Too Much Sugar   The Simple Truth Regarding Simple Sugars

    Over 66% of Americans are either overweight or    
    obese. It's an alarming statistic, and much of it can
    be attributed to too many added sugars in our diet
    (the kind not naturally found in foods--i.e. sugar-
    sweetened beverages, grain-based desserts, fruit
    drinks, ready-to-eat cereals, to name just a few).

So here are just a few reasons to try and curb your sugar consumption:

1. Sugar causes wrinkles. Say what?!? You read that right...WRINKLES! Excess added sugar in our diet breaks down collagen and elastin--two protein fibers that help keep our skin firm and supple and prevent wrinkles and sagging.

2. Sugar increases stress. That seemingly innocent piece of cake can cause a spike in blood sugar levels, resulting in a release of stress hormones, often leading to anxiety and irritability!

3. Sugar causes fluctuations in blood glucose levels. Have you ever wondered why you suddenly become fatigued after drinking a soda? Sugar may be the culprit. While sugar does provide a "feel good" type of effect and boosts energy levels, it's TEMPORARY. Eventually, that burst leads to drowsiness (a hypoglycemic state) and causes us to reach for, you guessed it, more sugar! And don't be fooled by sugar substitutes--those unsuspecting characters can cause the same reaction.

4. Added sugar causes weight gain. That's pretty much a no-brainer. But it's sneaky in the way it goes about doing its business. Sugar prevents insulin from doing its job of suppressing ghrelin, the "hunger hormone." And because ghrelin isn't functioning as it should, its unable to stimulate leptin, the hormone which sends the signal to your body that you've had enough to eat. The result? You consume more calories. Presto! You have unwanted pounds!

5. Sugar has been linked to an increase risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and liver disease. (Enough said.)

Since added sugar is found in many foods, take the time to educate yourself. Read labels. Ingredients such as sucralose, fructose, lactose, and others ending in "-ose," are code for SUGAR.

How about this? For two weeks, eliminate added sugars from your diet. No cheating. Not only are you likely to shed those last few pounds, you're guaranteed to feel GRRRRRREAT!