Are you a slave to sugar? It seems that many people feel powerless when sweet treats are in arm’s reach, including me!

Sugar consumption in America has steadily risen over the past 30 years and we currently consume almost 1/2 cup a day per person!

Much of this consumption is due to added sugar found in restaurant cooking and processed foods that have become standard American fare. Some of these food items that contain added sugar don’t even taste sweet! Do we eat sugar because we enjoy being a little naughty? Here’s what you need to know if conscious eating sounds more your style.

Why is sugar so harmful? Empty calories lead to obesity and excess inflammation, which increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. It affects some people more than others. Do you experience headaches, mood swings, and dizziness in mid-afternoon, and then reach for a candy-fix to feel better? Dr. David Kessler’s book, The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite, talks about how the popular combination of fat and sugar in most processed foods triggers the brain to release dopamine, and our body becomes used to this rush of feel-good chemicals quite easily. As a matter of habit, this process of using junk food to give a chemical rush is really no different from using drugs and alcohol to do the same thing. Perhaps it is time for each of us to get real about the 50 shades of sugar in our daily lives?

I created this 50 Shades of Sugar image to show all the ways that food manufacturers describe sugar on food labels. These ingredients are chemically the same to your body as the white stuff you can add to your food by the spoonful. Some of them are also toxic in their own way, like High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), which is so harmful to our bodies that manufacturers are now required to be clear about its inclusion in processed food. Have you noticed that some of the thousands of processed foods at your grocery store now say “No HFCS” on the front of the package? This is a tricky way that food companies try to put a “halo” around their food, acting like what is in the package is healthy because it has no toxic HFCS in it. Don’t be fooled! Flip over those packages and look at the ingredients to learn what kinds of sweeteners you are eating. It is important!

Let’s take back our health today by making sure we always read labels at the grocery store! And let’s teach our kids to do this, too. Soon the FDA will require food manufacturers to show on their labels the amount of Added Sugar that their product has, in addition to the total in one serving. This is important information to consumers who want to stop cravings for sweets and improve their health by making empowering choices. We can do this!

My compassionate holistic health support is just a click away! Visit Holland Health Coaching today and take the first step in creating powerful results using my free gift to you: the FREE Transformation Meditation for Women Seeking Wellness! Follow this link to download the self-care tools that will help you foster mindful habits and actions today.