"You are so sweet." "Come give me some sugar" "Lips as sweet as honey"
Sweets and sugars are pervasive in our society and have even infiltrated into our vernacular.
We know that sugar affects our waistline but do you know it affects your brain too? The same part of the brain that responds to cocaine and causes addition to it is the same part that is affected by sugar. Most Americans have become addicted to sugar.
Sugar free and non-fat foods popularized in the early 1980’s have not worked. The manufacturers have taken out the sugar and fat and added chemicals to make the new processed, laboratory foods palatable. It sounded like a great idea and the answer to diabetes and weight watchers the world around. But the opposite has happened. Diabetes has grown with the American pant size. Manufacturers have confused the public and created "food frauds".
Like the secret service covering a presidential indiscretion, food manufacturers hide sugar in the most unlikely foods. A serving of commercial spaghetti sauce can have as much sugar as an ice cream sandwich. Add the hefty helping of white pasta and the garlic bread and you have a sugar explosion for dinner. You might as well have a triple ice cream sundae. At least we would not be fooling ourselves. Healthy sounding foods like energy/vitamin drinks, breakfast bars, smoothies and prepackaged meals are loaded with sugar. Even when the package touts health benefits like 'cholesterol free', 'heart healthy', or my favorite 'made with whole grain goodness', it still can be LOADED with sugar.
Here is an abrieviated list of sugar-disguised words.
READ LABELS. Make sure your foods come from whole ingredients and not a chemistry lab.
So what are we to do? Where do we start? Start with 2 simple action steps.
Number One. One level teaspoon of sugar is 4 grams. The 'healthy' energy bar can have 18 grams of sugar! That is nearly 5 teaspoons of sugar!! The whole grain breakfast cereal has 12 grams of sugar in 3/4 cup. First of all, I bet no one measures 3/4 cup, it is probably more. That 12 grams is 3 teaspoons! Plus the 14 grams of sugar in 1 cup of milk! READ LABELS! A 16 ounce can of soda has 29 grams of sugar. That is 7 teaspoons of sugar. Don't be fooled by switching to diet drinks. Artificial sweeteners actually make you crave sweets, elevates your bad cholesterol (HDL), lowers your good cholesterol (LDL) and raise triglycerides. This makes a fatty liver, and turns our belly into a hoover dam for fat storage.
Number Two. Stop eating High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). READ LABELS. If it has a shelf life, chances are it has high fructose corn syrup. Log Cabin syrup bottle has bold capital lettering on the front, "NO HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP". It was true. But the first ingredient was corn syrup. Followed by water and sugar. No maple at all. Sad thing is, people probably read the front and not the back and buy the syrup. I did.
We all want to be sweet but not like this! Research shows that one can of soda a day increases a kid's risk of obesity by 60% and a women's chance of getting diabetes by 80%!
I will step out on a limb and nearly guarantee that if you completely cut out all sodas, regular and diet, and eliminate HFCS, you will lose 10 pounds.
I want to plead with you to understand the detrimental health effects of sugar on our waistlines and our brains! It is everywhere. Not just in the foods we consider sweet, but in the least suspecting places. Our bodies convert white refined foods into sugar. If you love bread or pasta, you are addicted to sugar. We call it WHITE DEATH!
When rats in a science lab are offered cocaine or sugar, they will go for the sugar every time!
One way doctors diagnosis cancer is to give a patient radioactive sugar. The sugar then goes straight to the cancer and it lights up on the PET scan. Cancer loves sugar. Most diseases love sugar. Sugar loves most diseases.
Now I am not remotely suggesting that you do not ever have a piece of cake or candy again. But if you live by the 80%-20% rule, eating clean 80% of the time and 20% fun, then the fun foods become more appealing. It helps establish self discipline.
Let's take back our health and the health of our loved ones. Let's not be the average American that consumes 152 pounds of sugar a year. We can be smarter than that. If not for your waistlines, then do it for your brain.
I am here to help you.