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The 2017 Farmers Almanac
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Easy Ways To Kick The Sugar Habit!

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Easy Ways To Kick The Sugar Habit!

Eliminating empty calories and refined sugar is essential in adopting a healthy lifestyle. But if you want to cut down, where do you start? We have some easy ways to help you reduce the amount of sugar you consume daily.

How Sugar is Making Us Sick
Not only does refined sugar lack essential nutrients, but it has a devastating effect on our health. Dr. Don Clum, Private Health Strategy Consultant, and Developer of Lifestyle Based Insulin Resistance/Metabolic Syndrome/Diabetes Prevention programs, explains, “Refined, isolated sugar is toxic to the human body. Excess sugar in our bloodstream can cause a process called Advanced Glycation End Product or AGEs. In this process, sugar binds with certain proteins and fats in our body. Function is altered, and becomes toxic. DNA reactions are triggered, literally driving the aging process: producing wrinkles, liver spots, cataracts, and decreased elasticity in our skin causing us to appear older as well.”

Dr. Clum also explains that dietary sugar is the number one stimulator of insulin. In time, a diet high in sugar will cause insulin resistance, the precursor to metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, cardio-metabolic issues, and is correlated with Alzheimer’s and other neuro-degenerative brain diseases, earning them the new label of type 3 diabetes. “Insulin resistance resulting from constant exposure to dietary sugar is also what causes fat gain and leads to weight loss resistance and obesity.”

  • Sugar disrupts our metabolism and weight loss efforts.
  • Sugar suppresses the body’s immune function, and lowers our resistance to illness.
  • Sugar creates inflammation in the body, which is a precursor for disease. Diets high in sugar drastically increase the risk of developing chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, gout, hypertension, cancer, and more.
  • Obesity and inflammation create stress on your joints and nerve system.
  • Sugar is bad for your teeth and oral health as it feeds the harmful bacteria in the mouth.

Read labels!
Always read the list of ingredients when shopping. Refined sugar, particularly corn syrup is not only used in beverages and desserts, but is added to everything from canned vegetables and soups to sauces, condiments, dips, salad dressings, sausage, processed meats and too many packaged foods to list.

  • When checking sugar content on food labels, remember: 4 grams of sugar equals 1 teaspoon. The bloodstream can only handle ½ teaspoon of sugar at a time. What happens to anything over this amount? The body converts excess sugar in the bloodstream into fat, leading to unhealthy weight gain and health problems, as Dr. Clum explained.
  • To reduce sugar intake, avoid products containing these forms of sugar: corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, fructose, juice concentrate, brown sugar, dextrose and maltodextrin. Look for the -ose suffix to identify sugars.

Breakfast’s Worst Offenders
The first step to cutting sugar out of your diet is to look at the most important meal of the day: breakfast. When following the trend for portable, quick meals, breakfast can yield more grams of sugar than one cup of vanilla ice cream containing 22 grams — that’s 5 1/2 teaspoons, of sugar!

Here’s a break down of a typical American breakfast. Even if you don’t grab a breakfast biscuit, muffin or pastry along with a syrupy coffee concoction from a drive-through window in the morning, sugar can creep in, without notice:

  • A bowl of cold cereal with cow’s milk and a glass of orange juice has been the typical American breakfast for decades. But did you know that cereal, bread, pastries, pancakes, muffins, and other grain foods quickly convert to sugar when ingested? Combine that with the added sugar these processed grain foods contain and you’ll see that cereal is not a nutritious choice.
  • The cow’s milk in your cereal bowl is also high in milk sugar, called lactose. Drinking skim milk doesn’t reduce the sugar content. Fat-free and 2% cow’s milk both contain the same amount of sugar – 12 grams per cup.
  • Orange juice may be the traditional breakfast beverage, but each 8 oz. glass contains about 22 grams of sugar. Apple juice contains 26 grams, and grapefruit juice 20 grams. Even 100% no-sugar-added cranberry juice has a whopping 28 grams of sugar.
  • If you start your morning with yogurt and fresh fruit, take a look at the amount of sugar you’re ingesting:  1 cup of yogurt – 33 grams; fresh fruit – between 7 grams to 12 grams of naturally-occurring sugar per serving

This simple “healthy” breakfast can contain upwards of 45 grams of sugar. Add a glass of fruit juice and it can shoot up to as much as a whopping 73 grams. That’s like eating over 18 teaspoons of sugar, or more than three cups of ice cream, for breakfast. You probably don’t want to start your day out that way.

Build a Better Breakfast
Start each morning by replacing sugary foods with rich sources of protein to boost energy, increase satiety, and reduce cravings. Try these healthier breakfast choices:

  • Pastured, or free-range eggs are a healthy breakfast choice and quick to prepare. Enjoy scrambled, fried in coconut oil, or as an omelet with sautéed onions, mushrooms, and bell peppers. Boil some up the night before for a quick on-the-go meal.
  • Coconut flour or buckwheat pancakes, topped with natural apple sauce.
  • Greek yogurt contains protein and is low in sugar, about 7 grams. Stir in pumpkin or sweet potato puree, sliced almonds, wild blueberries, a dash of cinnamon and a spoonful of raw honey or the non-caloric herbal sweetener, stevia, to taste.
  • Almond butter (unsweetened) and raw honey drizzled on a slice of toasted sprouted grain or sourdough bread is delicious and satisfying.
  • Make your own hot chocolate using almond milk, unsweetened organic cocoa or carob powder, and stevia, to taste.
  • Instead of bottled fruit juice, add fresh or frozen fruit to a blender with spring water, chia seeds, sliced almonds and a handful of spinach or kale for a nutritious smoothie.
  • Serve organic coffee, hot herbal or green tea, or lemon water. Instead of using cream and sugar in your morning mug, brew organic coffee or tea at home and sweeten it with stevia.
  • Use almond, coconut or cashew milk instead of cream in your coffee or hot tea.

