Drop the Sweets!

dropthesweets

Put down the pieces of candy picked up from your coworker’s desk.

The Reese’s cups from the vending machine.

The 3rd cup of coffee for today.

It may be 3pm and the post-lunch energy lull can cause us to reach for the drugs that pep us up. Yes, drugs. Sugar and caffeine – legal though they way be, beware of how they can be robbing you of your natural energy and more.

In an exercise during our recent Sugar Busters class, we explored the history of sugar, the estimated consumption, and then what the average ‘healthy’ American’s intake is. The result was rather shocking. After the coffee and hazelnut creamer, granola and Greek fruit yogurt for breakfast as well as a turkey sandwich and side salad with dressing for lunch, the total is 64 grams of added sugar. That’s before stopping by the coworker’s desk for two fun-size Twix bars (they’re really tiny, we know, but you’ll need to add another 16 grams). So now we’re at 80 grams of added sugar for the day and before dinner! In a game of Sugar Monopoly, you’re about to land in blood-sugar-dysregulation ‘jail’, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Are you aware of the World Health Organization’s recommendation limiting our added sugar intake to 5% or less of our daily calorie needs? Or to have less than 25 grams of added sugar per day?

The truth is, for most of us trying to follow a healthy meal pattern, there’s generally a layer of ‘frosting’ on top of our nutritious choices. Whether the client is vegan, following Weight Watchers, or some other diet program, the sugar seems to seep in.

Added sugar in the diet has been the cause of many of our ills, as a people. Our poor pancreases haven’t been able to keep up with the onslaught of added sugar in the diet since the time the first sugar refinery opened in the United States. The fact that sugar is a negative-nutrient should cause alarm. This is not the food equivalent of Sweden. It is not a ‘neutral’ agent in your body, only supplying a few extra calories. In order to break it down, the body’s reserves of vitamins and minerals are used – in effect, sugar ‘steals’ these nutrients from you! Let this sink in. This important concept should help us realize and treat items with this added sugar with a sense of suspicion, disdain, and then complete eradication. If that seems too strong for you at this point, try to focus on reduction of added sugars in your diet. You’ll still be heading in a better direction and help yourself possibly side-step diabetes and other chronic disease.

Here’s your mission, should you choose to accept it: track the added sugars in your diet. Use labels to see how much added sugar is in your bread, salad dressing, instant oatmeal, or barbecue sauce. Or use an app such as MyFitnessPal or Cronometer to track it. Then, if you know you need to make some changes, head on over to join the rest of us in the upcoming Sugar Detox Challenge! The journey starts this Sunday, January 26th.

Change your toxic relationship with added sugars and change your LIFE.

Singing the Sugar Blues

sugar blues

Sugar. It’s a common ingredient added into countless food items – from cereal and condiments to baby food and supposed ‘health foods’. According to the USDA, the average American, as recently as 2016, is consuming close to half their own body weight in pounds of sugar each year. [Take a look at Tables 51-53 and add together where it says “Per Capita Consumption – Adjusted for Loss” in pounds per year; for 2016, this would be a total daily intake of 74.9lbs]. Our estimated consumption is not just as a result of purchasing and eating the bags of sugar found in the grocery store baking aisle; it’s partially because sugar has many different names which makes it easier to be ‘hidden’ in various products created by the industrial food machines. It’s also because…

Sugar is a drug. Like nicotine, cocaine, or heroin, it is addictive and even considered poisonous by many health experts. Look up the definition of the word ‘drug’ and you’ll see sugar fits. It is a nutrient-less substance – so not only does it add extra calories, but it’s actually responsible for depleting the body of certain vitamins and minerals needed to break down and essentially ‘detox’ the sugar.

Added sugars are typically found in processed or prepared foods – sugar-sweetened beverages (which doesn’t just include sodas or juice, but some non-dairy milks!), breakfast pastries, dairy desserts, candy- to name a few. Naturally occurring sugar, such as that found in fruit, is not included as an ‘added sugar’.

Recommendations for added sugar consumption vary widely. The Institute of Medicine reports that added sugars should not exceed 25% of total calories consumed. World Health Organization takes a more conservative approach and recommends less than 10%.

Studies have shown that people who consume higher amounts of added sugar, especially sugar-sweetened beverages, tend to gain weight and have a higher risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, unfavorable lipid levels (i.e. cholesterol, triglycerides), hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Blood sugar equilibrium is one of the most important keys to health.

Getting rid of sugar in your diet takes more than passing on dessert. It involves a multifaceted approach to being a ‘sugar detective’ and becoming creative in how we can healthfully live without it.

Are you ready to take the One Bite Wellness ’25 Sugar Detox Challenge’? Join us in revitalizing life and health by breaking the bonds that make us slaves to sugar. We will explore hidden sources of sugar, re-creating healthier home and work environments, understanding & combating cravings, and learning how to have delicious meals.