5 Reasons To Kick Your Sugar Habit
why refined sugars are bad for you
So you consider yourself a pretty healthy person? You exercise regularly. You don't smoke and keep drinking to a minimum. You have cut down on fried foods, but have you tried kicking sugar to the curb? As you might have already found out, saying good-bye to that pesky carbohydrate is a difficult union to break.
Not only is sugar addictive, with its users suffering from headaches, anxiety, depression and mood swings - similar to the effects smokers, caffeine addicts and narcotics users experience - but it also lurks in unexpected places. Refined sugar can be found in almost all packaged and processed food at your local supermarket. It hides under the guise of sucrose, fructose, corn syrup, glucose, maltose and other pseudonyms.
Americans love the sweet taste of sugar, but unfortunately, most that ingest it on a regular basis are addicted. With the United States facing an obesity epidemic, the consumption of refined sugar does not help. The average American eats about 175 pounds of sugar each year, compared to the 15-pound average of 1915. This over consumption has led to a number of different health problems:
1. Weight Gain. It's no secret refined sugar leads us to pack on the pounds. Especially if eaten in large quantities, it will keep you from achieving that dream body you want. This is because it contains only empty calories - no fiber, no protein, no vitamins and no minerals. Nothing. Unlike water, which seems to have the same nutritional value, your body sees refined sugar as an invader and acts accordingly.
2. Mineral Depletion. When you eat refined sugar, your body takes nutrients from other cells to metabolize it because the sugar lacks the ability to do so on it's own. Minerals like calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium are taken from vital body parts to make use of the sugar you ingested. Over Time, the vital body processes requiring those minerals run down and become less efficient.
3. Bone Loss. Your body particularly misses calcium as it is destroyed in your body's fight against sugar. With a decreased amount of calcium being used toward vital body processes, bones become weak, increasing the chances of osteoporosis, breaks and fractures later in life. Calcium loss also leads to tooth decay, a major component of the $50 billion dentistry industry worldwide.
4. Diabetes. Large sugar intake leads to the onset of diabetes because sugar raises your body's blood sugar levels quickly, causing the pancreas to release insulin. The constant consumption of sugar throughout the day forces the body to constantly work. Eventually, the pancreas wears out and cannot perform its normal duties.
5. Low Energy. Sugar consumption will leave you feeling run down. Eating sugar after a craving might give you the notorious "sugar high," but it does not last long. Soon you crash and feel more tired than you did before the high, have less energy and are hungrier.
To wean yourself off refined sugar, take your time. Don't think you will go from eating donuts and McDonald's to oatmeal and steamed broccoli over night. Instead, try to eliminate something from your diet once a week that contains refined sugar and replace it with something natural. For example, to keep energy that will last, eat a bowl of oatmeal instead of a Twinkie.
As you are kicking the sugar habit, remember not to completely suppress your craving. You can feed it, but keep the portions small and savory.
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Low Glycemic No Added Sugar Spiced Apples
Ala Low Carb, Low Glycemic, Diabetic safe, no added sugar, made with stevia
Carbs Per Serving: 9.1 g
Prep Time:<25 minutes
Skill Level: Easy
4 pounds firm, tart apples - peeled, cored, sliced
2 quarts water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups Fructevia, Steviva Brand Stevia Blend or a 1/4 teaspoon of Steviva Brand Stevia Powder
2 cups water
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon or 4 cinnamon sticks
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoons whole cloves
Peel, core and slice apples.
Soak apple slices in water and lemon juice.
Combine Fructevia, Steviva Brand Stevia Blend or Steviva Brand Stevia Powder, water, cinnamon, vinegar, and cloves in a 6 quart saucepan.
Bring to a boil, then simmer 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
Drain apples, add to hot syrup, and cook 5 minutes.
Serve hot, freeze for later or follow instructions for canning below.
Place boiling water bath canner (or large pot), filled half full with water, on the stove burner and begin to heat. Make sure canner has a removable rack that will fit inside the canner.
The canner should be large enough to allow the water to boil 1"-2" over the jars when they are placed on the rack in the canner.
Place an extra kettle of water on the stove burner in case extra boiling water is needed to cover the jars in the canner.
Wash jars and bands in hot soapy water; rinse in hot water. Jars should be boiled in hot water for at least 10 minutes.
Fill jars with hot apples and syrup, leaving 1/2" head space at the top of the jar. Run a non-metal knife or spatula along the inside of the jar to remove air bubbles. Wipe off the top of the jar rim with a clean cloth.
Place hot sealing lid on packed jar next to glass. Screw band on jar until just tight.
Place jars in canning rack, then place rack in canner while water is boiling. Ensure jars are far enough apart to allow for circulation of water around jars. Water should be 1"-2" over the tops of the jars when boiling.
Begin timing for processing as soon as the water returns to a rolling boil. Boil, covered, for 20 minutes.
Remove hot jars from water and place on a towel or rack to cool. Keep jars out of drafts. Do not turn jars upside down. When jars have cooled, ensure they have sealed properly.
Decorate lids by wrapping a ribbon around the neck.
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