20 Reasons Why Refined Sugar Is Bad For Your Health

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You’ve heard it said before…Sugar is bad for you.

But what does that mean exactly?

The research continues to stack up against our biggest dietary enemy…refined sugar. Processed sugar is the cause of many modern diseases and plays a hefty role in several major health problems including fatty liver disease, obesity, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and asthma.

20 Reasons Why Refined Sugar Is Bad For Your Health

  1. Sugar causes tooth decay (1).
  2. Eating excess sugar can cause fatty liver disease (2).
  3. Sugar depletes the body of nutrients and suppresses the immune system (3).
  4. Sugar, not saturated fat, raises cholesterol and causes cardiovascular disease (4, 5, 6). I’m glad they finally cleared this up!
  5. Consuming sugar can cause insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome (7).
  6. Sugar can cause mood disorders and depression (8).
  7. Sugar causes inflammation which can lead to disease (9).
  8. Eating sugar causes wrinkles (10).
  9. Sugar is highly addictive, “as addictive as cocaine” (11).
  10. Sugar increases the risk of cancer because it causes metabolic changes (12, 13).
  11. Consuming sugar causes obesity, a leading cause of mortality and chronic disease in the United States (14).
  12. Sugar is a leading cause of Type 2 diabetes (15).
  13. Sugar impacts the brain and is linked to Alzheimer’s disease (16).
  14. Eating sugar can cause osteoporosis (17).
  15. Sugar causes high blood pressure (18).
  16. Eating and drinking sugar increases your appetite (19).
  17. Sugar consumption can cause kidney stones (20).
  18. Sugar can cause food allergies and asthma (21).
  19. Dietary sugar produces free radicals and damages DNA (22).
  20. Sugar may contribute to poor eyesight and macular degeneration (23).

If you wonder how much sugar you eat feel free to visit SugarStacks.com which measures common foods people eat in sugar cubes.

The Takeaway

why refined sugar is bad for your health
Fruit is a fiber-filled, healthy alternative to foods high in processed sugars.

Refined sugar is full of empty calories and is highly addictive. Eating it makes you hungrier and increases your risk for an array of diseases, chronic health conditions and mood disorders.

Eating sugar (or not) is a personal choice.

If you want to cut down on your sugar intake but still crave something sweet, try substituting fruit. It’s fiber-rich, packed with antioxidants and is naturally sweet.

If you’re looking for a natural sugar substitute that is actually good for you, I recommend Stevia. You can learn more about it in Stevia Health Benefits, Safety And Inside Information.


What’s your favorite tip for cutting back on sugar? Do you have a favorite low-sugar recipe you’d like to share?

Let me know what you think about sugar below in the comment section!


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18 Ways To Lose Weight Faster: Proven Weight Loss Tips

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Can you guess America’s number one New Year’s Resolution year after year? If you guessed losing weight you’re 100% correct!

So what is the best way to lose weight and keep it off?

Many believe the key to weight-loss is burning more calories than you eat. But many times it is not so simple. Sure, this works for some people, but often there are other factors to consider, including toxins, motivation, time, health, lifestyle, genetics, and thyroid problems.

Additionally, the quality and types of food we eat can affect whether our bodies tend to shed extra weight or hold on to those last 10 pounds.

I can relate to the weight loss ups and downs because I’ve experienced them at different seasons in my life.

After four pregnancies in six years time, with all the weight changes that come with pregnancy, plus breastfeeding all four babies, my body went through many transformations.

But being a full-time mama to four kiddos under the age of six didn’t leave time for anything outside of prepping and cleaning up after meals, changing diapers, reading to, cuddling and playing with the babies and caring for their needs 24/7.

And I would do it all over again because our children are precious to me and I cherish those times we spent together when they were little.

Being intentional about fitness and eating right was easier when we had our first two babies, but after that it became such a juggling act that most days I was happy to get a shower and brush my teeth. Maybe you can relate? And a good night’s sleep did not come until  later.

I would try to fit in the occasional walk or run and eat healthy as much as possible. But it was a challenge. Some days more than others.

