Ah sugar. It makes like so much sweeter, right? Well not really. Sugar is killing all of us. Sugar is responsible for a multitude of health issues including cancer, and of course, obesity.
Sugar has been on my mind a lot this week and then I watched the documentary “Fed Up”. It’s on Netflix so watch it when you get the chance. Watching it made me realize that it is time to do something about my own sugar addiction…and others.
Now, you might be in denial about having a sugar addiction. Sure, you might think you just have a sweet tooth. Sure, you might just enjoy the occasional sweet. Here is the huge problem- YOU ARE EATING MORE SUGAR THAN YOU REALIZE.
Here’s the thing, there is a lot of politics behind it (which I won’t go into now) but food companies are allowed to put basically as much sugar as they want in your food and they are allowed to hide it. If you look at the nutritional facts on any food product, you will most likely see sugar listed in grams with no daily percent listed next to it. There are reasons why but the bottom line is, it tricks your mind. Think about it, if you are eating something with 40% of your daily allowance for Sodium, you would probably realize you need to watch you sodium intake for the rest of the day, right? When you don’t see the percents for sugar, it is a lot harder to realize how much sugar you have had. Plus, sugar is listed in grams. A lot of times, we are told that 6-9 teaspoons a day is all the sugar we should have. Okay quick, tell me how what percent of a teaspoon 4 grams is… Unless you work in the math field, you probably won’t be able to convert grams to teaspoons in a matter of seconds. My point is, this becomes another trick so you don’t realize how much sugar you are ingesting.
Next, sugar has so many names. We all know by now about high fructose corn syrup. The food companies realized that corn is cheaper than sugar so they will use corn syrup as much as they can. According to Prevention magazine, there are 57 names sugar goes by on food labels! 57 names to look for on a label…. I can barely remember why I walked into an aisle let alone 57 names!
Another huge way we re getting tricked is by the Low Fat, No Fat, and Reduced Fat labels. When the fat is gone (or reduced), the food tastes awful. Food companies will increase the amount of sugar to make up for it. Please, stay away from these products at all costs. Also, the chemical sugars are extra bad for you. Diet soda is one of the worst things you can drink. If you want to stay healthy, avoid food products that say “diet”as well.
I can go on and on about the dangers and issues of sugar. The bottom line is, if you have been living in the United States for most or part of the last thirty years, you most likely have some sort of sugar addiction.
So, what can be done? Well, this is the hardest part. With all addictions, the best thing to do is avoid situations, places and people who remind you of your addiction. Okay great, lock yourself in your basement! Well, for most of us, this will not work when it comes to sugar.
My weight management group is on hiatus for the summer. I am thinking about making it a sugar addicts meeting instead. Or I might do a one night workshop, not sure yet. If you are interested in learning more, please join my mailing list. Also, like me on Facebook to stay up to date with all of my events.