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Heal Your Body from Sugar Cravings

There’s no sugar-coating it, whether you are talking about heart disease and cancer or acne and Alzheimer’s – sugar is now implicated in the disease process. It's time to change our relationship with the sweet stuff and Action Against Sugar is leading the campaign. The lobby group wants to see a 40% reduction in sugar consumption in five years. It’s an ambitious – but worthy goal. However it’s not just about forcing the hand of major food companies, it’s also about wising-up to hidden sugars and re-educating your palate so you naturally crave less of this 'new nicotine'. The good news is, with some feel-good healthy fats in the pantry - and alkaline-forming veg in the crisper - those cravings are actually easy to kick. Honestly. In this article we look at five ways sugar can damage your health and how to stay glowing with whole-foods and healthy recipes.

Heart Disease The Sugar Link: A new study of more than 40,000 people published in JAMA Internal Medicine found those with the highest sugar intake had a 400% increase in their risk of heart attack compared to those with the lowest intake. Heart Healthy Food: Beetroot juice has been shown to dramatically reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. The nitrates that beetroot juice contains boost levels of nitric oxide which help to widen blood vessels and arteries and increase oxygen flow. For an afternoon pick-me up, try this Vitality Beetroot & Nectarine Juice.  

Cancer The Sugar Link: 'A normal healthy cell has four receptor sites for sugar - a cancer cell has 96,' explains Dr. Leigh Erin Connealy a leading integrative physician based in California. In other words cancer cells are sugar-guzzling machines. Anti-Cancer Food: Shiitake mushrooms have been shown to help liver cancer patients live longer and new research shows they may also help prevent cervical cancer and keep it from coming back. Reishi mushrooms, maitake and even button mushrooms also have anti-cancer properties - you can read this article to find out more.

Alzheimer's The Sugar Link: Although science has yet to make a direct connection between Alzheimer's and sugar intake the case is growing. Several studies have shown that brain cells shrink and become tangled from high blood sugar levels over time. Food for you Brain: The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil make it the perfect fuel for your brain. But more than that, a 2013 study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease suggests coconut oil may in fact reverse some of the cognitive deficits associated with diseases like Alzheimer's. Try a tablespoon when you next have a sugar craving. Yes, you CAN eat it straight and there's no need to worry about the fat content. The medium-chain fatty acids will kick-start your metabolism - models like Miranda Kerr swear by it. 

Stress The Sugar Link: 'Poor blood sugar balance is often the single biggest factor in people suffering mood swings, depression, anxiety, and 'emotionality'' says the charity, Food for the Brain, a leading group of doctors, scientists, nutritionists, psychiatrists and psychologists - so they'd know. Food to Beat Stress: Raw cacao is one of the richest sources of magnesium - the most stress-busting mineral. Around 70% of us are deficient in magnesium and low levels are associated with poor sleep, brittle bones, hormonal problems and digestive issues. 

Acne The Sugar Link: Acne has been described by two scientists as 'skin diabetes' - according to British nutritionist Patrick Holford, author of Solve Your Skin Problems. ‘The connection between sugar and acne is demonstrated by clinical studies which have shown that people who have acne do not process sugar well in their bodies,' says Holford. We know that sugar is both acidic and inflammatory and increases stress in the body - little wonder flare ups tend to happen after one too many truffles. Food for Glowing Skin: Almonds are packed with zinc and vitamin E, both key nutrients for a flawless complexion. Almonds are also alkaline and contain magnesium to lower stress levels naturally. Try swapping cow's milk (another acne accelerator) for almond milk instead. In this article, Natasha Corrett shows you how to make your own almond milk. Sugar is in everything - from ketchup to toothpaste - but rather than feeling overwhelmed try making just a few simple changes to cut down your dose. Action Against Sugar wants to see a 40% reduction in sugar intake in five years - but since you are part of the Honestly Healthy community we think you can do better than that. See if you can reduce your sugar consumption by 40% in five weeks. Give it a try, and let us know how it makes you feel! Laura Bond is this month's Guest Editor of Honestly Healthy. She is a qualified health coach and author of Mum's Not Having Chemo.

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