Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Sugar Addiction is Real: Ways to Kick Your Sugar Habit

As featured on HubPages

Before you head to the corner store to grab your next glazed doughnut and cup of white chocolate mocha, listen up! Have you considered the fact that you along with most people who enjoy an American diet full of junk foods, convenience foods, processed foods, and foods high in refined sugars are addicted to the white stuff? No, the other white stuff - sugar.

Were you aware that sugar addiction leads to physical health conditions such as reactive hypoglycemia and diabetes and causes mental health issues such as memory loss and learning disabilities, due to its impact on the brain? Sugar is an addiction and the symptoms of sugar addiction are real. Unfortunately, they may not be evident until you send sugar packing. Headaches, fatigue, nausea, hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, and shakiness are all common symptoms that may occur when you try to cut back. This is what makes kicking your sugar addition to the curb so hard.

How does one get addicted to sugar? Well, its almost like any other drug and it can lead to a lifelong trail of abuse. Morphine, heroin, and sugar all stimulate the same receptors in your brain. Once you begin feeding your body refined sugar, and this is usually in the mothers womb and continues with baby formula and eventually processed foods, your body gets into the habit using these refined sugars as its main energy source because refined or simple sugars are broken down and turned into glucose in the body rapidly giving your brain an instant boost. This sugar high doesn't last very long and the brain will send signals that it wants more sugar and thus the cycle continues.

If you can't quit cold turkey, which can lead to binges and depression, you can do some things to start kicking sugar to the curb. I understand how difficult it can be to kick the sugar habit. I've searched the Internet to find articles filled with tips on ways to kick your sugar habit and I'll share them with you.

The Hidden Dangers of Sugar Addiction
Women's Heath: Curb Your Sweet Tooth | Are you addicted to sugar? Learn How to Fight the Craving and Reap the Sweet Rewards
Sugar Addiction Symptoms and Overcoming Food Addictions
Whole Living: Break the Sugar Habit
Dr. Oz: How to Kick Your Sugar Addiction
Runner's World: Kick Your Sugar Addiction in 9 Steps
Science Daily: This is Your Brain on Sugar - Study Shows High Fructose Diet Sabotages Learning and Memory

Once you have made the decision to kick your sugar habit, here are a few tips that will boost your efforts: 

Start slow.
You can begin by reducing your sugar intake over a matter of weeks. You must be sure to include all foods that contain refined sugar and refined carbohydrates as an ingredient, not just the obvious table sugars, syrups, candy, cakes, cookies, pastries, and sugar cereals. After a few days you should begin to notice a decline in your cravings for sugar.

Clean out the cupboards.
You need to send sugar packing. Starting with your refrigerator, you'll want to toss out any foods containing refined sugars. If you're like I was you have that one junk drawer that includes things like candy bars and honey buns. Toss them! Take a look through your cabinets and look at those labels. Almost everything in your cupboards, such as packaged, boxed, and canned foods must go. Read the labels! You may be tempted to donate or give these items to your neighbor. Don't contribute to their addiction. Just say goodbye and put the lid on it.

Say no to artificial sweeteners.
Replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners can make matters worse. They are merely teasers. Your sugar should come from complex carbs and natural sources, like fruit. If you have reactive hypoglycemia you should be aware that your body may be sensitive to natural sugars as well and you may have to put fruit aside for now. One more thing - don't be fooled by dried fruits. They contain a high amount of sugar.

Drink plenty of water.
Water is crucial in helping your body to properly digest foods and flush toxins (including sugar) from your body. Symptoms of dehydration can mimic symptoms of other conditions like sugar addiction. Those symptoms can include headaches and fatigue.

Exercise daily.
Exercise deserves the number one spot in preventing or fighting addictions, diseases, and illnesses. Exercise will not only help you feel better, it will help your body maintain its strength to ward off pesky little invaders, help your body move toxins through to be released, keep your body hyper-efficient at digesting foods, and help keep your body's control systems strong and functioning. You don't have to run a marathon or start lifting heavy weights. A simple walk, jog, swim, bike ride, or any type of physical activity will do wonders for your body.

Low blood sugar and reactive hypoglycemia.
Although I am against treating low blood sugar, reactive hypoglycemia or any type of hypoglycemia with sugar, I understand how difficult it can be to break your sugar habit. For person's with reactive hypoglycemia, your challenge is two fold. You're trying to kick your sugar habit and incorporate more natural healthy sources of sugar like fruit, but your body may be sensitive to ALL sugars. Until you treat your underlying problems, you may have to eliminate all foods containing refined and natural sugars for now. This includes fruit and sweet vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes.

