Sugar may be the new smoking! In a large review of 73 meta-analyses — which included 8,601 studies — high consumption of added sugar was associated with significantly higher risks of 45 negative health outcomes, including diabetes, gout, obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, cancer, asthma, tooth decay, depression and early death. 

Sugar addiction is a serious issue and affects the brain in a similar fashion as drug addictions. The more you consume it, the more you want it. The average American consumes 57 pounds of added sugar per year, which wreaks havoc on our health. 

It is suggested that we consume no more than 25 grams or 100 calories of sugar per day. Unfortunately, it’s so easy to exceed these limits. One soda pop contains 49 grams of sugar, a donut alone can contain 25 grams of sugar and a snickers bar contains 30 grams of sugar. 

It’s important to note that the sugar that occurs naturally in fruit and vegetables is very different than added sugar. Fruits and vegetables contain fiber, water, vitamins, minerals and nutrients and your body processes and responds very differently to consuming the sugar in a piece of fruit versus added sugar in processed foods. No one gets fat and unhealthy by eating apples!

It’s time to get serious about curbing your sweet tooth and sugar cravings. It will require some discipline, but the health benefits will be well worth it!

Try this Sugar Cleanse for 14 days and you’ll soon notice that your desire for sugar decreases. 

Just Say NO!

If you eliminate and/or avoid the following items from your nutrition plan, you will see a dramatic improvement in your overall health. 

Pop/Energy drinks

Eliminating pop and energy drinks would be one of the best initiatives you can take to drastically reduce sugar consumption. 

Fruit Juices

Many think juices are healthy but the sugar intake can be as high as soda pop and without the fiber, it can cause extreme blood sugar spikes. 


The sugar intake in chocolate bars and candy is extremely high.

Baked Goods

The sugar content tends to be very high in baked goods such as cakes, cookies, pies and pastries. 

Processed Foods

If there are more than 5 ingredients or if sugar is listed in the first 3 ingredients, avoid it. Sugar is hidden in most processed foods and labeled under many different names including sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, fructose, glucose, dextrose, syrup, cane sugar, raw sugar, corn syrup and more. 

Canned Fruit

Eat the raw version as the canned version often contains added sugars and syrups. At the very least look for canned fruits packaged with water, not syrup. 

Energy Bars

These are often labeled as healthy choices, however, check the label because the sugar content can be as high as a candy bar. 


Limit your intake of beer, wine and cocktails since they contain a lot of sugar, few nutrients and will lower your inhibitions so you’re more likely to make other not-so-healthy choices. 


Avoid adding sugar or syrups to your coffee and tea. If you need to add something, try Stevia, a natural, zero calorie alternative to sugar. Try cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla or almond extract instead of sugar in recipes.

Just Say YES!


Choose water as your drink of choice. Try to achieve at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day. 


Include a variety of vegetables at each meal and snack. 


Consume fruit as your sweet treat. Choose different forms and many different colors of fruits to obtain various nutrients.

Beans and Lentils

The fiber content will provide fabulous health benefits. 

Whole Grains

Brown rice, quinoa, multi-grain bread, oatmeal.

Lean, Organic Proteins

Try to have protein at each meal. Check for added sugars and avoid lunch meats.


Make your own salad dressings and sauces or look for ones with no added sugar.

Your cravings for sugar will subside after a couple weeks of reducing your sugar intake. You’ll also notice an increase in your energy and an improvement in your overall health. 

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at

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