February 28, 2011 at 4:13 pm , by Julie Bain
It’s Day 3 of my battle against sugar and, frankly, I feel like crap. I want the cupcakes in the photo I just placed in this blog! I want a slice of pizza! (Yep, that crust just turns to sugar, too.) But I’m not going to eat them because, one, the weight is practically falling off me and two, all the latest research says cutting back on the sweet stuff may be the healthiest thing I can do for myself.
Two different health stories I’ve worked on recently for the magazine motivated me to do this. One was our “All About Cholesterol” story in the February issue (which showed that reducing sugar can whittle your belly fat and lower that dangerous LDL cholesterol). The other was a fun article about sugar addiction that’s running in our May issue (you won’t want to miss it!). Here’s a preview:
“My kick in the (slightly too tight) pants: A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association says that the average American eats about 21 teaspoons of added sugar a day (meaning sugar that’s not naturally occurring, as in fruit, or lactose, a sugar in milk). The American Heart Association recommends a max of just six teaspoons a day for women. According to the JAMA study, those who eat lots of added sugar are much more likely to have risk factors for heart disease. Gummy bears could lead to a heart attack? Yikes!”
The writer, Stephanie Dolgoff, decided to cut back for 30 days. How’d she fare? You’ll have to read it for yourself. Let’s just say that it’s a hilarious, painful and ultimately rewarding journey. It’ll inspire you, I swear! It did me!
Also (don’t hate me), I’m going on a little vacation to Italy next week. Yes, the land of life-changing pasta, pizza and gelato is beckoning. So it makes sense to downscale before I indulge a bit. But I know how Europe operates. It’s also the land of sensible portion sizes, fresh, unprocessed whole foods and lots of walking. I’m not worried.
Meanwhile, though, it’s clear that cutting way back on simple carbs and sugar can cause some weird side effects, such as feeling woozy, fatigued, headachy–and some people even experience flu-like symptoms. One doctor told me that can happen when an overgrowth of yeast in your body starts to die off due to starvation (they thrive on those cupcakes). You have to detox. Drinking lots of water and sticking with it are the keys. Experts say you feel great once your body adjusts. (Don’t forget, you need some carbs for energy, but it’s best to get them from unsweetened whole grains, veggies and a little fresh fruit.)
So, anyone want to join me on this sugar-lowering journey? Be sure to post your comments if you’ve tried it and tell us how you feel.
Cupcake photo copyright Ruth Black, fotolia.com
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