Sunday, June 29, 2014

SUGAR - Why is it hard to quit?!

For anyone browsing my blog, you know by now that I'm not 'anti-sugar' but I am however, pro-health. I just don't think the two are mutually exclusive.

Now, stick with me. During college, I had the wonderful opportunity to study neuroscience. As part of that, I studied the brain chemistry behind addictions and social behaviors, which has always fascinated me. Why do we like other people? What makes us sad? What happens in your brain when you have a spiritual or emotional experience?

"Whoa, whoa, whoa!" you may be saying. "Isn't this a cooking blog!?!" Yes, it is. And part of cooking is knowing what you're cooking with. Just like I believe in drinking responsibly (even though I don't personally drink), I also believe in eating responsibly.

This super cool TED talk is a quick explanation about how sugar affects your brain, how and why a tolerance can be built, and what you can quit your craving.

Steps to help you quit sugar: 

The following five steps are found on this Psychology Today article, written by Nicole Avena, Ph.D, the same women who does the video.

  1. Eat regularly. A meal or a snack every 4 to 6 hours will help keep your blood sugar balanced.
  2. Get enough fiber. Aim for 35-45 grams per dayof dietary fiber for women, and 40-50 grams per day for men. In addition to stabilizing blood glucose levels, fiber keeps you feeling full longer. A note of caution: work up to these levels slowly, or you risk experience bloating, gas, or even constipation.
  3. Eat real, whole foods. Packaged foods are notorious for including not only added sugars, salt and chemicals, but also high-fructose corn syrup. As much as possible, eat foods that are organic, from the ground, and in their whole form.
  4. Spice it up. Several studies have shown that cinnamon has the ability to balance blood sugar levels. Add a pinch to your tea or sprinkle it on oatmeal in the morning.
  5. Get enough Zzz’s. Good sleep is like the Holy Grail of total body health, and blood sugar is no exception. Hit the hay before midnight whenever possible.

For additional information, check out this link:

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