Drs. Oz & Roizen's Tip of the Day: How to be as smart as a cockroach

King Features SydicateJuly 4, 2013 

"The nature of man is always the same," said Confucius. "It's their habits that separate them." When President Barack Obama quit smoking and actress Jamie Lee Curtis gave up painkillers for probiotics, they proved that you can develop an aversion to substances that once gave you pleasure. But it's not easy, especially when it comes to added sugars and sugar syrups. So we want to give you the know-how to kick your sweets habit, and prove you're as smart as a cockroach!

Now, don't take offense. One type of clever roach has been able to alter its taste receptors so that potentially lethal cockroach traps laced with sugar are now bitter-tasting and repulsive. And it passes that knowledge on to its offspring: "Sugar kills. Avoid it." And they do.

So, we'd like to pass along the knowledge to you that added sugars and sugar syrups (like high-fructose corn syrup) can kill, and have you and your kids become sugar averse, too.

The facts: Added sugars and sugar syrups cause bodywide inflammation that triggers heart disease, cancer, diabetes and more. But the boost of feel-good dopamine you get from sugar is pretty addictive.

The alternatives: Here are healthy habits that increase dopamine levels - substitute them for the sweet stuff: Meditation (10 minutes a day); sex (that's your call); aerobic exercise (at least 30 minutes most days); acts of generosity (often); and foods loaded with DHA omega-3s, like salmon and ocean trout.

We promise, life will feel a lot sweeter without added sweets.

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.

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