Run from a Sugar Habit
By means of denial and deception cravings constructs an endless cycle of defeat. It is always on your mind, and you keep coming back for more. You are your own worst enemy, even when you try to stay away it finds a way back into your daily life. That feels good substance – sugar.
According to the USDA, in 2010 the average American consumed 132 pounds of sugar annual. Extreme sugar intake can cause a host of problems like weight gain or worse heart disease, increased risk for diabetes, and elevated cholesterol. The temporary energy is followed up with a crash leaving you tired, fatigued, and lethargic.
Most blame Mother Nature for their sweet tooth but chances are you were not born that way, but your food choices created a sugar monster. Like any other drug, the more you have the more you want. Fortunately, we can reverse this tolerance by cutting out unnecessary sugar. Once you decrease your daily sugar intake, you can learn to enjoy your favorite treats in moderation on occasion.
Avoided Added Sugar
There is the obvious daily no-no’s, sweets (cookies, cakes, and ice cream). Surprisingly, sugar lies at the heart of some “health foods” such as breakfast cereals, granolas, flavored oatmeal, yogurts and smoothies. Read the labels! Avoid products with 10 grams or more of sugar per serving.
Rethink Your Drink
Sugar sweetened beverages such as soda, sweet teas, fruit and sports drinks are to blame for half of our consumption. No reason not to enjoy a soda on occasion but not daily. Iced and café coffees are also a sugar trap so order with caution. Opt for water or low-fat milk instead of high-calorie, sugary drinks.
Flavor Your Own
Many believe that all yogurts are superstars. Some varieties have added fat, calories, and sugar. Opt for light varieties to decrease fat and sugar, and choose a thick “Greek” style for three times the protein. Create your own flavored yogurt.
- Add berries and 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla extract to plain yogurt.
- Add crushed pineapple and a tablespoon of shredded coconut to plain Greek yogurt.
- Add a tablespoon of espresso and a tablespoon of dark chocolate syrup to plain yogurt.
Rebecca Turner, MS, RD, CSSD, LD is a registered dietitian and certified sports specialist in dietetics and founder of Runner’s FUEL. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @RunnersFuel. For more information visit www.runner-fuel.com. Text runnersfuel to 601.863.8370 for health news and nutrition tips.