Here are 10 lifestyle tips to approach healthy weight management and cardiovascular health. For this article we focus on the first health tip: (1) Eliminate sugar. In future posts we will cover the remaining 9 items comprised of (2) Increase fiber, (3) Stay hydrated, (4) Eat good fats, (5) Reduce stress, (6) Get adequate sleep, (7) Move, (8) Eat mindfully, (9) Eat the rainbow, and (10) Your food should be made of food.
Let's get started.
Sugar intake, typically in the form of sugary drinks, seems to be the culprit of many disease states including insulin and leptin resistance, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cavities and ultimately, obesity. Sugar consumption releases dopamine and natural opioids making it highly addictive. Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson notes that "...the brain scan of a person addicted to cocaine and the brain scan of an overweight person look the same."
Start taking steps to reduce and eliminate your sugar intake. Remove white sugar from your cupboard. If you use it for baking or cooking, replace white sugar with something tastier and healthier like yacon syrup, or more sparingly, local honey, real maple syrup or coconut palm sugar. These natural sugars still carry a caloric load, but they also provide some valuable micronutrients! And, of course, use in moderation. Xylitol is a safe alternative with a low glycemic index. Some "no calorie" options that are recognized as safe include erythritol, monk fruit and stevia.Natasha Grincevicius, Professional Health Educator, Certified Naturals