Trick or Treat?
A little sugar isn't really a big deal, however the fact of the matter is Americans consume a ton of sugar. Imagine an industrial dumpster with 1,727,900 skittles and you've got 130 pounds of sugar. Americans consume around 130 pounds of sugar every year. Nearly 100 years ago (1822) our predecessors ate under 10 pounds of sugar a year. 130 pounds equates to about three pounds a week. Pile three pounds of sugar in front of you and imagine eating all that sugar this week.
If you don’t think you eat that much sugar, consider this: Sugar is hidden in the loads of processed and refined foods that comprise the majority of American food intake. Sugar lurks in supplements, protein drinks, meal replacement bars and foods we consider healthy. Check your food labels if you don't believe me. One gram of sugar equates to four teaspoons of sugar. If you don't see ‘sugar’ on the label it is probably hidden as one of the following sugar derivatives. It all behaves like sugar (or worse) in the body.
High Fructose Corn Syrup, Fruit juice (& concentrate), Crystalline Fructose, Turbinado Sugar, Maltodextrin, Sorbitol, Date Sugar, Glucose, Xylitol, Ethyl Malt, Sucrose, Mannitol, Agave, Stevia, Glucose Solids, Diastic Malt, Diatase, Date Sugar, Lactose, Invert Sugar, Caramel, Barley Malt, Carob Syrup, Cane Sugar, Maltose, Dextrose, Fructose, Corn Syrup, Beet Sugar, Coconut Sugar
The problem with too much sugar: Sugar is implicated as a causative factor in heart disease, cancer and diabetes as well as the obvious issue of obesity. In a study done by the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine (JAMA Intern Med) it was concluded that "Most US adults consume more added sugar than is recommended for a healthy diet. We observed a significant relationship between added sugar consumption and increased risk for CVD (Cardiovascular Disease) mortality." (Yang, Zhang, Gregg, Flanders, Merritt, & Hu, 2014).
Exactly how excess sugar might harm the heart isn’t clear. Earlier research has shown that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages can raise blood pressure. A high-sugar diet may also stimulate the liver to dump more harmful fats into the bloodstream. Both factors are known to boost heart disease risk.
Oncology Nutrition states “Much research shows that it is sugar’s relationship to higher insulin levels and related growth factors that may influence cancer cell growth the most, and increase risk of other chronic diseases.”
Eating refined sugar is calorie consumption without fiber, vitamins, minerals or other nutrients. Too much sugar consumption can deplete minerals. Sugar consumption contributes to dental cavities and crowds nutritious food out of the diet.
The American Heart Association recommends women consume less than 100 calories of added sugar per day (about 6 teaspoons) and men consume less than 150 (calories of sugar) per day (about 9 teaspoons). To put that in perspective, a 12-ounce can of regular soda contains about 9 teaspoons of sugar, so quaffing even one a day would put all women and most men over the daily limit.
Find sweetness in life and lively food, grown in nature just as Mother Nature intended as fuel for the human body. There are always more healthful and just as easy choices as reaching for a highly processed and refined food or drink loaded with sugar. The little goblins knocking on my door tomorrow are getting fruit strips made from USDA organic fruit puree concentrate. The fruit strip has some sugar but it comes from the fruit, nothing else added. I can’t poison anyone!
Change is possible. When you take it nice and easy with small sustained change (practice consistently) choosing less sugary food becomes a habit of love for yourself.
Contact Me for a complimentary 15 minute phone consultation about how I can guide you to feel better. Be Your Beautiful Self, Tam John
Yang, Q., Zhang, Z., Gregg, E., Flanders, W.D., Merritt, R., & Hu, F. (2014). Added Sugar Intake and Cardiovascular Diseases Mortality Among US Adults. The Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicie, 174(4):516-524. doi:10.1001/jamaintermed.2013.13563
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This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care Physician or Naturopathic Doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.