Sugar is linked to breast cancer, a study from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found. Research on mice showed that large amounts of refined sugar, such as the average American diet is composed of, increases breast cancer risk reported WPVI on Jan. 4. Eating sugary foods causes the growth of certain enzymes and fatty acids in breast cancer cells. Breast cancer is not the only health danger from sugar–Type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes (aka metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance), Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), obesity, tooth decay, heart failure and kidney damage have their etiology in over-consumption of refined sugar. With all the dangers associated, it’s time to curb the sugar addiction. Here are sweet tooth tamers and tips to control sugar cravings.
Retrain the sugar brain. Do you find yourself obsessed with sweets? That’s down to the American diet of which fat, salt and sugar are the three main food groups! Some refined sugar addicts say they think about sweets all the time. They will do anything to get the sucrose fix, just as junkie will do anything for the heroin needle and the alcoholic for a drink. The old slogan says “dying for a drink? You might.” And it’s the same with sugar–dying for sweets? You might (die) if you eat too much. So talk yourself down from the American diet refined sugar addiction. At first it will be difficult and will feel strange. But, like the Alanon slogan says “fake it till you make it.” Pretty soon, you’ll default to saying to no instead of yes to sweets.
Know your sugar addiction triggers. When is sugar hardest to resist? When do you experience the most sugar cravings? Most people find sweets to be comfort food when they’re stressed, lonely, depressed, sad or hormonal. Watching TV or staring a screen are prime sweets binge times. Tame the sweet tooth by avoiding triggers. Learn to meet physical and emotional needs in healthier ways. Instead of cookies and candy, redirect your appetite to protein, fruit and vegetables. You might find those are what you’re actually craving and sugar is just a placebo. Get a drink of water–you might just be thirsty. Go for a walk. Don’t read food magazines or watch food shows. Get your mind off food.
Don’t let yourself get too hungry. When you’re hungry, your blood sugar drops. You feel confused, shaky and irrational. You tend to mindlessly stuff food in your face just to quell hunger pangs. And what is the easiest thing to reach for? It should be the broccoli and hummus but it’s the pie and ice cream! Eat healthy meals regularly to ward off blood sugar drops and sugar cravings.
Control refined ugar, don’t let it control you. It’s easier said the done to say practice moderation. But the important thing is, self-control is possible. As with dieting, breaking sugar cravings requires restraint, especially with the American diet. It’s a matter of mind over platter, willpower over powerlessness. You are not helpless against sugar addiction (and that’s a big unless) you choose to be.
Don’t wait till the American diet kills you. Don’t let sugar addiction make you a breast cancer, heart disease, obesity statistic. Remember, it’s much easier to control a habit when you quit fretting and making excuses and just do it.