Much Ado about a Sweet Tooth

It seems hard to believe that one little cookie can have such a great impact on your body. But it does. Studies now show that sugar has an effect similar to cocaine on our brains. Sugar stimulates the release of dopamine in the brain & not just the first time, but every time you eat a food containing sugar. It doesn't just have an addictive effect on our bodies but did you know that it also damaging to your skin? To your brain? & your waistline?? Makes you think twice about reaching for that cookie, huh? 

But you aren’t alone! Lots of health conscious people have a major sweet tooth! Whether you give in to a candy bar, a cookie or a mini cupcake, the effect on your body is still the same. The fact that Americans now consume 40% more sugar than they did in the 1950s is part of the reason for the current health issues we are facing today: sky rocketing rates of diabetes, obesity, heart disease & other chronic illnesses. Even premature aging!! ALL of which are avoidable.

Biologically, our body is designed to be attracted to sweets. It was imperative for our ancestors to be able to recognize good food, nourishing food. But nowadays, there is so much sugar in our foods. Even in the places you wouldn’t think you’d find it! Did you know there’s sugar in ketchup? According to Dr. Lustig, the sharp increase in sugar consumption may even lead to cancer. He says that when one overdoses on sugar it becomes a toxin. Given that there is an excess of sugar in practically every common food most people eat, it is clear that we are overdosed on sugar.  

How does it relate to your skin??  AGE’s

Sugar attaches itself to protein & fat cells in the body through a process called glycation. This forms “advanced glycation end-products (AGEs)”.  This process happens in every cell in your body but is more concentrated in collagen & elastin. Collagen & elastin are the proteins in your skin that give your skin its strength and suppleness. The glycation process causes these proteins in your skin to stiffen & over time gives your skin a yellowish tinge. AGEs = OLD

So, how do we go about changing our primal cravings for sweets??   

  1. Self-awareness! What are you eating? What are the ingredients? What are the different forms of sugar? Did you know that foods that are high on the glycemic index – foods that quickly raise your blood sugar levels – have the same effect as sugar on your body? Some common names for ‘sugar’ - High Fructose Corn Syrup, Lactose, Maltose, Galactose, Fructose, Dextrose, Evaporated Cane Juice
  1. Read the Ingredients labels!

                4.2 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon

             This is a very important conversion! When we add up the grams of sugar per serving it becomes clear                  that we are eating way too much sugar on a daily basis!!

  1. What to do about it? Start watering down your drinks or switch to plain, filtered water. Your waistline (and your body) will thank you!
  1. REAL FOOD! Food that doesn’t come in packages. Those that you have to make yourself. FruitsVegetablesNuts. SeedsWhole Grains. These will not only help you feel satisfied, longer, but will also give you the energy you need to go about your day. Carry some fruits with you! Or some healthy, granola or a bag of almonds with unsweetened dried fruits.
  1. Experiment with **real** Sugar Substitutes!

             Raw Honey

             Brown Rice Syrup

             Agave Nectar

             Coconut Nectar

             Coconut Palm Sugar

  1. Say NO to Artificial, Chemical, 'sugar' substitutes!!! No matter what name it goes by - equal, sweet n low, aspartame, sucralose, saccharin etc – your body was not made to handle chemicals. If it was created or “improved” in a lab, your body will not know what to do with it once it is in you.

With some awareness & simple changes one can experience the wonderful, pleasurable benefits of nourishing our bodies with real, whole foods. You will also find that the more non-chemically enhanced foods you eat, the more your taste buds will begin to work the way they were originally designed to work. And you will be able to enjoy your looks…longer!! What’s better than that?? :)


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