Kick Sugar To the Curb

We all know that sugar is bad for your body, your organs, and your overall health. But did you realize that sugar is also bad for your skin and can actually accelerate the aging process?

A huge part of the problem is that too many of us are not aware how addictive sugar is and easy it is to get hooked. Another issue is that sugar is in just about everything. It is even hidden in some foods where you would least suspect it. For example, canned vegetables, tomato sauce, most cereals, sports drinks and more.

When you eat sugar, it stimulates the release of dopamine in your brain, which makes you feel pleasure. The brain recognizes and likes this feeling and begins to crave more. So in this way, it’s a little like crack cocaine!

According to Plastic Surgeon and ZO Faculty Member Dr. Aaron Kosins, “The best way to get off sugar is to do a quick detox program. You may not realize how addicted you are to sugar until the cravings hit you. Once you eliminate sugar from your diet, you will see how much better you will feel and look.”

Here is a list of what you should avoid during your detox; fast food, junk food, processed foods, gum, mints, candy, desserts, bread, sweetened beverages, soda or carbonated drinks, fruit juice, chocolate, granola, cereal, fruity yogurt, ice cream, condiments like ketchup and salad dressings, and almost anything that comes in a can, box or plastic bag. If you can’t go cold turkey and wipe out all sugar from your diet, try taking small steps and doing it gradually.  Even faux sugar may keep you addicted – like diet soda and packets of sugary powder.

Think about healthy substitutes for sweet treats you used to pick up when hunger struck. Choose an apple or a bowl of berries over a plate of fruit-flavored yogurt. Instead of sweeteners, use cinnamon, vanilla extract or lemon zest to add flavor some of the foods you love. If you crave something crunchy, go for carrot and celery sticks instead of pretzels or pita chips.

Over time, you can actually re-train your taste buds to like foods that are not so sweet. In fact, after a little time away from sugar, you may be surprised to find that the foods you used to indulge with are way too sweet for your palate.