Few things can sabotage our health more than sugar consumption. Diabetes is now the 9th leading cause of death, with one in eleven adults having it, and in the last thirty years, diabetes has quadrupled worldwide (4). I believe that if you can do only one thing to improve your health, the most effective place to start is removing all refined sugar from your diet.
Sugar causes a host of metabolic issues including weight gain, abdominal obesity, liver damage, elevated blood sugar, high cholesterol and triglycerides, high blood pressure, inflammation, and more. Last year, information was released which said that the sugar industry knew about the link between sugar and heart disease as far back as the 1960’s and even pulled the plug on a study that showed that. Instead they shifted the blame for heart disease to fats (2). And as people reduced their fats and increased their sugar over the past few decades, heart disease has increased greatly.
In 2015, a study estimated that Americans were consuming 32 teaspoons of sugar each day. Some signs that you might need to reduce your sugar intake can include fatigue or spikes and crashes in your energy level and productivity each day. Headaches, blurred vision, irritability, depression, mood swings, trouble thinking and concentrating, and reliance on sugar or caffeine for energy can also indicate that your body is overloaded with sugar.
If I haven’t talked you into giving up sugar yet, perhaps this will help because it hits us ladies pretty hard. Sugar actually does make you age and look older, particularly causing the skin to look aged and wrinkled (3).
But sugar can be very addicting, and kicking the habit isn’t easy. For some people, sugar cravings are very difficult to overcome. This is where the herb Gymnema sylvestre can be such a tremendous help! This highly reputed herb is known as “Gurmar” in the Ayurvedic system of medicine, which means “sugar destroyer.”
Gymnema has been researched for its abilities to support a number of issues including balancing blood sugar, reducing sugar cravings, regenerating the pancreas, and reducing body weight, cholesterol, and triglycerides (3). Some people after taking Gymnema begin to notice sugar doesn’t even taste appealing any more. They just aren’t drawn to it like they used to be.
So whether you’re looking to lose a few pounds before summer or work on your health overall by reducing your sugar intake, this herb can be a powerful support, and that’s why it’s my pick for May’s herb of the month.
If you want some more information about weight loss, you can download my free e-book, “How to Lose Weight without Even Thinking about It” at the bottom of this page. In that book, I share my story of how I overcame lupus and lost 90 pounds and have kept it off for 20 years and the strategies I used to do that, my free gift to you.
Have you used Gymnema and benefited from it? Are you struggling with sugar cravings? Please leave a comment below and share some of your experiences. I’d love to hear from you!
Wishing you good health and joy!
All my love,
- Parijat Kanetkar, Rekha Singhal, and Madhusudan Kamat. (2007). Gymnema sylvestre: A Memoir. Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, 2007 Sep; 41(2): 77–81. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2170951/
- Cristin E. Kearns, Dorie Apollonio, Stanton A. Glantz. (2017). Sugar industry sponsorship of germ-free rodent studies linking sucrose to hyperlipidemia and cancer: An historical analysis of internal documents. PLOS Biology, 2017 Nov 21. http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.2003460
- Nguyen HP, Katta R. (2015). Sugar Sag: Glycation and the Role of Diet in Aging Skin. Skin Therapy Letter. 2015 Nov;20(6):1-5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27224842
- Pothuraju R, Sharma RK, Chagalamarri J, Jangra S, Kumar Kavadi P. (2014). A systematic review of Gymnema sylvestre in obesity and diabetes management. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 2014 Mar 30;94(5):834-40. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24166097
- Pragya Tiwari, B. N. Mishra, and Neelam S. Sangwan. (2014). Phytochemical and Pharmacological Properties of Gymnema sylvestre: An Important Medicinal Plant. Biomed Research International, Volume 2014; 2014: 830285. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3912882/
- Zheng Y, Ley SH, Hu FB. (2018). Global aetiology and epidemiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus and its complications. Nature Reviews, Endocrinology, 2018 Feb;14(2):88-98. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29219149
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