But my story is just one of many examples of challenges we face in life that can make it harder to stay healthy and maintain a healthy weight.

Sometimes we simply need tools to help us meet our goals. If you’re trying to lose weight and have plateaued or just need a boost along your weight loss journey here are some tips that can help accelerate your weight loss.

18 Ways To Lose Weight Faster:

1. Drink a glass of water before each meal.

Our bodies function more efficiently with plenty of purified water. Drinking water helps with the digestion process. The general recommendation is to drink 8 8-ounce glasses per day, or 2 liters, but depending on your size and activity level you might need a slightly different amount. Also, adding lemon to your water can give you some pretty amazing health benefits. To learn more about lemon water you may want to read: 9 Surprising Benefits Of Lemon Water.

2. Include protein with your meals and snacks.

Protein can help you lose weight naturally by reducing hunger pangs and boosting your metabolism.

3. Fill up on fiber-rich vegetables, fruits and other foods.

Eating plenty of fiber fills you and may cut your appetite. Examples of high-fiber foods include:

lose weight faster
Blackberries and other high-fiber foods fill you up and help keep hunger pangs away.
  • blackberries
  • flaxseeds
  • beans
  • avocados
  • almonds
  • figs
  • chia seeds
  • quinoa
  • artichoke
  • acorn squash

4. Get a good night’s sleep.

Did you know that not getting enough sleep can cause you to gain weight? Sleep deprivation disturbs your body’s balance of the hormones leptin and ghrelin, which regulate hunger and fullness.

If you have trouble winding down at night, try taking a hot bath or shower. How much sleep should you be getting? The average adult needs 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night.

5. Only buy healthy whole food.

Stay away from pre-packaged foods that have a long list of ingredients. A long ingredient list usually indicates many artificial additives, preservatives and other harmful chemicals which can wreak havoc on our bodies.

You might also want to consider detoxing to help your system clear the toxins we’re all exposed to. Here are 15 Simple Strategies To Detox Naturally.

6. Find opportunities to move your body throughout the day.

Being sedentary is linked to all sorts of health conditions, including depression, cancer, obesity, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

Plus, the more you move the more calories you burn. Some examples you may want to try are

  • taking the stairs instead of the elevator
  • parking further away from your destination so you can log the extra steps
  • doing crunches (or other exercise) while you watch TV
  • using a standing desk at work instead of sitting in a chair all day

7. Fill up on healthy soups.

Here are some soup recipes you might like to try. They are quite satisfying and lower in calories than other options.

And if you want to go for the double whammy and detox while your filling up on delicious soup, you may enjoy my Delicious Detox Vegetable Soup.

8. Eat nuts.

Nuts are a great on-the-go snack and fill you up. The healthy fats in nuts keep you satiated. My personal favorite is pecans. They’re so rich and delicious! Other healthy options include walnuts, almonds and pistachios.

9. Drink whey protein.

It has many health benefits  and keeps you feeling full for a long time. Just make sure it is all-natural and does not contain harmful sweeteners, like Splenda or Aspartame.

This is our favorite whey protein powder.

10. Eat spicy foods.

They can fire up your metabolism, causing you to burn more calories.

Salsa, curry, peppers, horseradish and many Asian stir fry recipes contain plenty of heat to spice up your taste buds.

11. Chew your food well before swallowing.

We’ve all heard this before but it works, so it’s worth repeating. Chewing your food well takes more time which gives your brain time to process feeling full. This allows you to eat what you need but not more.

12. Eat your meals on a small salad plate instead of a typical dinner plate.

If you’re like most Americans, including myself, you tend to fill your plate with food. So if your plate is smaller, it makes sense that you’ll be eating less.

13. Keep a food diary.

Writing down everything you eat makes you more aware of your caloric intake, as well as whether you’re eating enough fiber, protein, and essential vitamins.

My favorite way to keep track of what I eat each day is myfitnesspal.com. I use the app on my phone. I also love that it syncs with my Fitbit so I don’t miss anything important.

