Five Reasons to Quit Sugar Now

Sugar is bad for you. Here are Five Reasons to Cut Sugar Now
Sugar is bad for you. Here are Five Reasons to Quit Sugar Now

Over three-quarters of packaged food in grocery stores today comes with copious amounts of added sweeteners, making it easy to overindulge, even if you pass on dessert. Most Americans eat over 82 grams of sugar daily, which is triple the amount recommended by the American Heart Association.

Over the course of a year, that equals 150 pounds of added sugars per person. Feeling gross yet?

Top Five Dangers of Added Sugar

It’s time to resolve to cut your sugar consumption levels down this year. Below are five health risks of overeating sugar and sugar substitutes, and the damage that they wreak on your body.

1. Driving Force Behind Type 2 (and Type 3) Diabetes

The results are in: eating too much sweet stuff raises your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. According to the CDC, an estimated 100 million Americans have the disease, and millions more are at risk. Insulin resistance is the trigger for diabetes, and foods filled with fat and sugar reduce your sensitivity to insulin, meaning your blood sugar levels go unchecked.

Sugary drinks tend to be the most dangerous. When the British Medical Journal conducted an analysis of fruit juice and soda, they found that even eight daily ounces raised diabetes risk by 13 percent. Likewise, research published on PLOS One shows that every extra 150 calories of sugar (the amount in a single can of soda) every day increases diabetes risk by one percent, compared to just 0.1 percent for non-sugar calories.

Now, new evidence from the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology shows that sugar-filled diets might increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, the link between insulin resistance and Alzheimer’s is so strong that some scientists are considering renaming the disease as “type 3 diabetes.”

2. Promotes Addiction and Brain Fog

Eight times more addictive than cocaine. That’s what research from Princeton is reporting about the sinister side of sugar. Your body craves this sweet substance like it’s a drug because, well, it is. And like many other drugs, sugar only hurts your body in the process.

The taste of sugar triggers signals in your brain that light up its reward pathway and create a surge of feel-good hormones. Too much stimulation reduces their effectiveness, meaning you start needing larger amounts of sugar to feel the same way. Likewise, sugar-induced insulin resistance weakens the synaptic connections between brain cells, leading to impaired cognition, higher depression rates, and emotional mood swings that leave you depleted.

3. Develops into Dangerous Belly Fat

Eating refined sugar overloads your liver with fructose, and anything you don’t immediately burn is turned into fat—predominately around your belly. Not only does this leave you looking bloated, but it also leads to lingering health challenges. In fact, reports from Harvard reveals that abdominal fat can raise your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, and premature death.

4. Triggers Premature Aging

Wrinkly, saggy skin is hardly the fresh start you want this year. Yet, sugary snacks might make it a reality. A study conducted at Dartmouth Medical School states that overindulging on sugar leads to glycation, a process where excess sugar molecules attach to collagen fibers, causing them to lose flexibility and strength. As a result, your skin loses elasticity and becomes more vulnerable to skin damage and sagging. A high-sugar diet also deactivates your body’s natural antioxidant enzymes, which leaves you more susceptible to sun damage and skin cancers.

5. Zaps the “Good” Bacteria in Your Gut

Your digestive system is a zoo of beneficial bacteria that keep things functioning as they should. Research funded by the American Cancer Society show that sugar alters gut bacteria in ways that affect mental performance and potentially raise toxin levels in your bloodstream. Because most sugars are digested without microbial help, these hungry bugs turn to nibbling on your intestinal lining instead. Permeating this barrier allows food particles into the rest of your body, which can cause inflammation and fungal growth like candida.

Further research from Tel Aviv University also shows that artificial sugar might promote the growth of harmful gut bacteria, which can lead to irritation, allergies and skin conditions, as well as digestive distress.

This Year, Cut Out Sugar for Better Health

The facts don’t lie.

Sugar is terrible for your health, and cutting it out only does your body a favor. So, commit to eat less sugar, and you’ll experience profound benefits in the process.


NOTE: This article was originally published on the health blog SweetDefeat by Heather Bauer RD, CD.


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Easy Tips To Help Prevent Colds and Flu This Season

virusThe people who are exposed to germs from flu and colds on a daily basis, such as flight attendants, doctors, teachers, etc. probably know quite a few easy tips on how to avoid catching and even preventing the germs spread from a sneezing child in the classroom or a sick passenger on the flight - many will suggest that you get your seasonal flu shot in order to prevent the bug from taking hold of you.

