Ah, sugar. This smooth-talking charmer delivers pleasure to the tongue and lights up the reward centers in the brain (sneaky, huh?). And while there’s nothing wrong with occasional treats — good health isn't a deprivation-fest! — you want to avoid a daily deluge of sugar, which crowds out nutritious, real food while upping your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity. Preliminary new research offers yet another reason to say, “Woah, Nelly!” to sweet stuff: added sugar may increase both your risk of breast cancer and the disease’s aggressiveness. To cut down on sugar, start with breakfast. Think outside the cereal box and avoid carbs stripped of their fiber and nutrients (we’re looking at you, bagels!). By focusing on protein and fiber-rich choices in the morning (egg or tofu scrambles and smoothies with added whey or pea protein), you may cure your afternoon cookie craving. Even if you skip desserts, however, you may unwittingly be consuming a lot of sugar. Added sugar lurks in commercially prepared bread, sauces and condiments, dressings, crackers, and soups. When you’re shopping, zoom in on those labels with an eagle eye. If you see high-fructose corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, fructose, dextrose, sucrose, glucose, maltodextrin, concentrated fruit juice, honey, or agave nectar…yep, you guessed it: It contains added sugar.
“The processed food industry hijacked our palates by using three highly addictive weapons -- sugar, salt and wheat.” Nancy S. Mure