My eighth Healthy Tip is to limit alcohol and sugar. Oh man! The fun stuff! Yes, I know. It is only because I want you to keep your body functioning at optimal ability so that you can enjoy a healthful life. Notice I said LIMIT, not exclude. Absolute deprivation is not required….you will only rebel at some point if you really enjoy having a cocktail on occasion or savoring a delicious cookie. I just want you to limit these things — consume in moderation. How come?
Sugar, while it tastes oh-so good and triggers warm & fuzzy feelings, is the devil in disguise. If you consume too much on a regular basis. “High-sugar diets make the pancreas pump out more and more insulin, which may lead to diabetes.” (Walter C. Willett, M. D. “Eat, Drink and Be Healthy”) Sugar gives you an immediate energy rush, but you will have a big crash after this insulin spike – which usually leads to feeding the craving again and eventually weight gain. Also, high levels of sugar in the blood result in the production of AGE compounds (Advanced Glycation End products) which damage cells in the body.
”Eating simple sugar may increase levels of certain hormones in the body; the key is that having a lot of sugar in the diet causes the body to produce a lot of insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF). Some of these hormones appear to fuel cancer cell growth.” – H. J. Lenz www.revolutionheath.com/blogs
Finally, sugar is the King of Empty Calories! You ingest calories with no nutrients. What a waste of eating!
For 146 reasons why sugar is the devil in disguise, go to http://www.healingcancernaturally.com/sugar-health-effects-risks.html.
Read your food labels. Sugar is not always listed simply as sugar, but as high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose, maltose, dextrose, lactose, fructose, glucose, corn syrup or fruit juice concentrate.
Alcohol (in excess) contributes to liver disease, high blood pressure, weakening of the heart muscle, and different cancers. It is also very good at disrupting sleep and throwing judgment out the window. (College memories would back this up, if only I could remember them!) Also, alcohol is additional, empty calories. Make it a froo-froo drink (anything with a funny name, an umbrella or blended) and you are back dancing with the devil (added sugar).
Moderate means one drink a day, no more than 3 days per week. Recommend wine as your best option due to its health benefits (resveratrol from the grapes in wine has been shown to have anti-aging and disease-fighting properties.)
Remember: moderation not deprivation. Challenge: go sugar-and-alcohol-free for a week and tell me how much better you feel!