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  • Writer's pictureJenny Nguyen

8 small actions to avoid added sugar.

People often think of sugar is a bad thing. But let’s be clear when we define sugar. Glucose is use in our body, it’s needed as part of the Krebs cycle to generate ATP (energy). It has to start with understanding the effects of how added sugar influence our energy and mood.

When you eat fruits, it has sugar, vitamin, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, and water. This is what is considered the good kind of sugar. That’s why people get so confused when it comes to carbs. They think carbs are bad but it’s actually the processed carbs. Just like the processed sugar, that needs to be avoided.

When you eat a chocolate bar, candy, or donut, this is were it becomes a problem. You get the euphoric high, dopamine hit, and it makes you feel amazing. For 5 seconds. Within 1 hour, you’ll get a low because your pancreas massive load of insulin that was sent out to move those high sugar you ate into your cells. Not only your energy will be low, so will your mood. Now you’ll feel the need for another sugar rush to pick you up. And what do you want to reach for? Whatever that is convenient… usually another added sugar loaded candy bar, muffin, or a mocha, cappa, Macha, Frappa drink.

This is a vicious cycle that creates a sugar addiction, mood swings, nutrient deficient, and insulin resistant body. I used to have a sugar addiction so I know how it was like. It wasn’t until I changed the way I think about sugar and how it’s impacting my health. To avoid the added sugar, understanding the above concept is a beginning.

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Understand when you want sugar is a feedback your body telling you it is: 1. Thirsty. 2. Hungry. 3. Tired because lack of sleep. 4. Lack of nutrients. 5. It’s seeking for an instant form of energy.

  2. Before you eat the added sugar, eat the whole food first. That way you are adding good nutrients into your body to support it’s function.

  3. Snack on fruits (apple, banana, clementine, blueberries) instead of candies, donuts, cakes, pastry, etc.

  4. Drink a glass of water. Especially if you ate recently, within 2 hours. The feeling on wanting to snack may be mistaken for when your body is thirsty for hydration.

  5. Don’t bring it home. As much as we like to think it’s all about will power, it is not enough. Creating an environment that encourage healthy eating is easier than relying solely on discipline.

  6. Think of the pain that is causing your teeth, your rise in sugar, the 45 minutes of workout you need to do, your early death bed. Ok, I’m going over board with the death bed. It’s the 17 years of ER experience in me that just came out. For some people, you need someone to remind you about this pain. Prevention is easier than trying to fix the disease.

  7. Learn how to deal with stress. Reality is many people use food as a temporary stress reliever, either it be a chocolate bar, cheese cake, or a glass of wine. Learning how to handle stress in a healthier way such as deep breathing, exercising, journaling, dealing with the problem instead of avoiding it will help in the long run.

  8. If you must have your sugar, have it last. Eat your veggies, protein, then the sugar last. And don’t feel guilty about it. Eat it and move on. Don’t bother beating yourself up for it. Just try to find ways on how you can do better next time.

I hope this helps you.

Your friend,


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