It seems to be a hot topic everywhere these days: the dreaded “Sugar Addiction”. While friend and family may have lovingly referred to you as a chocoholic in the past, it takes on another meaning when you consider the fact that our bodies may actually be physically addicted to the refined white sugar that appears in everything from cookies to breakfast cereal to salad dressings. Addicted means you rely on this stuff to get through the day, so when trying to “quit” sugar, think withdrawal headaches, fatigue, and irritability. Sounds great, right? So now you’re probably asking why you should even bother trying to cut back on your sugar intake, OR, you’re assuming that you’re in the clear because you depend mainly on those low calorie “fake” sugars like Splenda. Well, read on for more information that might just change your outlook on this not-so-sweet subject!
When it comes to sugar (and fake sugar), the links to cancer are strong. One of the major ways you can put yourself at risk for several cancers is by having a high BMI (body mass index), and one of the worst culprits of piling on pounds is—you guessed it—sugar. Many of us think that sweeteners with no calories make you a diet savvy role model, but unfortunately these fake sugars could be upping your cravings for more sugary treats, and many of them also come with a confusing list of potentially cancer causing ingredients. The bottom line? If it tastes sugary sweet, odds are that it’s doing some crazy things to your blood sugar and inevitably, your waist line. Why does this matter? Because maintaining a healthy body weight is a great way to help lower your risks of developing several forms of cancer such as breast, colon, and kidney, among many others. To calculate your BMI, check this out and see if you’re in the “healthy zone”.
There are some studies out there that are beginning to show a link between sugar consumption and the growth of cancer cells, but at present it’s still a little too early to really know for sure. What we do know is that keeping yourself at a healthy weight is going to decrease your cancer risk, which should be incentive enough to think about what goes into your food. While cutting sugar completely out of your diet might be a little unrealistic (especially to some of us who may like the sweet stuff a little more than others), it’s important to go back to that old adage, “everything in moderation”. Try going a couple of days without sugar, just to see if you can do it! Challenge yourself to grab an apple, the good kind of sugar, instead of a handful of gummy bears next time you get a craving. You might be surprised at how much you enjoy the naturally sweet things in life, and it will put you one step closer toward taking control of your own sugar addiction. Saving the sugary cakes for birthday parties helps keep them a fun “special occasion” treat, instead of just another Tuesday night.