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Hold the fruit, please.

Mario Moore

I’ll pass on the orange, I’m cutting back on sugar.
— Overheard in the distance
Hold up! I thought that oranges were healthy.

Hold up! I thought that oranges were healthy.

I'm starting to understand why people get overwhelmed with all of this health stuff. There is so much information out there, sometimes it gets a little confusing.

Let's get things crystal!

If your main priority is eating healthier, you generally can’t go wrong with natural sugars found in things like fruits, vegetables, honey or maple syrup. Yea, avoiding that apple means you get less sugar for the day, but it also means less fiber, vitamins and minerals, too. Remember, sugar is our main source of energy, so getting it from the right sources can't do too much damage.

Sweeteners and additives that are found in processed foods like cakes and goodies, are where sugar flips the script on us. With more than 50 different names, sugar hides in everything from bread to tomato sauce, so it shouldn't be be surprising to hear that we are eating much more than our body can handle. Sugar we don't use for energy is stored for a rainy day but once the body is capped for energy storage, sugar settles in and starts getting stored as fat.

Cutting back, or eliminating sugar takes more than just will power, so know you are not alone if it sounds like an impossible task.

JUST SAY NO! ...Easier said than done, right? 

Have you ever popped a cookie or a piece of candy and found yourself popping more and more until -- man, the pack is empty. It turns out, just thinking about sugar and not to mention eating it, produces a chemical reaction in the brain that makes you feel good. It also encourages rewards motivated behavior, so if you like it the first time and it feels good, the chances are likely that you’ll come back to try and recreate that feeling. This same feel good high can be associated with things like alcohol or cocaine. So that is what they mean when they say sugar is like a “drug.”

Going a little lighter on the sugar

For most of us who grew up on honey buns and faygo pop, going cold turkey is probably not the best approach. I’m still struggling myself to shake my cookie habit, so please understand the struggle can be and most certainly IS real! It's important to remember to only bite off as much as you can chew.

Here are a few tips to help reduce sugar intake in your diet:

  1. Limit sugary beverages:  A single 20oz pop (soda) or juice can easily put us at our above our recommended daily sugar intake. Replacing with water (flavored or carbonated) or tea can help reduce the amount of sugar in our diet

  2. Watch out for Low-fat: These options generally have added sweeteners to account for taste since fat has been removed. Low-fat yogurts are especially guilty of this. Choose low-sugar or full-fat options and add your own sweeteners like berries or honey. 

  3. Eat real food: Natural sugars from foods like fruits, vegetables may also contain fiber, vitamins and minerals which will support the body and help prevent disease. Your body is well prepared to utilize these kinds of sugars.

There are some cases where even natural sugars can impact your health. Work with your doctor or nutritionist to figure how to get the most of the foods you are eating.

DISCLAIMER: This is not prescriptive information. Please consult a medical professional if you have issues or concerns about blood sugar regulation.

Eat to live. Live to Be.

B. Bowden

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