But here are some really good tips from those people who are exposed to colds and flu on a daily basis:

  • Always wash your hands, and quite often too, because, no matter what line of work you are in, you are coming into contact with people who are contagious to you and you will need to wash your hands over and over again. Even when you are out and about, you are touching the elevator buttons, door handles, counters and other areas where you are coming into contact with dangerous germs. It sounds so simple but in fact, soap and water are doctors and nurses around-the-clock companions.
  • Try and use hand sanitizers that are alcohol based because if you are not near any soap and water, the sanitizer can kill off the flu and cold germs. That means not getting too close to people who are sick, like not shaking hands. Just make sure it contains at least 62% alcohol for it to be effective.
  • Keep your space around you clean - in other words, if you are sick, it is better for you to stay at home. Your job is to heal and not to pass on the germs to other people, particularly if you are really sick.
  • Live a healthy lifestyle, as it is important to look after your health. That means getting enough rest and nutrition. Many think these are just old wives tales, but it is really important to get good nutritional food into your system, not to smoke and to keep allergies under control. If you don’t, your upper respiratory tract could become inflamed. This makes you more vulnerable to get a virus.
  • Repair your gut because your gut is the gateway to health and almost 80% of your immune system is situated in the gut. That means it needs to be in peak condition. Take a top quality probiotic to keep up good levels of bacteria to fight off infection.
  • Go slow on alcohol and sugar consumption because when you consume too much, you suppress the immune system, causing leaky gut. Just moderate alcohol consumption can suppress your central nervous system too which is part of your important immune system.
  • Reduce stress because stress suppresses the immune system. Consider things like acupuncture, or yoga, or medication to reduce stress.
  • Take an immune booster which contains proteins and immunoglobulins which will boost your body’s line of defense.
  • Take supplements of glutathione and turmeric because they are antioxidants, important for the right functioning of the immune function. Glutathione is the main antioxidant in the body and is responsible for enhancing the immune system as well as assisting the liver with detoxification. Turmeric improves cardiovascular function and joint health.
  • Optimize on Vitamin D, which is a powerful immune system booster as it fights off infections. Pair your vitamin D supplement with vitamin K to ensure the vitamin D is well absorbed.
  • Drink a bone broth. Maybe you remember your mother or grandmother giving you chicken broth when you were sick and how it made you feel so much better. It’s not just folklore – bone broth does actually benefit your immune system. Studies show that when you eat chicken soup during respiratory infection times, you quell inflammation. It’s so easy to make – you boil turkey or chicken bones and vegetable pieces roughly for around 8 hours. Add some collagen or gelatin to the bone broth to optimize on healthifying your immune system and supporting a healthy gut to protect your body against invasive pathogens.

Keep up these tips in the flu and cold seasons and you will not only prevent flu and colds from invading your body, but will keep your body on the path to achieving optimal health. Getting sick can really stress out your immune system, increasing your risk of a flare-up of autoimmune conditions, chronic illnesses, and thyroid dysfunction. Say no to colds and flu and yes to health!

Treat the Flu Naturally
Is it a cold or the flu? Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference, but in this book we explain the symptoms of each making it easy to tell which one you have. We want to be sure so we know which treatment avenue to take. In my newest release called "Is It A Cold Or The Flu?", I explain the difference between the two and how to treat the flu naturally.

5 Components Of Emotional Intelligence

BrainIf you think that all that there is to health is sleep, exercise, and diet, you're off to a good start but you still may be neglecting other important factors of your overall wellbeing.

Your overall health is composed of several areas of wellness, including emotional wellness. But what constitutes emotional wellness? These five aspects of emotional wellness have been identified by the National Institute of Health.

While this article aims to offer a brief introduction to this topic and so will not go into great detail on how to improve aspects of your emotional wellness, identifying which of them maybe areas of concern for you can help you identify solutions or resources for further study.


Continue reading "5 Components Of Emotional Intelligence"

4 Signs Of Poor Emotional Health

aromatherapyThese days, it can be all too easy to lose track of our emotional health. After all, our emotions don’t pay the bills, right?

In a way, they kind of do. Your emotional health plays a huge role in how well you can get work done, largely because it can manifest in physical symptoms. The good news is that that means that even if you aren’t very in touch with your emotions, there are symptoms that you can watch for to know if your emotional health is well or not.

Stress And Emotional Health

This article will talk about stress a lot because stress is what often causes upsets in our emotional health. It's important to remember, however, that we often think about stress in dangerously simple terms. Continue reading "4 Signs Of Poor Emotional Health"

Achieving Vitality In Body And Mind Through Aging

We are all looking for that silver bullet that is going to keep us feeling young and healthy even into our later years. The truth? Exercise is it.
Here are some of the most important reasons why you should join that local soccer league your coworker is always bugging you about.

Prevent Injuries

In regards to your physical vitality, exercise prevents injuries due to weak and tightened muscles especially back injuries, which can seriously hamper your lifestyle because of pain and immobility.
A large portion of injuries, especially back injuries, come either because the individual continued to exert themselves long after their muscles had fatigued, or because the muscles and tendons simply were not strong enough to withstand the strain placed on them.
Injuries from both causes can be avoided as you age if you take the time to keep your muscles strong and flexible through weight training or some similar form of resistance exercise.

Boost Metabolism

Exercise also keeps the body awake and energized by boosting your metabolism. A single hour of exercise can keep your metabolism ramped for up to six hours, with the added benefit of keeping your bodyweight under control.

