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The Great Sugar Epidemic

I want to discuss what I feel is an epidemic in our country, that’s our consumption of white or refined sugar. The US ranks number one in the world for the amount of sugar consumption per person at 126 grams. That’s equivalent to 8 1/2 tablespoons of sugar. Refined sugar is considered a simple sugar because it breaks down very quickly in the digestive system in one simple step which increases the glucose level in the blood and insulin production spikes. Throughout my life I’ve always had a sweet tooth. I was constantly chasing the high that sugar created. Sugar has a very addictive nature. It increases the release of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that functions at the reward center of the brain. It conveys the feeling of hunger and pleasure to our senses.


It’s important to read your food labels. Sugar can be disguised as the following forms of sugar.


Some most common ones that are added to processed foods are:

*Sucrose

*Caramel

*High fructose corn syrup

*Malt syrup

*Dextrin

*Glucose

*Dextrose

*Fructose

*Galactose

*Invert sugar

*Maltodextrin

*Icing sugar


Here are some other reasons why eating too much sugar is bad for your health.


Here are a few tips that may help you cut back on your sugar consumption. Allow for little indulgences, engage in physical activity, plan ahead when visiting family or friends like bringing healthier snack options, dark chocolate and almonds for example. It is easier than you think to enjoy an occasional sweet treat while also staying faithful to your wellness goals. All it takes is a bit of planning, awareness and replacing the habit with healthier options.


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