If there’s one thing I hope everyone gets from this newsletter, it’s that sugar is the number one cause of cancer, and it’s urgent to give it up or cut back as much as possible. It’s best to give up ALL refined carbohydrates, as far as you can, but at the minimum, give up sugar.
For cancer cells, sugar is manna from heaven. If you’re serious about preventing or curing cancer, you’ve got to get it out of your life. But I recognize it’s hard to do, so following are some tips to make it easy. .
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10 ways to curb your sugar addiction
Once you decide to kick sugar to the curb so you can start reaping the numerous health advantages, you’ll face the challenge of giving up something that’s just about as common as oxygen.
Sugar is easy to come by, and it’s cheap, it’s satisfying and it’s filling. You can buy a Snickers bar for less than an apple.
Sugar is infused into almost everything we eat, especially if you rely on packaged and processed foods. It’s in salad dressings, soups (even “organic” soups), and many other prepared foods you’d never imagine. If you want a long life, it’s essential to read labels. Or, better yet, just stop eating prepared foods. Then try some or all of these steps. . .
1) Drink water. You hear it all the time, for a good reason: Dehydration is a guaranteed way to feel lousy. It leads to the urge for a quick pick-me-up, which too often takes the form of a sugary snack. At the first sign of a sugar craving, drink two cups of water and wait 30 minutes. Chances are your craving will be gone.
2) Go cold turkey. It’s actually easier to give up sugar completely than it is to merely cut back. The reason is that sugar is addictive. (If you don’t think so, just wait till you try to stop. You’ll see.)
I call it the cocaine of foods. And generally a taste of it sets off an almost irresistible urge for more. You end up eating half the carton of ice cream when you promised yourself you’d just have a couple of spoonfuls. You allow yourself little exceptions and treats that lead to binges.
So don’t promise yourself you’ll have a little taste now and go back to being good tomorrow. Just give it up. Totally.
I think it’s clarifying to see sugar as an addiction. When you know that, you understand WHY it’s so hard to resist, and why you need a full-fledged AA-approach, not just a vague resolution to cut back.
3) Keep cooked vegetables within easy reach. Cooked (but not limp) veggies are packed with fiber, fill your stomach, and take longer to digest so you feel full longer. Raw vegetables are great, too. Just pair them with water for the same full-stomach effect.
4) Use nuts as your all-purpose snack. I’ve learned to enjoy raw, organic nuts of all kinds, and I reach for them between meals whenever I feel I must have something to eat. They’re rich in fat and very satisfying, but they won’t add a pound to your waist if you eliminate sugar (and hopefully other carbohydrates) from your diet. Nuts are also rich in a variety of vitamins, essential fatty acids and minerals.
5) Start your meal with fat. Ten minutes before a meal, have a fatty snack like an avocado or those nuts I just mentioned. You’ll stay fuller longer by sending your pyloric valve a message to slow down food regulation between your stomach and small intestine. This leaves you less likely to have room for dessert or cravings after your main course.
6) Don’t watch television while you’re eating. The last thing you need while you’re trying to wean yourself off sugar is exposure to people scarfing down hamburgers and ice cream. Read a book instead—no visuals, and you control the topic. Or just eat. Food is more satisfying if you pay attention to it instead of doing something else.
7) Don’t go on a diet. This is probably the surest way to set yourself up for failure, and for two reasons. One, by telling yourself you can’t have something, you’ll think about it constantly and want it more than you ever did to start. Two, the key to weight control is permanent change — not temporary eating plans that help you shave off a few pounds that promptly come back. Eat right all the time, not for a few weeks.
8) Don’t allow sugar in the house. I’ve discovered a firm law of food: If it’s in the house, it will get eaten. I don’t keep cakes, pies, other pastries, soda, candy or processed foods in the house. That way, when the urge strikes, I have to go to a store. And it’s pretty easy to talk myself out of that and eat those nuts I mentioned earlier – or other healthy snacks I’ve laid by, like unsweetened dark chocolate carrots, guacamole, hummus, celery, or olives. Admittedly, it can be hard to enlist family members in this plan, but it’s worth a try.
9) Get educated about the kinds of sugar out there so you know what to look for and what to avoid. Here’s a quick rundown on the different types so you can spot sugar in a food even when its presence isn’t obvious:
- Fructose – these are natural sugars from fruits
- Lactose – this is the natural sugar you find in milk
- Sucrose – made from sugar cane or sugar beets
- Maltose – this sugar is made from grain
- Glucose – this is a simple sugar and a product of photosynthesis
- Dextrose – a form of glucose
10) Find a way to cope with stress. If sugar is what soothes you after a tough day at work or a fight with a friend, figure out a better way to deal. I recommend yoga, meditation, any form of exercise, or writing in a journal.
Imagine the countless health benefits in your future
All of these approaches to cutting your sugar intake will also help reduce blood sugar spikes. Over time, your cravings will dwindle—along with, hopefully, your waistline. But most important of all, eliminating sugar and excessive weight will go a long way in protecting you from or helping you fight cancer.
By the way, I’m still a fan of enjoying special occasions. Opt for dark chocolate, chocolate-covered almonds, low-sugar fruit pies, or stevia-sweetened foods. The sugar-spike is less severe, and you’re less likely to experience aftereffects.