Sugar can trigger sadness and worsen grief

Sugar is found in many sources. It comes from processed foods and whole foods. Sugar is responsible for lack of energy, agitation, weight gain, and weakens your immune system. Sugar is also responsible for mood swings, depression, and grief brain.

There are many types of sugar: dextrose, fructose, galactose, glucose, lactose, maltose, and sucrose. Sugar can be found in almost everything. You might be surprised to learn that these foods have added sugar: low-fat yogurt, chocolate milk, spaghetti sauce, barbecue sauce, sports drinks, granola, iced tea, protein bars, premade soups, breakfast cereal, premade smoothies, and bottled salad dressing. You might be sensing a theme here. Processed foods make you sick, increase your risk of multiple life-threatening diseases, and impair your ability to move through your grief.

You cannot eliminate sugar because it naturally occurs in the whole foods you eat. However, regardless of where the sugar comes from, there is a recommended daily allowance. The maximum consumption for women is 100 calories per day. This is twenty-five grams or six teaspoons of sugar.

A twenty-ounce bottle of Coca-Cola Classic contains sixty-five grams of sugar, which is forty grams above the daily recommended allowance. With just one can of Coke, you have exceeded the recommended allowance of sugars.

Sugar is now being noted as a greater contributor to heart disease than cholesterol. While I do not have empirical evidence that sugar contributes to broken heart syndrome, there is research that shows that heart health is impacted by sugar. Going out on a limb, it is my logical conclusion that sugar can contribute to the risk and the signs and symptoms of broken heart syndrome.

I understand reducing your sugar intake may seem like an insurmountable task. However, reducing sugar will not only help with your health, but it will also help in your grief. Think twice before grabbing a soda, candy bar, or bag of chips.

Here are a few simple and easy healthy snacks.

  • Apple and peanut butter
  • Nuts: almonds,
  • Seeds: pepitas
  • Plant-based protein smoothie
  • Sliced carrots and celery with hummus
  • Unsweetened plant-based yogurt with fresh fruit
  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Avocado toast (use gluten-free bread)
  • Dark chocolate (limited quantity)
  • Water with fruit

I have followed this healthy lifestyle before and after my son’s death. It is an integral part of my overall health and healing from my loss. While there is no right or wrong way to grieve, there are healthy ways to cope with the pain.

Give yourself all the fighting power you can to help yourself move through your loss. You do not have to be perfect. Give yourself some grace. Take a few of these ideas every week and, in a few months, you will look back and see that you have focused on your health in the midst of your grief with more energy, less brain fog, and better sleep.

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