Sugar, it’s whats for dinner
By Ruthie Swedlund
Sugar, It’s what’s for dinner, breakfast, and lunch! Go to any grocery store and check out the label of products on any isle and you will find sugar, some plainly labeled, some masked with other fancy names. As a Mom of three, I was shocked when I realized really how much sugar was in the food I was selecting for my family. Did you know sugar is in bread, crackers, can goods, most sauces, dressings, and yogurt?
We are led to believe that if we are providing a “well balanced meal” for our families and only use sugar for special occasions or occasional rewards for the children then we are healthy. But do we realize is the amount of hidden sugar we feed ourselves and our children. We see commercials telling us that certain sugar laden cereals are good for our kids because they have “essential vitamins and minerals”, we pick a salad from a fast food menu, or a skinny latte and think we are eating healthy but they are all packed with sugar. Even “Diet Shakes” like slim fast have sugar in them. No wonder we have a weight problem in this nation. No wonder we all get so frustrated with our inability to loose weight and keep it off.
So, whats so bad about sugar? How can something that tastes so good be so bad for us?
Here are a few things I have learned along my journey to be less sugar dependent:
• Typical table sugar is void of any nutritional content. Look at the label on the sugar bag in your pantry and you will find zeros under all listings except “sugars”.
• Sugar is addictive. Do you ever crave sugar? Do you ever have withdrawals when you don’t eat sugar? Check out this link: Evidence for sugar addiction: Behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake
• What does sugar actually do to your body? According to Nacy Appleton, Ph.D. sugar has many ill effects. She has a list of 144 Reasons Why Sugar is Ruining Your Health. Here are just a few:
1. Sugar can suppress the immune system.
2. Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in the body.
3. Sugar can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.
4. Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.
5. Sugar contributes to the reduction in defense against bacterial infection (infectious diseases).
6. Sugar causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function, the more sugar you eat the more elasticity and function you loose.
(be sure and check out the list for all 144 reasons)
• Did you know sugar can increase your Cholesterol levels “those with high plasma levels of insulin have abnormally elevated cholesterol levels”. Also “insulin inhibits the mobilization of previously stored fat.” (both quotes taken from Sugar Busters: Cut Sugar To Trim the Fat by Steward, Bethea, Andrews, and Balart). With this being said eating sugar can raise you Cholesterol and keep you fat, definitely two things healthy people would like to avoid!
The average American consumes his or her body weight in sugar per year. Another statistic is that Americans eat 130 to 140 pounds of sugar a year. The averages for children are not any better. The average child eats 36 teaspoons of sugar a day, some teenagers eat even more!
We are a nation of sugar addicts. I am one of them. Sugar was a daily part of my diet in childhood. I saw sugar as a blessed and enjoyable food. I paid the price physically and mentally for my sugar addiction. Three years ago I began to slowly cut back on my sugar. I needed to get healthy and I knew my sugar addiction was doing more harm that good to my body. I have learned many things over the past three years, but mostly I have learned sugar is poison to me. I am a different person without sugar in my life! I have energy all day, I sleep better, am not moody, my PMS is gone, and I am loosing weight easily.
My message is simple in regards to sugar. Limit your intake of it. Be aware of the content of your food and that sugar is not healthy. Please be educated as to what you are feeding your children. Replace sugar snacks with fruit and veggies. Drink more water, less juices, and no sodas. Transitioning your family to a *low sugar diet, will have wonderful healthy effects on your family.
*Please note that if you are going to transition to a low sugar diet that artificial sweeteners are not the answer. Please be cautious and research artificial sweeteners before believing they are an answer for your sugar cravings.
If you are interested in learning more about sugar and its effects please check out these websites:
• Radiant Recovery (GREAT resource for sugar education)
• SUGAR – Its Effects on Mind and Body
• Dr Nancy Appleton’s Website (Author of Lick the Sugar Habit)
• Other Names for Sugar
• Affects of Artificial Sweeteners and Their Link to Weight Gain
• Sugar Substitutes and the Potential Dangers of Splenda
• Big Sugar (video about sugar and its history)
• Sugar- Its Effects on Mind and Body
For more Health and Fitness encouragement visit me at www.mybodmod.blogspot.com. Also, the “Be Healthy” section on The Happy Housewives Club Forums is a great place encouragement and support to reach your fitness goals for the New Year! Come join in the fun as we share our New Years Resolutions to become fit and healthy once and for all!