Better Sleep

It can also help you sleep better by regulating your daily hormone cycles (known as circadian rhythms), and by getting you just tired enough to want a full night's sleep. Don't overdo it though, or it will have the opposite effect. Start off slow, especially if you have not exercised regularly for over a six weeks. 30 minutes a day with just enough exertion to sweat is a great rule of thumb to follow.

Mental Stamina

In regards to mental stamina and health, there are few remedies that work as well as exercise. For one thing, exercise causes a natural let down of dopamine in the brain, causing a feeling of euphoria that many people call "the runner's high" that lasts up to several hours at a time.
The physical rhythm of most exercise activities helps tear the mind away from any pressing concerns of the day, helping to reduce stress, depression, and anxiety, and augmenting capacities for attention and focus.
If you are naturally high strung and particularly susceptible to anxiety and depression, exercise can be your over-the-counter version of Prozac, and it has the added perk of being totally free! Running or weight lifting is also ideal just before sitting down to work on an intense project that is going to require lots of attention.

Prevent Dementia

One the best mental benefits that comes from exercise is that it helps to avoid Alzheimer's disease by reducing blood sugar and blood insulin levels. If you couple exercise with a slow carb or low carb diet, it increases this preventative effect even more (Van der Auwera et al. 2005) and can even improve age-related memory loss (Krikorian et al. 2012).

In addition, exercise provides an excellent excuse to meet up with friends for an activity and to establish and maintain social relationships, which lead to increased happiness and mental stability.

Increased Self-Confidence

Finally, exercise leads to an increased feeling of self-confidence, giving you the mental fortitude you need to go out and achieve your goals, which is extremely important as most people in their later years have even more time on their hands and an increased sense of confusion about how to spend it.

Final Thoughts

From better rest, more energy, and a sharper mind, exercise is your golden ticket to making sure your senior years are just as golden. So go out there, find an activity you love that requires you to move, and start living young!

Key Tips To Stop Sabotaging Your Own Health

We’re so used to things not going our way that we protect ourselves by ruining things for ourselves before they get ruined by others. Many times those who sabotage their health are driven by unconscious reasons, but justify it via mindful means. Simply put, we screw up our health without even realizing it.

If you’re too hard on yourself and tend to sabotage your own success as it concerns health or otherwise, read on to find out how you can stop, and treat yourself how you deserve to be treated.

Be objective. Take a step back and look at what’s happening in your life from a stranger’s point of view. You can even start a journal and write down.

Embrace imperfections. Getting feedback and critique is probably the last thing you want, but a great chance to improve your health, realize what you’re doing wrong. More often than not, you’ll find that the feedback was actually helpful, but only if you don’t take it too personally, or over think everything.

Don’t be gullible. The grass that’s much greener on the other side of the fence is that way because of the hard work that went into it. What you envision success to be, whether it’s losing 20 pounds or being filthy rich, our thinking process doesn’t take into account all the hard work that goes into it. Be realistic about your health goals and break them down into mini-goals.

They can be daily or weekly - it’s up to you. Write down every step you need to take in order to get there, and don’t leave out the times when you fail to reach one of them. Trust in the process, and more importantly, in yourself.

Stop being selfish. Some people think that when they sabotage their health, they’re doing it for the good of others around them. For example, a mother may feel that she’s putting her kids’ well-being before her own when she doesn’t take the time to eat right or exercise.

Or a father thinks that by working all the time and not taking the time to take to take care of his health, then it’s for the sake of his family. The truth is, this behavior is the exact definition of being selfish.

Trust your perspective. As we grow, we’re bombarded with comments about ourselves, and it’s the negative ones that stick with us the most. The problem here is that it can be difficult to break free from these comments that we turn into tangible beasts that haunt us in every decision we make. In addition, they can be ordinary, run-of-the-mill comments that someone made without giving it a second thought, but to us, it dominates our waking hours and dictates our life decisions. It’s important to give these comments a break and be stronger than the effect they have on you so you can live life to the fullest.

Go easy on yourself. It’s no big deal if you feel uncomfortable in a certain situation, or if you’re not completely certain what to do. Take a deep breath, realize that every single person gets the same heart-gripping fear every once in awhile and take the plunge - what’s the worst that can happen? I’ll tell you.

It’s one of two things: you’ll either fail miserably, which will be somewhat embarrassing, but won’t be the end of the world, you’ll stand back up, take another deep breath, learn from your mistakes and try again. Or, you’ll succeed and you’ll be proud of your accomplishments, and move on to the next task with courage.

Be brave. Bolstering your confidence takes practice and time. Take the time to research and ask questions so that you’re prepared and confident.

Punch low self-esteem in the face. When you’re not as trusting in your abilities as you should be, that prevents you from achieving the most you can. People with low self-esteem always have ready on-hand excuses for why they’re not good enough or why they can’t do this or that. Fear of failure is normal, it’s the “not trying” part that makes you miss you out on life.

Take the time to put yourself before others; it’ll make a healthier, more balanced person. You’ll quickly discover that you have more time and energy to do the things you have to do in your life, whether it’s for work or family.