In the last 20 years, the average person went from consuming about 26 lbs, of sugar to a whopping 150 lbs of sugar a year.
Most can’t lift that much weight and yet, the average person is consuming it. Scary thing is most of us probably aren’t even aware of it. Read the salad dressing or your pasta sauce label? Oh, and by the way, “organic” and “natural” does NOT mean it doesn’t have sugar.
Read a few of the labels in your pantry. And so you know what you are looking for, here are some common and not so common names for sugar:
|• Barley malt
• Beet sugar
• Brown sugar
• Buttered syrup
• Cane juice crystals
• Cane sugar
• Corn syrup
• Corn syrup solids
• Confectioners sugar
• Carob syrup
• Castor sugar
• Demerara sugar
• Diastatic malt
• Ethyl maltol
• Fruit juice
• Fruit juice concentrate
• Glucose solids
• Golden sugar
• Golden syrup
• Grape sugar
• High Fructose Corn Syrup
• Icing sugar
• Invert sugar
• Malt syrup
• Muscovado sugar
• Raw sugar
• Rice syrup
• White Sugar
• Turbinado sugar
• Yellow sugar
When fructose is consumed moderately in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables, most people can break it down easily. A modest amount of fresh fruit and sweet vegetables as part of a balanced diet isn’t the problem – it’s the added sugars that cause concern. These include any sugars or sweeteners added to your foods and beverages during processing or preparation. Many sweeteners are chemically altered to contain concentrated amounts of fructose.
So what’s the big deal?
Here’s what happens when your body metabolizes fructose:
- It does not trigger release of leptin, a key hormone that control appetite and satiation
- It is converted into glycerol, the main component of triglycerides, promoting fat formation
- It is 100% metabolized and processed by the liver, increasing toxic load
Translation – high consumption of sugar and the corresponding elevated insulin levels can cause weight gain, bloating, fatigue, arthritis, migraines, lowered immune function, obesity, cavities, and cardiovascular disease. It can also disrupt absorption of nutrients, possibly leading to osteoporosis, depression, PMS symptoms, and stress. There’s more but you get the drift.
How can you decrease your intake?
- Reduce or eliminate caffeine. The ups and downs of caffeine include dehydration and blood sugar swings, and may cause sugar cravings to become more frequent.
- ￼Drink water. Sometimes sweet cravings are a sign of dehydration. Before you go for the sugar, have a glass of water and wait a few minutes to see what happens.
- ￼Eat sweet vegetables and fruit. They are naturally sweet, healthy, and delicious. The more you eat, the less you’ll crave sugar.
- ￼Avoid artificial sweeteners such as saccharine, aspartame, SPLENDA, etc. and foods with added sugar. Use natural sweeteners like stevia and xylitol.
- Eliminate fat-free or low-fat packaged snack foods. These foods contain high quantities of sugar to compensate for lack of flavor and fat, which will send you on the roller coaster ride of sugar highs and lows.
- ￼Experiment with spices. Coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom will naturally sweeten your foods and reduce cravings.
One change this week > 52 weeks a year > Think of the possibilities! And don’t forget to find sweetness in non-food ways. What makes you happy and what do you enjoy? Discover it and live it rather than eat it!