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Breaking Free: A Low-Sugar Lifestyle Guide for the Newly Diagnosed


Breaking Free: A Low-Sugar Lifestyle Guide for the Newly Diagnosed


sugar addiction

Welcome to your journey towards a healthier, low-sugar lifestyle! If you've recently been diagnosed with high blood sugar and pre-diabetes, you might be feeling overwhelmed or confused, but fear not; you're not alone, and there is a path forward. Let's embark on this transformative journey together, with the goal of breaking free from the cycle of sugar addiction and diabetes that has plagued generations.


This article was inspired by a recent email from a young Washington State woman seeking advice. She had just been diagnosed with high blood sugar and was pre-diabetic. She came across my sugar detox for beginner's page and it gave her hope. She was worried and upset because her Nana had died of diabetes. As a child she watched her struggle with going blind, getting her foot removed, and refusing to stick to a healthy diet. She said her Nana could never keep her blood sugar level balanced because of the foods she would not give up.


Her Nana story is no different from other stories I've heard from students who have participated in my 30-day sugar detox challenge. Her Nana had a sweet tooth she loved soda and Kool-aid, and ate sugar sandwiches for lunch, the bakery section of the supermarket was her favorite and her first stop as she put cake, cookies, and other baked treats in her grocery cart. This sugar habit was passed down to her mother and now to her and her sibling. She said she wanted the cycle to end today. Her diagnosis had scared her. But the reality of what she could endure from watching her Nana struggle was starting to take hold on what her life could be like if she didn't kick the sugar habit.


I told her not to worry we lived in a different time. The science was not up to speed like it is today about the serious dangers of sugar. If she was serious about breaking her sugar habit and living a low-sugar lifestyle it was possible and I would be honored to support her during her healthy eating journey.


If you identify with this story, I see you, I hear you, and I understand your struggle because I too was once in your shoes struggling with sugar addiction, codependency one side relationships, people pleasing to food pushers, a binge eating disorder developed by mom shaming, inability to cope as a new trucker wife, a hidden abandonment wound and childhood emotional neglect trauma. Below are things you can do to begin your journey of quitting sugar.


 

Understanding the Danger of Sugar


Sugar, oh sweet but treacherous sugar – the culprit behind so many health woes. Its addictive nature and pervasive presence in our diets have led to a staggering increase in conditions like high blood sugar and diabetes. Excessive sugar consumption not only wreaks havoc on our waistlines but also poses serious risks to our overall health.


According to Health.Harvard.edu, In the American diet, the top sources are soft drinks, fruit drinks, flavored yogurts, cereals, cookies, cakes, candy, and most processed foods. But added sugar is also present in items that you may not think of as sweetened, like soups, bread, cured meats, and ketchup.


The result: we consume way too much added sugar. Adult men take in an average of 24 teaspoons of added sugar per day, according to the National Cancer Institute. That's equal to 384 calories.


When it comes to high blood sugar and pre-diabetes, sugar acts as a nefarious instigator, spiking blood glucose levels and pushing your body towards a state of imbalance. This imbalance, if left unchecked, can progress to full-blown diabetes, inviting an array of complications and health risks into your life.


The article goes on to discuss the impact sugar has on the heart.


"Excess sugar's impact on obesity and diabetes is well documented, but one area that may surprise many men is how their taste for sugar can have a serious impact on their heart health," says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.


Impact on your heart


In a study published in 2014 in JAMA Internal Medicine, Dr. Hu and his colleagues found an association between a high-sugar diet and a greater risk of dying from heart disease. Over the course of the 15-year study, people who got 17% to 21% of their calories from added sugar had a 38% higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared with those who consumed 8% of their calories as added sugar.


"Basically, the higher the intake of added sugar, the higher the risk for heart disease," says Dr. Hu.


How sugar actually affects heart health is not completely understood, but it appears to have several indirect connections. For instance, high amounts of sugar overload the liver. "Your liver metabolizes sugar the same way as alcohol, and converts dietary carbohydrates to fat," says Dr. Hu. Over time, this can lead to a greater accumulation of fat, which may turn into fatty liver disease, a contributor to diabetes, which raises your risk for heart disease.


Consuming too much added sugar can raise blood pressure and increase chronic inflammation, both of which are pathological pathways to heart disease. Excess consumption of sugar, especially in sugary beverages, also contributes to weight gain by tricking your body into turning off its appetite-control system because liquid calories are not as satisfying as calories from solid foods. This is why it is easier for people to add more calories to their regular diet when consuming sugary beverages.


