How to Naturally Kick your Sugar Addiction
American Sugar Consumption Statistics
- The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar per day for women and 9 teaspoons (38 grams) for men.
- Yet, the average American consumes 19.5 teaspoons (82 grams) every day.
- That's about 66 pounds of added sugar consumed each year, per person.
- With as many as 11 teaspoons (46.2 grams) of added sugar in one 12 oz. soda, a single serving is close to double most people's daily sugar allowance.
- Research also shows that, for some people, eating sugar produces characteristics of craving and withdrawal, along with chemical changes in the brain's reward center. 
Effects of Sugar on your Body:
- Excessive sugar consumption can be detrimental to your overall health when it becomes habitual over a long period of time
- Fructose-sweetened drinks raise triglyceride levels, which can have long-term negative effects on your heart health.
- Your abdominal area is usually the resting area for extra stored sugar levels that are converted into fat
- High Glucose levels can lead to insulin resistance, which puts a strain on the pancreas which is forced into overdrive
- Excessive Sugar can strain liver and kidneys.
- High Fructose levels can send false hunger signals to your brain when your body is not really hungry 
Kicking your Sugar Addiction:
Don't Cut it Out Completely: Making a complete change and cutting sugar entirely out of your diet is unreasonable. This will lead to a period of intense cravings and possible binging. The trick is to train your body to enjoy foods that are naturally sweet and not overly sugary. Substitute a pack of cookies for a plate of strawberries or half of a melon.
Drink Water with Lemon: If you enjoy the taste, water with a hint of real lemon can do wonders. Much of your sugar cravings are due to dehydration. Also the bittersweet hint of lemon can help to satisfy that sugar craving that you're experiencing.
Don't be Fooled: Lots of companies use clever marketing tricks to distract you from their product's unhealthy attributes. Terms like "fresh" and "all-natural" should only be designated to describing meat products. However, cereal and snack companies use these terms all the time to trick the consumer. Also, read the nutrition label and look out for words such as "high fructose corn-syrup, crystalline fructose, invert sugar, raw sugar, cane sugar, turbinato sugar, agave nectar." These are all fancy nicknames for processed sugars, one's that you want to cut down on. 
Find a Balance: When you're going to indulge in sugar make sure what you consume has some sort of nutritional value to it. Products such as frozen yogurt, that derive their sugar from milk products contain essential vitamins and minerals. Stay away from candy and soda's that have no nutritional value to lend and lots of added sugar. A good rule of thumb is to aim for no more than 2.5 grams of added sugar per 100 calories that you consume.
Develop Different Rewards for Yourself: Many people use treats such as ice cream, cookies, lattes, brownies and chocolate to treat themselves if they achieve something. This can be a good plan if it is done sporadically. Also, choose different ways of treating yourself for your accomplishments like going to the movies, going to the spa or hitting in the golf course. These rewards won't have a negative impact on your health and well-being. 
Below are 8 Simple Ways to Regulate your High Blood Sugar:
Exercise regularly: This cannot be stressed enough! The more you exercise, the more you increase your insulin sensitivity. Increased insulin sensitivity means your body is better able to use the available sugar in your bloodstream. Exercise also helps your muscles use blood sugar for energy. We would recommend exercises like walking, jogging biking, dancing, hiking, swimming and yoga. All it takes is 30 minutes a day to help deliver your system the boost it needs to run efficiently!
Control the carbs: Your body naturally breaks down carbs into sugars and then insulin moves the sugars into cells. An excess amount of these carbs may cause blood glucose levels to rise which can spike your blood sugar at an unhealthy rate. Reducing your carbohydrate intake incrementally is the easiest way to slowly reduce cravings and balance out your blood sugar.
Increase fiber intake: Fiber slows down carb digestion and sugar absorption. Soluble fiber is especially important in reducing high fluctuation of blood sugar levels. Best sources of soluble fiber include fruits such as apricots, grapefruits, mangos and oranges and vegetables such as turnips, asparagus and brussel sprouts.
Monitoring Portion Control: Reducing your serving sizes also helps reduce calorie intake and subsequent blood sugar spikes. To help with this, try to avoid all-you-can-eat restaurants, use smaller plates, eat slowly and don’t eat after you are full.
Drink Plenty of Water: Drinking water is the best way to flush out all toxins in your system. In addition to preventing dehydration, it helps your kidneys flush out the excess blood sugar through urine. Studies have shown that those who drink more water have a lower risk of developing high blood sugar levels.
Choose Foods with Low Glycemic Index: The glycemic index is used to measure foods that spike your blood sugar. Foods with a low glycemic index include seafood, meat, eggs, oats, barley, beans, lentils, legumes, sweet potatoes, corn, yams, most fruits and non-starchy vegetables. Carbs have a high glycemic index and should be reduced in your diet.
Control Stress Levels: The hormones that are created during stress can cause blood sugar levels to rise. Work on managing your stress levels with yoga, pilates and other mind relaxation exercises.
Get Enough Quality Sleep: Getting enough sleep can sometimes go overlooked. However, sleep deprivation decreases the release of growth hormones and increases cortisol levels. Both of these play an important role in blood sugar control.
1. “How Much Is Too Much?” SugarScience.UCSF.edu, 18 Dec. 2014, sugarscience.ucsf.edu/the-growing-concern-of-overconsumption/
2. Goehl, Nicole. “How to Kick Your Sugar Addiction | Reader's Digest - Reader's Digest.” Reader's Digest, www.rd.com/health/wellness/eat-less-sugar/.
3. Grossmann, Kayla. “Latest Articles:” The Name Game: Finding the Hidden MSG, GMOs & Gluten in Your Food, blog.radiantlifecatalog.com/bid/68432/The-Name-Game-Finding-the-hidden-MSG-GMOs-Gluten-in-your-food.
4. “Kick Your Sugar Addiction in 9 Steps.” Runner's World, 10 Nov. 2016, www.runnersworld.com/run-faster/kick-your-sugar-addiction-in-9-steps/slide/3.
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