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Is Sugar Ruining You? Sugar’s Health Effects

I recently wrote an article, Sweet in the Modern World (pages 7-9), for Medicinal Roots Magazine. As a result, Michael Max, an acupuncturist in the US, contacted me to ask me to join him to talk about sugar’s health effects on his podcast channel, Everyday Acupuncture.

In this podcast, Michael and I discuss a number of issues that come up with sugar.

Show highlights on sugar’s health effects

2:27    How I discovered sugar was affecting my health
5:24    Sugar’s health effects: health issues that may be caused by or aggravated by too much sugar
8:06   Planning ahead helps you manage your sugar cravings
10:42  Your taste buds can change to become more sensitive to smaller amounts of sweet
14:46  Be mindful about your food choices
19:50  Is it stomach hunger or are your bored, lonely, or other?
20:27  Traditional Chinese Medicine can help you get off sugar
26:20  Some simple tips to reduce sugar intake
29:48  Your menstrual cycle and sugar cravings
31:22  What else can you eat that’s healthier and still tasty?
37:43  Have you considered a food diary?
41:35  Quick tips to get your own attention around food and eating

Here’s the podcast:

Check out more of Everyday Acupuncture podcasts by clicking on the image below.

Sugar's health effects customized nutrition Vancouver BC

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Is sugar bad for me?

is sugar bad for me TCM health nutritionPerhaps you’ve been told to cut back on salt, to limit your intake of saturated fats, and to eat more fibre. But, I think that the most common dietary mistake in our modern world is, for many of us, too much sugar. The problem is that we’re designed to like the sweet stuff–wired to like it. Many of my patients ask me, “is sugar bad for me?” 

In a recent article I wrote for my TCM colleagues, I talk about the history of sugar, how it affects our brains, the problem with too much (especially processed sugars), and how Traditional Chinese Medicine addresses sugar and the sweet flavour. 

Is Sugar Bad For Me?

Maybe not. Not if you don’t have too much. It’s necessary. But, I can tell you, no one has health problems from a lack of cookies, cream puffs, or pop. Check out my article on sugar here: Sugar article in Medicinal Roots Magazine. There’s a discount code there if you’d like to take my short online course on sugar, if you want to learn more. You may also want to check out the whole TCM magazine: Medicinal Roots Spring 2016.

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Do what I say…AND what I do

I read a story recently as follows:

A mother brought her young son to Mahatma Gandhi. She begged, “Please, Mahatma. Tell my son to stop eating sugar.”
Gandhi paused, then said, “Bring your son back in two weeks.” Puzzled, the woman thanked him and said that she would do as he had asked.
Two weeks later, she returned with her son. Gandhi looked the youngster in the eye and said, “Stop eating sugar.”
Grateful but bewildered, the woman asked, “Why did you tell me to bring him back in two weeks? You could told him the same thing then.”
Gandhi replied, “Two weeks ago, I was eating sugar.

I truly believe in leading by example. I try to follow the same principles and recommendations I give my patients. I am not, nor do I strive to be, perfect. But I do do the best that I can. In fact, I have for a long time recommended yoga, tai chi, and/or qi gong. But I had not done any of those things regularly myself for awhile. A month ago I committed to going to yoga class regularly. And now I like it more than I ever thought I would.

I had also been working a lot and not taking enough breather time for myself. Well, yesterday my body told me enough was enough. I came down with the fastest flu of all time (or so I think). It started in the afternoon, forcing me to cancel the remainder of my patients for the day. I had an acupuncture treatment, dragged my sorry butt home, and slept. Made myself sweat it out (not hard to do with our currently very hot weather) and woke up 100% myself again. Lesson heard, lesson learned. I don’t think I have ever given up a day of clinic due to illness and I’ve been seeing patients for about 8 years now! This was my body telling me that it needed a break.

Listen to your body. Do the things that are good for you that you keep promising you’ll do, but don’t do. And congratulate yourself for the healthy changes you do make. Your body will thank you!

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