Turning to artificial sweeteners is generally not a good method of reducing sugar intake because the adverse effects of these chemicals – however much the manufacturers deny it – may be worse than any benefit in some individuals.
Remember that refined sugar includes not only "sugar", as listed in ingredient listings, but also the brown sugar that is sold in the baking aisle in the regular grocery store. Other refined sweeteners to avoid are glucose, fructose and dextrose. Hidden sources of white sugar are in mayonnaise, ketchup, salad dressings and other condiments, unless you get them at health food stores. When you have finished the condiments that are in your fridge make a point to replace them with the white-sugar-free versions.
A more obvious source of white sugar is in jams and jellies. There are now many all-fruit varieties sweetened with concentrated grape or apple juice. There are also jams that are sweetened with honey, dehydrated cane juice, or unrefined cane sugar.
Try the following tips to help moderate or eliminate the amount of added sugar in your diet:
How do you modify your old recipes to eliminate refined white sugar? Replace the sugar with half the amount of raw sugar (dehydrated cane juice, e.g. Sucanat, or turbinado), or half the amount of honey or maple syrup (but reduce the liquid amount by one quarter cup for every cup of honey or maple syrup used). To sweeten you can also use rice syrup, barley malt, date sugar, dried fruit, fresh fruit, fruit juice, or even rice milk. Using sweeter flours such as oat or teff also lends a natural sweetness to baked goods.
If people are interested in seeing if their hair pulling is food-related, there is a simple test that can be done. Simply eating a snack such as peanut 'M&M's (containing sugar, chocolate and legumes) – as many as you can stand at one sitting, washing them down with Coca-Cola (cola, caffeine and more sugar or aspartame, which is just as bad) is all that it takes. If in 2 days there is a noticeable increase in hair pulling urges, then you could consider abstaining from "bad" foods.
Unfortunately, it appears to take from 30-40 days to purge the gut and skin of their bad effects fully, and it also seems to take several attempts and about a year of trying for most pullers to achieve the desired results. People report that avoiding sugar and caffeine – which act more quickly – is the most rewarding way to start.
The list of foods that aggravate this condition includes concentrated natural sugars, tomato seeds, soy products, yams, MSG, and ibuprofen. However, there are a few "good" foods, which partially counteract the "bad" ones, including garlic, most acidic fruits, dry red wine, unsweetened yogurt, and a chemical family called gluconates.
Elaine Gottschall, author of Breaking the Vicious Cycle, has proposed that gut dysbiosis is a major cause of Crohn's disease, with small and large bowel fermentation being a key component. She has used a Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) restricted in disaccharide sugars and devoid of cereal grains to alter gut flora. When digestion of carbohydrates such as starches and some sugars is impaired, these items are poorly absorbed. Yeast and bacteria can then overgrow in response to these newly available nutrients, increasing toxic by-products and mucus production, resulting in further injury to the small intestine and malabsorption. Digestion is worsened – thus "the vicious cycle". The purpose of the SCD is to deprive the microbial world in the small intestine of food it needs to overpopulate and irritate.
Sugars have a depressive effect on the immune system.
Sugar and corn syrup found in many desserts impair the engulfing power of white blood cells. The worst offenders are found in canned soda, candy bars, pastry and other processed desserts. Even sugars found in fruit juice, when consumed quickly, will have a depressive effect on immune cells.
Ingesting refined sugar increases triglyceride levels. People with elevated triglyceride levels should therefore reduce their intake of sugar, sweets and other sugar-containing foods. Even added fructose will raise triglyceride levels, but the fructose found naturally in foods should be less of a problem.
Consuming foods that contain simple sugars makes the problem worse. Avoid sweets other than fresh fruits, if tolerated. In addition, consider avoiding products that only "taste" sweet (artificially sweetened – low calorie). Even though they may contain no sugar, sending signals to your brain that something "sweet" is being consumed may have negative consequences.
Take some form of sugar; alcohol lowers your blood sugar levels.
Avoiding factors that encourage bone loss can be as just as important as calcium intake. Diets high in refined sugar, protein, salt, caffeine, and phosphorous contained in soft drinks, all promote calcium excretion in urine.
See the link between Restless Leg Syndrome and Caffeine Avoidance.
Due to its inhibition of the immune system, sugar consumption should be stopped until all bronchitis symptoms have ceased.
People with a high intake of sugar (mono- and disaccharides) increase their risk of developing Parkinson's disease by a factor of three as compared to people with a more moderate intake.
The bacteria that come together to become plaque use sugar as a form of energy. They multiply faster and the plaque grows in size and thickness. Some of the bacteria turn sugar into a kind of glue and use it to stick themselves to the surface of the teeth. This makes it harder for the bacteria to get washed away by saliva.
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