The Sweet Truth!
This week, The Weekly Beet investigates the reason why we can't stop eating refined white sugar. Mary Kent goes Candyland and come back with a truth that isn't so sweet after all!
Why do we all love sugar so much? Is it thanks to fun shapes and colorful packaging of names such as Jolly Rancher, Laffy Taffy, Gummy Bears, and Lifesavers? Maybe it reminds us of our Candyland and Willy Wonka days? Or, is it because it simply tastes so good that we just can't stop? The sweet truth behind this love stems from the fact that sugar is one of the most addictive chemicals skillfully hidden in almost every packaged and processed food on the market. Now you realize why it's impossible to stop at just one Kiss. Knowing that sugar is addictive is the single most important fact in understanding why we crave it so much. But, learning how damaging it is to our health is equally as important! Click here to see the sweet truth.
Companies are great at finding ways of sneaking sugar where consumers would least look. Certainly, sugar is found in the obvious foods such as soft drinks, candies, cookies, jam, chocolate, ice cream, cake, pastries and confectionery. But, who would expect sugar to turn up in salad dressings, ketchup, baked beans, both frozen and canned fruits and vegetables, fruit juice, peanut butter, bouillon cubes, yogurt, medicines, toothpaste, vitamins, all processed "fat-free" products, and astonishingly enough in baby food? With total disregard to our health, companies add sugar only for the purpose of preserving and flavoring foods. Ensuring that food tastes amazing is a guaranteed way to increase sales and to keep consumers hooked! It is extremely important to read the ingredients on labels, as sugar is disguised under different names such as brown sugar, sucrose, evaporated cane juice, glucose, lactose, fructose, sorbitol, mannitol, high fructose corn syrup, maltose, molasses, and invert sugar.
With the average American consuming about 32 teaspoons of sugar a day, it's no wonder kicking the sugar habit is not easy! Here are a few tried and tested tips from The Beet Girls, some of which were learned at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition:
- Listen to your body's cravings. Understand why the craving is there and observe when it happens. The less sugar you eat, the less sugar your body will need.
- Read your labels. Look for the sugar code names above.
- When the 4PM cravings set in, drink lots of water. Sweet cravings are a sign of dehydration. When craving candy, chocolate or ice cream, drink water.
- Eat more fruit and sweet vegetables when craving sugar. They are naturally, sweet, yummy, and healthy. These natural sweets satisfy sugar cravings.
- Try umeboshi plums. They are an ancient trick to help balance sugar cravings.
- Reduce or eliminate caffeine. The highs and lows of caffeine include de-hydration and blood sugar swings making sugar cravings more frequent.
- Get plenty of exercise. Try walking, cardio, yoga, dance, or a team sport.
- Learn the right unrefined sweeteners. Substitute bad sugar with good sugar. Avoid chemical sweeteners, artificial sweeteners, and foods with added sugar. Try raw honey, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, and stevia. Click here for more suggestions.
- Learn how to love yourself. Surround yourself with family and friends. Give and receive lots of hugs and non-chocolate kisses!
- Get plenty of rest and relaxation. Your body needs rest, sleep, and support. Baths, naps, and massage are great! Often sugar cravings are caused by a lack of these elements.
Wake up and taste the truth! Don't miss a Beet. Stay tuned for next week.
PS. Mary Kent is wearing cashmere sweater from Estheme and earrings from grandmother's jewelry box.
PPS. Check out Lena Rivkin, handwriting analyst, on Ladies Who Launch.
Also, check out Bikini Kitty & Dirty Dog! Two unBEETable, organic products.