14. Avoid white foods, such as white flour, white sugar, white bread and white rice.

They can dramatically alter your blood sugar and cause weight gain (which, of course, is the opposite of weight loss).

15. Drink green tea.

It has substances that cause fat cells to release fat, especially with exercise. How cool is that? Plus, green tea is so refreshing and delicious! I have a cup each afternoon.

Also, Kombucha is fermented green tea. I just learned how to make it and am loving this flavorful, probiotic-rich tea!

16. Include full-fat foods in your diet.

This includes grass-fed beef, nuts, coconut, eggs and avocados.

And don’t worry, studies have proven that (despite what we may have been told for years) eating saturated fat does not make us fat and does not cause heart disease (1).

In case you haven’t heard a low-fat, high-carb diet is bad for you and has been repeatedly proved ineffective (2, 3).

17. Drink coffee!

It speeds up your metabolism and causes you to burn more calories (4).

You may want to try Healthy Coffee Drink (With Coconut Oil).

18. Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting (IM) is a simple strategy to boost your weight loss and health incrementally. I love IM! You can learn more about it here: The Quick Guide To Intermittent Fasting

The Takeaway

Due to a variety of factors, sometimes losing weight isn’t always as simple as calories in, calories out. 

But, as you can see from this list there are many steps you can take to boost your weight loss. Having the right tools in your toolbox can help you meet your health and weight loss goals successfully.

I hope this list of weight loss boosters helps you meet your goals and become the healthiest version of yourself! Please let me know if I can help you in any way.


Do you have any weight loss tips to add to this list?

Please share your tips and thoughts below in the comment section!


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Stevia Health Benefits, Safety And Inside Information

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When I was little girl I loved going to my beloved Nanny’s house to make and eat baked goods with her. People admired her for her kindness, for teaching home economics for over 30 years and baking the best desserts west of the Mississippi. Just ask her favorite (okay, only) granddaughter.

Baking is definitely an art and she was an artist.

She taught me how to bake cookies and cakes, pies and fudge, all so deliciously rich and delightfully sweet.

However, eating the sweet treats truly did not compare to the time we spent smiling, laughing and playing the occasional practical joke on my unsuspecting Papaw. She made me feel special and I treasured our times together.

What About Sugar?

In the 80’s people weren’t concerned with sugar.

Back then fat was (erroneously) considered the dietary evil. I’m glad the horrible myths about fat have been cleared up, because (grass-fed) butter does make everything better. 😉

Processed sugar may end up being the worst culprit to the American diet despite earlier beliefs of its innocence.

But why?

Because sugar:

  • is full of empty calories
  • causes tooth decay
  • is highly addictive (1)
  • raises your cholesterol and risk for heart disease (2)
  • causes cancer (3)
  • causes insulin resistance (4)
  • can cause nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (5)

(For more about the harmful impact of sugar you may want to check out 20 Reasons Why Refined Sugar Is Bad For Your Health.)

Now that we know the dangers sugar presents to our health we can look to a healthy alternative for the sweetness we crave.

What Is Stevia?

Stevia is an all-natural sugar substitute belonging to the Asteraceae family. This herb is an extract taken from a plant originally grown in South America. It is super sweet, 100 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. So, as you might have guessed, a little goes a long way.

Based on a 1 gram serving, it has zero calories and does not raise blood glucose levels, something that could be an issue for those with diabetes.

You can use it in baking. It is also stable in a freezer and heat. But because it is so sweet you’ll have to make some

stevia health benefits
Natural, minimally processed stevia is an excellent substitute for sugar, without all the dangerous side effects.

adjustments.

Here are some basic conversions to help you when baking: 

  • 1 teaspoon sugar = 1/2 packet, or 1/8 teaspoon powdered stevia or 5 drops liquid
  • one tablespoon sugar = 1 .5 packets, or 1/3 teaspoon powdered stevia or 15 drops liquid stevia
  • 1 cup sugar = 24 packets, or 2 tablespoons powdered stevia or 2 teaspoons liquid stevia

Two compounds in stevia make the leaves sweet:

  1. stevioside
  2. rebaudioside

You may have also heard of Truvia, which is a highly processed form of stevia.

