Doughnuts, soda, chocolate chip cookies, pecan pie, creamy puddings, cakes, candies…oh the joy of sugar!
We all love to indulge in a sweet treat, and these days treats are not at all rare in the Standard American Diet. We eat sugar waaaaay to often. 100 years ago, sweets were truly a treat, and were consumed rarely or on special occasions. Generally, these treats were sweetened with raw honey, or real maple syrup…...the good stuff.
Nowadays, our sugar fix comes from highly refined sugar. This highly processed sugar is in virtually every packaged food in the grocery store, and probably lurking in all of your cupboards.
It can also fly under the radar by other names - high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, glucose, maltodextrin, maltose…just to name a few.
Here is a scary example:
A 12-ounce can of regular Coke contains 39 grams of total sugar, which is about 9 1/3 teaspoons of sugar. If you’re reading the ingredients list though, you won’t see sugar clearly listed. Coke in the United States is made with high fructose corn syrup as a lower-cost sugar alternative. High fructose corn syrup is actually the second ingredient in Coke, behind carbonated water.
Consuming just 4 teaspoons of sugar a day has been linked to numerous diseases and imbalances in the body. Here are just a few:
- Lowers ability of enzymes to function
- Impairs structure of DNA
- Raises adrenaline levels in children
- Suppresses the immune system
- Causes hormonal imbalance (hello pms, menopause, night sweats, cramps, irritability and mood swings!)
- Contributes to a weakened defense against bacterial infection
- Causes free radical formation in the blood stream
- Increases fasting levels of glucose in the blood
- Candidiasis (yeast infections)
- Over-stresses the pancreas, causing damage
These are just 10 of the 124 known diseases and imbalances connected with sugar. Yikes!
Not only do we need to worry about processed sugar, but we also need to be watchful of artificial sweeteners; Aspartame, sucralose, cyclamate, acesulfame potassium…these are definite NO-NO’S!
The fact that they are called ARTIFICIAL says it all. Do we really want to expose your body to these unnatural chemicals? NO WAY!
These artificial substances are known neurotoxins. What this means is that they can actually alter brain chemistry and specifically act on nerve cells. Avoid these at all costs. Even though we may be consuming small amounts of these artificial substances, consuming them on a daily basis, day after day, adds up to quite a bit over the years!
To sweeten a cup of hot tea or a smoothie, try a few drops of stevia in liquid form. I also love using maple syrup and raw honey as sugar alternatives.
Of course, the best sweet fix of all is FRUIT! Fruit is nature’s candy. Aside from being sweet, fruit is loaded fiber, vitamins, antioxidants and lots of supportive nutrients. So ditch the sugar, and eat more fruit to fix your sweet tooth.