What Do You Really Know About Sugar?

 

Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know. -Daniel J. Boorstin

When dessert or other sweets are offered at social events I generally decline. Sometimes someone will say how “good” I am. I absolutely loathe the association with being good or bad based on our food choices. What I would like to tell them is, “If you knew what I knew about sugar you might say no too.” That would be poor form in a social situation but perfect for a blog!

Two hundred years ago, the average American ate only 2 pounds of sugar a year.
In 1970, we ate 123 pounds of sugar per year. Today, the average American
consumes 152 pounds of added sugar in one year. This is equal to 3 pounds (or 6
cups) of sugar consumed in one week! No wonder we see a rise in diseases that are associated with sugar. Diseases such as:

  • cancer
  • liver disease
  • heart disease
  • Alzheimer’s
  • eczema
  • diabetes

Other conditions associated with sugar consumption are:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • wrinkles
  • food addiction
  • malnutrition
  • hormone imbalance
  • allergies
  • tooth decay

Artificial sweeteners are not the answer either as theses have their own risks including metabolic syndrome, weight gain and side effects.

Try these things instead:

1. Eat frequently. Never go longer than 3 hours without eating. When we are hungry we crave the simple carbs, like sugar, and when we are hungry we have less power to resist.

2. Eat protein with each meal. It will keep you satisfied longer and reduce the craving for sugar.

3. Eat more in the morning. Generally cravings for sugar are in the afternoon or evening and may indicate a calorie deficit.

4. Drink a lot of water. The need for water can be easily confused with hunger or food cravings. Herbal teas can also be helpful.

5. Keep some frozen berries and yogurt on hand. When everyone else is having dessert thaw those berries and put some yogurt on them. Maybe even some whipped cream. It is way tastier than cake!

6. My personal favorite. Develop a taste for very dark, high quality chocolate. Make sure it is 70% cocoa or more (you might need to start at 60% and work up). A little piece of that with a few nuts can satisfy for hours.

7. When all else fails eat honey. Honey is a real food with nutrients and other health properties and it doesn’t seem to be as addictive as sugar.

You need to know that sugar is added to almost everything, and there are a lot of words that mean sugar, so read your labels carefully. Keep at it and someday passing up the dessert will be easy. Not because you are good but because you are smart.

A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. -Oliver Wendell Holmes

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