Is Stevia Safe To Use?

Generally speaking, most people do fine consuming stevia, especially in its purest form. But, it is essential to understand the different forms of stevia because some are more processed than others. Also as we know, the more processed foods are, the less healthy, and more harmful our health they are.

  1. The green leaf stevia is the all-natural plant form you can grow. The leaves can be dried and ground to a powder. This is the healthiest form.
  2. Stevia extracts
  3. Highly processed stevia (such as Truvia) is not recommended. It runs through 42 different processes, including the addition of harmful chemical solvents and GMO corn products. Consequently, at the end of all this processing it barely resembles natural stevia at all. (You can read more about Truvia here.)

Stevia Health Benefits

  1. May lower blood sugar (6)
  2. Reduces the growth of breast cancer cells (7)
  3. Lowers blood pressure (8)
  4. Improves overall cholesterol (9)

Please check out this video I made about natural stevia:

The Takeaway

Stevia is an excellent all-natural alternative to sugar, as long as you use the more natural forms and avoid the highly processed ones, such as Truvia. Not only can stevia sweeten your morning coffee or tea, but it can also offer some pretty impressive health benefits.

The quality and purity levels of different stevia brands can vary drastically. It’s essential to do a little investigating before purchasing stevia to make sure you get a quality product.

We use NuNaturals Pure Liquid Clear Stevia and are pleased with the high quality and purity level.


Do you use stevia? What did you think?

Please share below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!


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Best Superfoods For Spoonies: Chronic Illness Symptom Relief

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Living with a chronic illness is a struggle, all the more so when the illness is not physically evident. Some people assume you’re perfectly healthy when, in fact, seemingly mundane tasks are hard to fulfill.

People living with chronic illnesses (known casually as ‘spoonies’ in a term coined by lupus sufferer Christine Miserandino, who established the Spoon Theory to communicate an understanding of what her life is like) will draw upon medically prescribed treatments to help with their condition.

The Best Superfoods for Spoonies

They may also seek natural remedies, such as superfoods. These superfoods such as garlic, turmeric, ginger and salmon can provide much-welcome relief to symptoms of chronic illnesses.

Most of them contain anti-inflammatory ingredients which relieve pain and help to prevent cancer, while some are beneficial in terms of stabilizing cholesterol levels. Indeed, the consumption of salmon can even help to fight against feelings of depression. Depression is a hidden illness which can often be experienced by people suffering from other chronic illnesses.

The infographic below from Burning Nights identifies seven of the best superfoods for spoonies and deals specifically with five common hidden illnesses, highlighting the best and worst foods for those concerned.

A person living with a chronic illness is likely to grasp at any remedy which can relieve feelings of pain. Consequently, these superfoods could make their condition easier to endure.

Read below to find out more.

best superfoods
Superfoods For Spoonies (courtesy Burning Nights)

I want to express a big thank you to Victoria Abbott-Fleming who is the founder of the chronic pain charity, Burning Nights, for sharing this excellent information and the visual featured above. Also, you can visit her website at Burning Nights.

The Takeaway

Eating superfoods such as ginger, turmeric, garlic, berries and grapes, olive oil, hot peppers and salmon can have amazing healing benefits for people with chronic illness. As a result, the best superfoods are an excellent substitute to pharmaceutical drugs for anyone who favors natural remedies and solutions to chronic pain.

Consequently, I can tell you from personal experience these superfoods really work!

Along with other healthy choices a few months ago I started taking turmeric curcumin daily. As a result, I’ve been able to stop taking two medications I was taking daily for chronic pain from chronic Lyme disease symptoms.

Please note, don’t ever stop taking medications without talking to your doctor first. 


Do you or someone you love have a chronic illness? Have you tried any of these superfoods? Please share your comments in the comment section below. I love hearing from you! 


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Email — healthylife@lorigeurin.com

This post contains affiliate links. And you can read our Affiliate Policy here.

Finally, the information provided in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is not intended to treat, prevent, diagnose or cure any disease or health problem.


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