Make this holiday season a time to learn about and cut way back on sugars. Although a challenge this time of year, wouldn’t it be cool to say on New Year’s Day, “I lost 3 pounds during the holidays”.
Everyone knows that too much sugar is bad but most do not know much about sugar, how much is enough and just how bad it is.
According to the USDA Americans consume, on average, 175 pounds of sugar each year per person—that is 42 teaspoons of sugar a day. This means some people can be eating 60 or 70 teaspoons a day. This count includes sugar added to foods (HFCS—high fructose corn syrup, is in nearly everything processed—breads, syrups, jams, juices, sodas, sugary drinks, ketchup, etc.) It is also important to understand carbohydrates, such as grains, breads, cereals, and pasta, convert to sugars when digested.
How much is too much? The American Heart Association now says only 6 to 8 teaspoons a day—the amount in 10 ounces of soft drink. Because of all the other food with sugars added– you will probably need to quit sodas and those sugary drinks altogether–even the so-called diet drinks.
Over consumption of sugar is known contributors to serious health risks such as:
- Tooth decay, osteoporosis, bone fractures
- Nutritional deficiencies, junk food addictions, eating disorders
- Obesity, diabetes, heart disease
- Decreased immunity
- Digestion problems, dehydration
- Imbalances in good gut bacteria causing overgrowth of yeasts and fungi.
- Inflammation (the cornerstone of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, allergies, asthma, autoimmune diseases and more.)
High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
HFCS causes more fats to store in the body rather than burning it for energy like glucose and sucrose– causing more obesity, diabetes II, and higher cholesterols and triglycerides than white sugar. In animal studies, HFCS caused cirrosis of the liver. Studies show HFCS is one cause of metabolic syndrome. It is a cause of common copper deficiency. These effects are more pronounced with HFCS than regular sugar. Dr. Joseph Mercola (mercola.com) The Weston A. Price Foundation (westonaprice.org) and Mike Adams (naturalnews.com) have archives on HFCS and hundreds of references to studies.
A lot of people think natural sugars are the way to go. But sugar is sugar. There are no nutrient value in any of them with the exception of raw honey. Organic agave nectar contains more fructose than HFCS! Buy your raw honey, maple syrup and sorghum from local sources.
Many people waste a lot of money on natural sugars such as organic raw cane sugar, sucanot, rapadura and yet there is no nutrient value to speak of. Sugar is sugar. Using white sugar is often pooh-poohed, yet it is very cheap and does the trick—just use it very sparingly and not often.
Stevia extract is a natural, zero-calorie sweetener. It has a pleasant but slight licorice aftertaste and is something worth trying. It seems expensive, but a little goes a long way: 3-4 drops is all you need in tea or a drink, because of its intensity.
Artificial Chemical Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners can contribute to obesity rather than weight loss because these synthetic chemicals stimulate appetite by reducing the brain chemical seratonin output from the gut, one of the functions of which is to control appetite. Two university studies confirmed this in animals. These addictive chemicals can contribute to neurological dysfunctions, migraine headaches, cell damage and seizures—in some people from small quantities—because they are of the biochemical class called neurotoxins. In many cases, symptoms subside when halting use and return when starting use again.
Saccharin. Chemical name 1,1-Dioxo-1,2-benzothiazol-3-one. Trade name: Sweet ‘N Low. Derived from toluene, chlorotoluene or amylbenzoic acid. Aspartame is N-(L-á-Aspartyl)-L-phenylalanine, 1-methyl ester. Trade name: NutraSweet or Equal. After ingestion aspartame produces methanol, formic acid, formaldehyde. The largest archive of studies on aspartame is at dorway.com. Sucrolose is made from 3 Chlorine atoms reacted with a sugar molecule. The trade name is Splenda and is 1,6-Dichloro-1,6-dideoxy-â-D-fructofuranosyl-4-chloro-4-deoxy-á-D-galactopyranoside. It is a chlorocarbon.
Do you want to swallow these chemicals every day?
Benefits of Reducing Sugars
When you cut back on sugars, you will feel better, sleep better, be less irritable and tired, lose weight and more. When you have a sugar craving, why not just eat a piece of fruit?
Annie and I just finished our new nutritional Living Food bulletin #2—12 pages of articles just on Sugars: Natural and Artificial Sweeteners, including five steps to reduce sugar, the dangers of soft drinks and a dozen slightly sweet nutrient-dense recipes. There is a free 4-page sample and we would love to have you download the full pdf for $10 and hear your comments.