You know why I’m writing this post? Because I need to hear it.
Yes, I’ve given up all forms of soda and have switched to healthy beverages. Yes, I’ve switched from white sugar to sucanat, honey or real maple syrup. So in those ways, of course I’m eating much healthier. But still, while these are healthier sugars and are much better than processed sugar…they are STILL sugar.
Too much sugar (in any form) can suppress our immune systems, mess up our blood sugar and insulin levels, make us feel sluggish, cause depression. Sugar can cause heart issues. Sugar can make us gain weight.
Sugar tastes really, really good.
And sugar is addicting.
I’m not really convinced that any one of the Steps Toward Healthy Eating is more important than another. I truly think that each little (or big) thing you can do to improve your health is a step in the right direction whether it’s eating more fruits and veggies or switching to whole grains. But doesn’t it sort of make sense that if you make all kinds of healthy changes, but you’re still eating a lot of sugary foods…you’re kind of taking some steps backward health-wise? Our bodies are busy trying to make good use of all the healthy foods we’re feeding it, and sugar sort of sets us back one sweet morsel at a time.
Am I saying that we need to give up sugar altogether? Good grief, I hope that’s not what I’m saying.
No indeed, I just had a meeting with myself and I have decided that we do not all have to give up sugar entirely. In fact, while giving up sugar entirely would be good for us in some ways, it may cause us to have an “all or nothing” mentality as in…eat no sugar for several days or weeks, then finally cave in and eat a whole bag of chocolate covered sugar with sprinkles, and a side of ho-hos.
I think that if we can achieve a healthy balance when it comes to sugar, our bodies will thank us, and so will our sweet tooth.
- If you are in the habit of eating sweets during a certain time of the day, make a conscious effort to DO SOMETHING ELSE during that time period. Pray, read your Bible, call a friend, play a game with your kids, exercise, paint your nails…anything to distract you from your habit of sugary temptation.
- Eat fruit to satisfy sweet cravings. Fruit tastes so much better when your palate isn’t covered in sugar.
- Instead of cookies and cakes, make sweet treats that are lower in sugar like muffins or a biscuit with a little honey drizzled inside.
Allow yourself some of your favorite treats every now and then. But you’ve gotta make those sugar calories worth it. Don’t settle for sour gummy goobers if you don’t even like them. Say NO to the sweets that you aren’t really big on and savor your favorites every once in a while.
So…what are your thoughts about eating less sugar? Is eating too much sugar a struggle for you? What tricks have you found to eat less and find a healthy sugar balance?
Be sure to read the other posts in this series:
Switch from White to Brown; Eat Out Less; Invest Money in Good Food;
Healthy Beverages; Drink More Water;
The Decision to Eat a Healthy Diet; Eat More Fruits and Veggies