"The effects of added sugar intake — higher blood pressure, inflammation, weight gain, diabetes, and fatty liver disease — are all linked to an increased risk for heart attack and stroke," says Dr. Hu.


How much is okay?


The American Heart Association suggests that women consume no more than 100 calories (about 6 teaspoons or 24 grams) and men no more than 150 calories (about 9 teaspoons or 36 grams) of added sugar per day. That is close to the amount in a 12-ounce can of soda.


 

Starting Your Journey to Health


Now that you're armed with the knowledge of sugar's dangers, it's time to take proactive steps towards reclaiming your health and well-being. Here's a guide to help you kickstart your journey to a low-sugar lifestyle:


Whole foods are your new best friends on this journey. Ditch the processed, sugary treats and opt for nutrient-dense fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. These foods not only offer a plethora of vitamins and minerals but also help stabilize blood sugar levels.


Get into the habit of reading labels when grocery shopping. Look out for hidden sugars in products – they can be cleverly disguised under names like sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, or maltose. Opt for products with minimal added sugars or, better yet, no added sugars at all.


Carbohydrates play a significant role in blood sugar management. Focus on complex carbs like whole grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables, which are digested more slowly, preventing sudden spikes in blood sugar levels.


Swap sugary beverages for water, herbal teas, or infused water. Staying hydrated is crucial for overall health and can help curb cravings for sugary drinks.


Regular physical activity is key to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Find activities you enjoy – whether it's dancing, walking, or yoga – and aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.


Don't go it alone; seek support from friends, family, or healthcare professionals. Join online forums or local support groups to connect with others on similar journeys, share experiences, and gain valuable insights.





Embracing a Sweeter Future


As you embark on this journey towards a low-sugar lifestyle, remember that change takes time and commitment. Small, consistent steps can lead to significant improvements in your health and well-being. You have the power to rewrite the narrative of generational sugar addiction and diabetes within your family.


So, here's to breaking free from the shackles of sugar, reclaiming your health, and crafting a future filled with vitality and wellness. You've taken the first step – now keep moving forward towards a brighter, healthier tomorrow!


Let's walk this path together, one step at a time. Embrace the challenges, celebrate the victories, and remember, you're stronger than you think. Here's to a new beginning, free from the grip of sugar's hold.


Remember, you are not defined by your diagnosis – but rather by the choices you make and the actions you take today for a healthier tomorrow.


Now, let's embark on this journey together, breaking free from the cycle of sugar addiction and diabetes, towards a life of vitality, wellness, and sweet success! 🌟



 

ARE YOU LOOKING TO DIVE DEEPER INTO SELF-CARE?


I Can Help in Developing A Plan For Self Care


Do you want help developing a self-care plan that works for your own busy schedule? Do you want accountability in implementing a self-care plan? If you or someone you love is struggling to maintain optimal mental and emotional health, consider reaching out to Spiced Life Conversation Art Wellness Studio and Botanica. We are a Metro Atlanta, Conyers Georgia area. We are a coaching and counseling practice with empathetic, skilled counselors and recovery coaches who can help you set goals, develop a self-care routine, and move forward to build a more fulfilling life. Our team would be happy to work with you either just for a couple of sessions to develop and implement a Self-care plan or longer term to work toward overall better mental health within our membership site or other programs.



Dr. Nikki LeToya White

About The Author:


Dr. Nikki LeToya White MSEd-TL, Ph.D. RHN is the founder, director, and full-time board-certified trauma-informed nutritionist, folk herbalist, and wellness consultant at Spiced Life Conversation Art Wellness Studio and Botanica. She created Spiced Life Conversation, LLC Art Wellness Studio, and Botanica to provide the Metro Atlanta area with counseling and coaching services where clients are carefully matched with the right program for healing abandonment and childhood emotional neglect trauma that cause codependency, emotional eating, financial stress, and imposter syndrome as it relates to the fear of success and being abandon. We help you begin your emotional healing journey with ease. Recently, we have expanded to include an online membership site so we now provide support to people living all over the world. All of our recovery coaches provide at least one evidence-based treatment to assist in your recovery. Dr. White is a big proponent of self-care and helping people live a fulfilling life! She has been in full remission with both codependency and emotional binge eating disorder since 2016. In living a life in recovery from sugar addiction. I love my low-sugar balanced lifestyle.


Best Regard


Dr. Nikki LeToya White

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