- Barley malt
- Beet sugar
- Black strap molasses
- Brown rice syrup
- Brown sugar
- Cane sugar
- Carob syrup
- Coconut palm sugar
- Corn sweetener
- Corn syrup
- Corn-syrup solids
- Crystalline fructose
- Date sugar
- Dehydrated cane juice
- Dried oat syrup
- Evaporated cane juice crystals
- Evaportated cane juice
-Fruit juice concentrate
- Golden syrup
- Gum syrup
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Inverted sugar
- Malt syrup
- Maple syrup
- Palm sugar
- Refiner’s syrup
- Simple syrup
- Sorghum syrup
DISCLAIMER: This information provides benefits and uses of essential oils based on personal experiences and/or information detailed in medical/academic journals or other publications. This information is not to be interpreted as medical advice meant for diagnosing illness or injured condition of the body or for prescriptive purposes and is in no way intended as a substitute for personal judgment or medical counseling. Statements and ideas contained herein have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Anyone with a disease, illness, injury or medical condition should consult a qualified health care professional. Readers are encouraged to consult their health care provider prior to beginning any cleanse, diet, detoxification program, or any supplement regiment.
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Added sugars lurk everywhere, even in places we’ve come to know and love. Health food stores are stocked with treats that look healthy and come in cute wrappers, which lead us to think the food inside must be good for us - or at least better for us than the bag of Oreos we used to buy. Just because something is called nectar doesn't mean it's healthy.
A sugar is any chemically-related, sweet-tasting carbohydrate, most of which are consumed as food. Most are derived from plants, but sugars can exist in many tissues, and just because something is derived from a plant doesn’t mean it’s healthy.
Sugar lifts our moods, gives us energy, and makes us feel alive, but then almost immediately does the opposite. Its feel-good effects are fleeting, leaving us with more problems than satisfaction - sluggishness, skin problems, weight issues, chronic diseases, more cravings, irritability and short tempers… This is because sugar raises blood glucose levels quickly, which in turn raises insulin levels to keep the blood sugar in check. And while we need insulin to keep us functioning, too much of a good thing can go sour.
Sugar is an extraordinarily destructive substance that most people eat far too much of. Virtually every day, more studies are proving that sugar plays a pivotal role in the development of many of the devastating illnesses we fear most, namely heart disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s to name a few. Granted the body does need trace amounts of sugar to function, but the average American is eating sugar by the pound, not the molecule. Some estimates put the average adult intake at close to 130 pounds of sugar a year – an astonishing amount of any substance, much less one with such disastrous health implications.
True, many of the sweeteners listed below offer more nutrition than the refined white crystal sugar you find in a sugar packet. For instance, black strap molasses contains a good amount of iron, and raw honey offers enzymes and antioxidants. Still, these “natural sweeteners” are sugar to your body.
Whether you’re doing a cleanse, clearing up your skin, growing your energy, losing weight, or reducing your pain, eliminating added sugars and natural sweeteners is so much better for your health - physically and mentally. It can be hard to avoid all the natural sweeteners that are really sugar, but being diligent and knowing what to look for will help you ditch the sugar!
All of these are sugars by other names that you should keep an eye out for:
By simply reducing sugar you can improve your mood, help to slow down aging (less wrinkles over time!), increase your overall energy, lose weight, and enjoy clearer skin. But eliminating sugar goes beyond the mental clarity, health and beauty benefits. Ditching sugar is oddly enough one of those things that can almost immediately increase your self worth. You find new found respect for your body and your life.
Here are a few thoughts on how to break free and get sugar out of your life now – so you can live the sweet life for years to come:
- Eat regularly. Eat three meals and two snacks or five small meals a day. For many people, if they don’t eat regularly, their blood sugar levels drop, they feel hungry and are more likely to crave sweet sugary snacks.
- Choose whole foods. The closer a food is to its original form, the less processed sugar it will contain. Food in its natural form, including fruits and vegetables, usually presents no metabolic problems for a normal body, especially when consumed in variety.
- Consider doing a simple detox. When people do a proper detox, not only does it reset their appetites but it often decreases their sugar cravings. After the initial sugar cravings, which can be overwhelming, our bodies adjust and we won’t even want the sugar anymore and the desire will disappear.
- Have a breakfast of protein, fat and phytonutrients to start your day off right. Breakfast smoothies are ideal for this. The typical breakfast, full of carbs and sugary or starchy foods is the worst option since you’ll have cravings all day. Eating a good breakfast is essential to prevent sugar cravings.
- Try to incorporate protein and/or fat with each meal. This helps control blood sugar levels. Make sure they are healthy sources of each.
- Add spices. Coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom will naturally sweeten your foods and reduce cravings.
- Take a good quality multivitamin and mineral supplement, omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D3. Nutrient deficiencies can make cravings worse and the fewer nutrient deficiencies, the fewer cravings. Certain nutrients seem to improve blood sugar control including chromium, vitamin B3 and magnesium.
- Move your body. Exercise, go for a walk, dance or do some yoga. Whatever movement you enjoy will help reduce tension, boost your energy and decrease your need for a sugar lift.
- Get enough sleep. When we are tired we often use sugar for energy to counteract the exhaustion.
- Be open to explore the emotional issues around your sugar addiction. Many times our craving for sugar is more for an emotional need that isn’t being met.
- Keep sugary snacks out of your house and office. It’s difficult to snack on things that aren’t there!
- Don’t substitute artificial sweeteners for sugar. This will do little to alter your desire for sweets. If you do need a sweetener, try Stevia, it’s the healthiest. See information about sweeteners HERE.
- Learn to read labels. Although the best option is to eat as few foods as possible that have labels, educate yourself about what you’re putting into your body. The longer the list of ingredients, the more likely sugar is going to be included on that list. So check the grams of sugar, and choose products with the least sugar per serving (1 teaspoon of sugar is roughly equivalent to about 4 grams).
Become familiar with sugar terminology and recognize all of the items listed above.
- Sugar is disguised in wheat and grains. Remember that most of the “complex” carbohydrates we consume like bread (including whole wheat), bagels and pasta aren’t really complex at all. They are usually highly refined or act just like sugars in the body and are to be avoided.
Consider eating grain-free and read the Wheat Belly Total Health book by Dr. William Davis.
- Scare yourself straight. There is a strong physical component to sugar addiction – one way to kick off your sugar-free journey is to re-frame the way you think about sugar. Treat it like an illicit drug, a kind of legal form of heroin, a dark force to be avoided, and a substance whose use leads to physical ruin.
And if you have acute sugar cravings, try these:
-Take a “breathing break”. Find a quiet spot, get comfortable and sit for a few minutes and focus on your breath. After a few minutes of this, the craving will pass. Use essential oils such as Peppermint to alleviate hunger and cravings.
- Distract yourself. Go for a walk, if possible, in nature. Cravings usually last for 10-20 minutes maximum. If you can distract yourself with something else, it often passes. The more you do this, the easier it gets and the cravings get easier to deal with.
- Drink lots of water with lemon added to help with sugar cravings. Also, sometimes what we perceive as a food craving is really thirst.
- Have a piece of fruit. If you give in to your cravings, have a piece of fruit, it should satisfy a sweet craving and is much healthier.
Sugar withdrawal can be tough! Here is an article that explains what factors may influence your withdrawal symptoms. If you decide to give up sugar, stick with it - the results are worth it. And, once you get through the first few days, your sugar cravings start to go away - they really do!