Linked recommended readings are for informational and learning purposes only. This blog post is based on the personal experiences and expressed opinions of its author. The information is not intended to replace your doctor's recommendations and advice. If you experience severe low blood sugar, seek emergency help.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

5 Things You Can Do Today to Cut Sugar From Your Diet

Do you know how much sugar you're eating on a daily basis? If you don't know, that is one clue; one big fat red flag blowing in the wind, that you need to take better control of your health and diet. Check out Sugar Stacks to see how much sugar is in your favorite beverages, foods, breakfast meals, shakes, smoothies, and condiments.

As someone who has battled reactive hypoglycemia head on, I've talked a lot about the toxicity of sugar. After watching Sugar: The Bitter Truth, I was convinced that sugar was the cause of my condition and the easiest way for me to prevent a further decline was to avoid sugar.

Here are 5 things you can do today to cut sugar from your diet:

1. What's for breakfast?
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it should be packed with nutrition and substance to get your day off to a good start. Your breakfast may currently include sugary cereals, granola bars (basically candy bars), sugary shakes, oatmeal loaded with sugar, pancakes or waffles with syrup, honey buns, a couple of doughnuts with a cup of coffee or tea with sugar. Opt instead for a protein-based breakfast.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Properly Planning Exercise is Essential With Reactive Hypoglycemia

Physical activity is essential to leading a healthy life. Over the last few years of my life lack of exercise became routine. Heck, it wasn't that great before then. My body was screaming out for help! Proper diet and exercise are keys to healing your body and reversing reactive hypoglycemia. Exercise has a vast range of healing influences on the body and here's what I've learned about the importance of exercise for someone with Reactive Hypoglycemia:

(1) Taking a daily walk or following a simple exercise routine may help you feel better, (2) Exercise helps the body build strength and fight off illness, (3) Exercise helps the body to move and release toxins and flush out bacteria, (4) Exercise strengthens the organs and glands so that they function better, and (5) Exercise slows down the release of stress hormones. Simply put, exercise gets everything moving and functioning.

When you suffer from Reactive Hypoglycemia, what I am learning is that proper planning before exercise will determine how you feel afterwards. Will you crash and burn or will you maintain an excitement and energy that your body craves? Here's a guide to help you plan properly:

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What Should A Person with Reactive Hypoglycemia Eat?

No two people are alike. Therefore, what you can and can not eat will be determined by the severity of your condition - is it mild, moderate or severe - and your current sensitivity to foods. No one diet will work for everyone. You must develop and follow a diet tailored specifically for you. The more natural, whole, and unprocessed the food, the more it will stabilize blood sugar and reduce cravings for sugar. Your diet should consist of vegetables, fruit, protein, and healthy fats. Here is a guideline to help you get started. These suggestions are based on building a strict diet that is intended to get you results in a shorter period of time.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Why Eliminating Sugar is Crucial in Treating Reactive Hypoglycemia

If you have reactive hypoglycemia your body has become sensitive to foods containing sugar and carbohydrates. When treating hypoglycemia it is common to receive the advice from nurses, doctors, and others to alleviate your symptoms with more sugar. A glass of OJ, a candy bar, a piece of chocolate. Sound familiar? This is a big mistake and here is why:

The Infamous "Crash"
Let's review the process of "the crash". Your body was designed to balance blood sugar levels with ease but after years of refined sugar and processed food consumption (the American diet), your body's control systems are over-worked and weakened, and your body is unable to manage glucose effectively sending you on a rambunctious journey of sugar highs and lows, better known as the "crash".

What is the crash? After eating a food high in refined sugar and/or carbohydrates, your blood sugar first skyrockets triggering the pancreas to release a high level of insulin to rid the body of the excess glucose in your blood. Once the insulin kicks into overdrive, it causes your blood sugar to plummet, giving you that infamous "crash" feeling, which is accompanied by symptoms such as lightheadedness, dizziness, shakiness, and possibly faintness.

Sugar wreaks havoc on the body.
Eliminating sugar is crucial in treating reactive hypoglycemia and there are many health reasons to do so. Damage to your pancreas which produces the insulin hormone, your liver responsible for storing excess glucose as glycogen and supplying it to the cells and brain, and your adrenal glands with the job of supplying energy to the brain and body is inevitable if precaution is not taken. Learn Everything You Need to Know About Sugar.

Sugar is toxic.
The type of sugar that we usually think about when we hear the term sugar is table sugar, known as sucrose. Table sugar is refined and contains no nutritional value. Learn in detail why sugar is toxic to your body by watching Sugar: The Bitter Truth and reading Why Sugar is Toxic to the Body. Eat less sugar if you want to live longer!

Sugar is addictive.
Put plainly, sugar is toxic and addictive. Sugar has the same effect on the brain as morphine and heroin. Shocked?

