’ll be noticeably irritable, sad, or fatigued.
Sounds like being sick with a nasty bug, right? That’s how badly processed sugar really damages our systems.
Although you may experience headaches or intense cravings for sugar, if you stay the course through the first difficult days, you’ll start to feel noticeably better.
Your body is already beginning to heal.
Insulin levels will stabilize. The body’s inflammatory response will slow, ridding us of bloating, puffiness, and weight.
Skin becomes more smooth and clear. Energy levels improve and stay steady throughout the day without the mid-afternoon slump we’re all so used to – the time we usually grab a candy bar for a little energy boost.
And then, after a few weeks and months, cellular damage will be repaired, and you’ll look and feel better than ever before.
In our culture of health and fitness, crazy fad diets and the pressure to be thin, many women go to extreme lengths to lose weight and stop the aging process.
If what the experts think is true – that ridding our bodies of processed sugar is like taking a dip in the Fountain of Youth – it seems well worth giving it a try.
It may be a tough couple of weeks, but once the body is no longer used to working harder to fight against the damage caused by sugar, doctors say you may never crave it again.
Especially if you see just how great you feel without it.
Not only are the dangers of sugar important for adults to know for their own health, but limiting, eliminating – or never introducing – sugar to our children can prevent many of the damaging effects from ever starting.
We often reward with sweet treats when our kids are young, but it’s just one more step in cementing their craving for sugar later in life.
We’re not saying it’s easy – nothing worth doing ever is. We’re not going to tell you it won’t be hard to avoid giving the kids popsicles and ice cream and cotton candy at the fair this summer.
But it’s a gift their body will appreciate, and they’ll benefit from much better health later on.
Most of us could never dream of entirely giving up sugary treats or processed foods. They are, after all, a part of American life.
If you can’t bring yourself to completely eliminate sugar, be sure to use it in moderation.
Find recipes that use honey, unsweetened applesauce or other alternatives when you’re cooking with your kids.
When a child is raised with healthy habits, they are unlikely to stray from them. And they’ll thank you for it when they are living their best life as an adult.
(h/t Mommy Underground)