Can you go 30 Days without Sugar?
This January marks the beginning of National Sugar Free Month and the 30 Sugar Free Days Challenge.
I started the challenge as a way for people to focus on weight loss, but also as a way to learn about the addictive and harmful aspects of our sugar consumption. I hope that you will take the challenge not only a way to reduce your weight, but also as a way to improve your health.
Why Stop Sugar?
You might agree that sugar is addictive, but you may not know just how addictive or how harmful that addiction can be. Let’s take a look and see what science is starting to show us about sugar:
Â· Sugar addiction: Animal studies show that sugar is every bit as addictive as cigarettes, alcohol and even drugs. If you understand that sugar is an addiction, you understand a lot of your behavior around the foods that you eat: bingeing, cravings, hoarding, obsession are all signs of addiction. If you have ever tried a diet, but couldn’t stick with it, or if you lost a lot of weight only to gain it back, you have your addiction to blame.
Â· Weight Gain: While medicine denies that there is an association, sugar leads directly to weight gain. It does this because eating sugar creates large spikes in blood sugar. Whenever your blood sugar is higher than the current needs of your body, your body will store the extra sugar as fat. This does not happen with other foods, like broccoli, meat, or even an apple.
Â· Insulin Insensitivity: Insulin insensitivity occurs when our cells become resistant to insulin. Both metabolic syndrome and diabetes are forms of insulin insensitivity. Your cells become resistant to insulin when there is constantly too much sugar in your blood stream. While even medical societies such as the American Diabetes Association deny the connection, sugar and foods that act like sugar are largely responsible for diabetes.
Â· Toxic: The most surprising thing I uncovered while researching Sugarettes, my book on sugar addiction, was that sugar is toxic to the blood vessels in the body. In the exact same way that cigarette smoke damages the lungs, sugar in the blood stream damages blood vessels. This damage is clearly seen in diabetics who have blood vessel damage in the form of heart disease, eye disease, kidney disease and more. The exact same damage occurs in people who aren’t diabetic but who eat sugar, only slower.
Join us in January
Breaking the sugar habit is not easy; but with the right support, you can succeed. Taking sugar out of your life means that you are taking steps towards a much healthier you and preventing diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Taking the ’30 Sugar Free Days Challenge’ is a step towards your better health. So join us in January for 30 days without sugar.
Dr. Scott Olson
Dr. Scott Olson is a naturopathic doctor, an expert in natural medicine and the author of the book Sugarettes.
You can read his blog at http://olsonnd.com/