If you live in Houston, Texas, you know there are a lot of fabulous bakeries and eateries that while delicious, don’t serve the healthiest food. They’re filled with sugar and made of white flour, which isn’t exactly a recipe for good health. The most difficult things to do when you start eating healthy is to cut out sugar, white flour and processed food. Processed foods are super easy and white flour seems to be in everything. Sugar, well, not only is sugar in many of the products on the grocery shelf, to make matters worse, it’s addictive. You can do it and will find that after a while you’ll no longer crave those foods.
Sugar is the biggest problem.
Call it what you want, sugar, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup or any of the other many names used to disguise sugar, it’s addictive. That seductive sweet flavor releases opioids and dopamine when you eat it. Those are reward hormones that trigger addictive behavior. While it doesn’t make a chemical change in the body, it’s response to it and lack of it fits addictive behavior. It’s even worse when you consider all the types of sugar there are and how certain ones react quite differently.
It’s not easy to find healthy flour products, either.
Even if you purchase whole grain breads, you’ll often find the whole grains are only part of the bread, often white, bleached and processed flour is part of it. Getting sprouted bread and bread that uses techniques that provide nutrient availability is extremely difficult to find or very expensive. The more people are aware of the problems that improperly prepared grain can cause, the more they’ll turn to healthy bread. Until then, using sour dough bread and sprouted bread is the best way to overcome the white flour habit.
Processed foods are more and more part of the American diet.
Like white flour, processed foods are everywhere and tough to avoid. Stopping to pick up carryout has become part of the American way, where it used to be a special treat. I had one older client tell me that in her home, a TV dinner was reserved for a special occasion. The rest of the year her mother made food from fresh ingredients. The same is true for other foods, like chips, they’ve become the norm and not the exception.
- One way to break the habit of easy-to-prepare or carryout processed foods is to create a healthy menu, shop for all the ingredients and make the meals over the weekend, so it will be ready to warm up when you get home from work.
- Don’t be fooled by the commercials saying that high fructose corn syrup is good for you because it’s natural. It’s worse than regular sugar. It has a chemical makeup that’s more difficult to digest that can cause metabolic problems in increase weight gain, as well as lead to other serious conditions.
- If you’re finding it difficult giving up sugar, consider this: not only does sugar increase your risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes, it also accelerates aging.
- Sugar not only triggers the same receptors as cocaine, giving it up is even harder since it alters the sense of taste making the sweetness of fruit not nearly sweet enough.