Learn the truth about sugar

March 25, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Most of us like sugar, but do you have any idea how it affects our bodies? Dr. Ranveig Elvebakk, author of "The Food Tree," shares the good, the bad, and the ugly news about sugar.

Mental Tips:

1) Think positive thoughts around good food.

2) Keep up on your protein and don't skip meals. It leaves you open to cravings.

3) Don't keep sugar around, it is a visual cue. Keep good foods at hand.

4) Think of something else, do something else. Call a friend.

5) Exercise. It puts your mind on a different track.

Heart Disease Statistics: Every 37-seconds, an American dies from a heart attack. One in four American women dies of heart disease. There is an epidemic of diabetes in this country. While we hear a lot about fats, cholesterol and high blood pressure leading to heart disease, recent research by John Hopkins University says that the sugar we eat is the true source of the problem.

What Happens When We Eat Sugar: When we eat sugar, we raise our insulin, which starts a bonfire of inflammation in our bodies that extends out to all our organs including the heart, lungs, skin and brain. So, depending on our genetic predisposition, sugar can lead to heart disease, asthma, psoriasis, depression, migraines and more.

The Importance Of The Glycemic Index: Many people count calories or watch their blood sugar and cholesterol levels, but they don't understand the glycemic index, which ranks foods in sugar power, or their ability to raise insulin.Unfortunately, sugar is very addictive and most people don't recognize it on a list of ingredients. All carbohydrates (like pasta, potatoes and alcohol) turn into sugar in our bodies. So, choosing low glycemic index carbohydrates - the ones that produce only small fluctuations in our blood glucose and insulin levels, is one of the key secrets to long-term health. They reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes and are the key to sustainable weight loss.

The Food Tree And Examples:
Dr. Elvebakk's book "The Food Tree" shows how nutrition, when it is anti-inflammatory, can help us reach our normal weight and be in good health. It is structured, easy to learn and do -- you are still able to shop and eat in the real word. The trunk of the tree is your daily protein necessary to maintain lean body mass. (Recent studies confirm that we are not eating enough protein.) Starting from the base of the tree, the low branches are vegetables, which have nice low glycemic index. You want a lot of those. In the middle branches are fruits, at a medium level. Then at the small top are breads and cereals, these should eaten in the smallest amounts or avoided.

Mental Tips:
Don't forget, besides eating nutritional foods and getting exercise, there are mental aspects involved in changing how you eat. From learning to tame triggers to reprogramming your mind to shed counter-productive eating habits, The Food Tree approach empowers the person rather than puts someone on a restrictive diet. www.foodtreemd.com

For more information and inspiration, Dr. Elvebakk's book "The Food Tree" is available on Amazon.com.

About Dr. Elvebakk:
She is a Scandinavian born innovator in nutrition. She earned her medical degree at the University of Oslo, Norway. She's certified by the American Board of Bariatric Medicine. She is a standing member of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians.


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