Think you might be addicted to sugar? Learn more here.

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17 comments

1 Lizzie { 01.06.17 at 9:04 am }

I’m with Rebecca Wilson….I didn’t read an EASY way to kick the sugar habit. These ideas are all facts I have read before. I want a way for the craving to just go away or that would literally make my taste for it to go away. Better yet, a way to make special, sugary treats to be as healthy as Broccoli…Now THAT would be easy. ?

2 Susan Higgins { 01.05.17 at 4:02 pm }

Hi Rebecca Wilson: Thanks for writing! While curbing ones’ addiction to sugar might be difficult, our goal was to offer some ideas to remove sugar from your diet with substitutions that are easy to implement.

3 Rebecca Wilson { 01.05.17 at 11:29 am }

While not disputing anything in the article I fail to see “easy” ways to kick the sugar habit. It’s nothing but a lesson in why sugar is unhealthy and how to identify various forms of sugar in processed foods, followed by a list of food/drink not to consume. A few substitutions are offered which aren’t particularly palatable or easy.

4 Lucius Rockovich { 05.28.16 at 1:11 am }
5 Emily { 01.07.16 at 5:40 pm }

DR DON YOU HAVE AWESOME INFO…KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK….MISS YOU BOTH

6 Tim { 01.03.16 at 8:14 pm }

With all due respect to the author of this article, I do believe Dr. Don is a kook. He says that sugar causes type 2 diabetes. HE IS WRONG, sugar just makes the symptoms more pronounced. And Carbohydrates have just as drastic of an effect on the blood glucose ad refined sugar does. The alternatives that the industry suggest are the manufactured sweetners that cause cancer. There are many reasons a persons blood glucose can rise, diet is just the only one we can control but what we eat does not cause diabetes. I suggest you research your sources better.

7 Tami Flint { 01.03.16 at 1:27 pm }

For those with hbp, I suggest (and eat myself) oatmeal in the morning, most mornings. A banana or sweet potato a day for the potassium.

8 Kim { 06.21.15 at 2:23 am }

I’ve been taking Cinnamon supplements with chromium — pick up at Walmart. Two capsules each evening for about 3 yrs. A1c has dropped < 6, triglycerides and cholesterol also dropped. Add raw almonds and walnuts as snack..but keep quantity small. Add raw pumpkin and sunflower seeds to salads with lettuce, spinach, carrots, cuke, grape tomatoes, limited meat / shred cheese and vinegar & oil dressing. Also try Kashi granola bars. Good whole grain, nuts and slightly sweet..but low sugar. Kind bars too..a bit pricey, but worth it.

9 Donna { 06.20.15 at 5:37 pm }

Stevia is very easy to grow and there is a great utube video on how to process it

10 Sean { 06.20.15 at 4:16 pm }

it’s pretty simple people, eat green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and lean meats. This has been humans diet for over 2 million years. Clean simple foods.

11 Betty7 { 06.20.15 at 2:56 pm }
12 errol turner { 06.19.15 at 10:22 am }

I have read all your comments–and will go by the information–its a help

13 Mike { 06.17.15 at 9:42 pm }

In the last 9 months I have lost 34 pounds. My trig were always high as 400 & Cholesterol has always been in the mid 200’s. OK so I quit drinking Rum And Sprite in the evenings,4-5 drinks watching TV before I went to bead. I would get hungry late and I would eat a little. Since stopping the booze I have lost a lot of weight by giving up a lot. But my blood work doesn’t show improvements in the trigs or Colest departments. I’ve been on meds for years and nothing seems to help in that area. Any suggestions?

14 Marko { 06.17.15 at 5:05 pm }

I wasted a lot of money trying brands of stevia. One product turned out to contain 99% GMO bulking agent. I discovered that for me none of the sources were anywhere near sweet and all had a nasty after taste. It is also NOT a natural product, it goes through a more complex extraction and refining process than any sugar. Even European food industries are currently arguing over if it is appropriate to allow the term “natural” on it’s packaging. Long term

15 ali { 06.17.15 at 10:24 am }

I love this article! We all should be eating anything that has NO label. Fruits, veggies anyone? I stay away from packaged and processed foods to avoid the unwanted high fructose corn syrup (it has other names too so be on the lookout), and other additives in these products.

16 Melissa { 06.17.15 at 9:35 am }

It is so frustrating to read labels in the store, my husband always stands there, tapping his foot. Sugar is in EVERYTHING from yogurt to ketchup! It is so hard to limit the sugar — then you have all the “artificial” sweeteners that are as dangerous if not more dangerous to ingest than sugar! Sometimes I just want to throw my hands in the air! I don’t know what to eat!

17 Deb { 06.17.15 at 9:30 am }

I’ve been dieting for over a year now and have lost 25 lbs. I have HBP and would love to get off the meds. I also want to avoid getting Type II diabetes. I do have a sugar addiction and don’t know what to do about it. Actually on my diet I eat MORE sugar & carbs than I think I did before I was dieting. My cholesterol levels went higher on the diet.

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