Reactive hypoglycemics that are in a moderate to severe stage may not be able to tolerate some natural forms of sugar or sugar alternatives such as sweet fruit and honey. I couldn't tolerate fruit at all, especially bananas. While I strongly urge a strict hypoglycemic diet in the beginning of your treatment, your body is your best judge. If your body has a negative reaction such as dizziness or fatigue, eliminate it from your diet. It is possible to slowly work fruits back into your diet later after your body is conditioned to use protein and healthy fats as a source of energy rather than refined and simple sugars.

Sugar is disguised.
Be aware of how sugar is labeled! Packaged and canned foods should also be eliminated due to their sugar content. You must learn to read labels carefully. Sugar is hidden in foods you wouldn't even think would contain sugar. To identify sugar on labels look at the ingredients list for ingredients such as:

INGREDIENTS: sugar, cane sugar, brown sugar, beet sugar, barley malt, corn syrup, dextrose, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, honey, maltodextrin, maltose, malt syrup, rice syrup, sucrose

Bottom line.
Consumption of sugar will lead to adverse effects on your health.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The 5 Biggest Myths About Reactive Hypoglycemic

Myth #1
Reactive Hypoglycemia is a fad

This couldn't be further from the truth! Hypoglycemia is real and the symptoms are real. There are a countless number of people who experience symptoms of low blood sugar within 2 to 4 hours of eating a carbohydrate meal or foods containing sugar. The reaction to the consumed foods are low blood sugar.

What Are the Symptoms of Reactive Hypoglycemia?

Reactive Hypoglycemia is a condition that is often misdiagnosed or overlooked. It is a very common occurrence in our society of fast food convenience, the need to extend food shelf life in our grocery aisles, and lack of nutrition education and nutrition from natural whole foods and plant life.

Hypoglycemia is when your blood glucose levels drop too low and your body and brain can't function properly. Reactive hypoglycemia is when your (a non-diabetic person) blood glucose level drops too low within 2-4 hours after a meal in reaction to the foods you ate; usually refined and processed foods, and your body or brain can't function properly. This condition is often the result of a malfunctioning pancreas or liver due to a diet high in refined sugar. Want to learn more? Start Here.

The symptoms of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar are many and may be mistaken for other illnesses. A visit to your health care professional is advised. Very low blood sugar is a medical emergency.

These are the most common to the most severe symptoms of hypoglycemia, which vary from person to person:

What is Reactive Hypoglycemia?

Reactive hypoglycemia is just one of the various forms of hypoglycemia in people who do not have diabetes. Reactive hypoglycemic is when your blood sugar falls too low shortly after eating. It is the consequence of excessive insulin release triggered by carbohydrate meals. These are recurrent episodes of highs and lows and they usually occur within 2 to 4 hours of eating and in more severe cases, the moment you place food in your mouth. Your body is reacting to the foods you eat, especially those that contain simple sugars and carbohydrates. Blood sugar below 70 mg/dL is considered low. Hypoglycemia Symptoms

The Good and Bad of Hypoglcemia Forums

Chances are you've been scouring the Internet to find help and relief of your hypoglycemia symptoms. You may have figured out by now that you have a more serious health problem lying beneath all those symptoms. If so, good for you! You've already jumped through the most difficult hoop and that is realizing that you have a health problem that must be addressed in an effort to alleviate hypoglycemia or get rid of it entirely.

As you search online you'll find many hypoglycemia forums discussing the condition. Many people from all over the world use these forums to ask questions, give advice, and share experiences. As you read countless stories about other people and their symptoms, you'll become enlightened and more in tune with your own. You'll read contradicting advice on how to care for yourself and how to treat hypoglycemia, which may confuse you at first. However, the more you read, the more you'll learn.

What is Hypoglycemia or Low Blood Sugar?

Hypoglycemia is a condition known as low blood sugar. It is not a disease but rather a sign of a health problem that comes with many symptoms. If you are hypoglycemic, it means you are a person with abnormally low levels of blood sugar. Blood sugar below 70 mg/dL is considered low. A hypoglycemic person is opposite of a diabetic person. Someone with diabetes has abnormally high levels of blood sugar. Let's break it down!

The body needs glucose to function properly. Glucose supplies your body's cells and brain with the energy it needs to thrive. The endocrine gland responsible for the release of insulin is the pancreas. The pancreas is responsible for the production and release of insulin to keep your blood sugar level within normal range and converting glucose to glycogen. Glycogen is stored in the liver and muscles for later use.

An overworked, weakened pancreas or live can result in low blood sugar and eventually high blood sugar, better known as diabetes. After years of pancreas abuse - processed foods, refined sugar, lack of exercise, lack of nutrition - the pancreas becomes weak and malfunctions. It will begin to produce too much or too little insulin because in this condition your blood sugar level can never be maintained. In a hypoglycemic person this causes constant highs and lows. A sudden rise of blood sugar, an overproduction of insulin, followed by a severe drop in blood sugar. Here are a few FAQS to get you started: