Sugar Posttest & Sugar Shock!, Part III of III

 

-By Hertha J. Woodruff, A.M.L.S., M.A.

¡Hola!  From Punta Cana, Dominican Republic  

I am here in the Caribbean with my husband at the Paradisus Punta Cana Resort for a destination wedding of a family friend.  The temperature is in the high 80s combined with moist, sea breezes.  The ocean waters are turquoise. White, sandy beaches are sprinkled with golden seaweed washed ashore.  Parasailing, ziplining, and deep sea fishing are tourists’ attractions.  Blue Larimar is the country’s coveted gemstone for jewelry shoppers.  The official language in the Dominican Republic is Spanish and the local people are gracious and warm.

I have been able to enjoy local plant-based foods such as fresh papaya, passion fruit, plantains, mangoes, heart of palm, black beans, lentils, and eggplant.  There are lots of vegan options in the Dominican Republic! Olé!

I did bypass the sweets such as dessert buffets and I have been drinking mainly bottled water as a beverage.

Back to my discussion on sugar!  In the first part of my series on sugar, Part I, how did you rate on your sugar pretest?  Did you discover that you were in sugar overload?  Or, were your results satisfactory due to your discipline?  Did you cut back when you read about the many hazards of sugar consumption that I listed?  If you were to take a posttest, would you list less sugary treats and perhaps substitute fresh fruit instead when you are experiencing a sweet tooth?

Let’s do your sugar posttest now below.   See if you have improved.  Compare it to your sugar pretest from Your Sugar Pretest, Part I.

  1. How much pop/soda do you consume on a daily and weekly basis?
  2. How much bottled juice or juice by the carton do you consume on a daily and weekly basis?
  3. What foods do you eat for snacks in between meals?  How often during the day?
  4. Do you eat dessert, order pop/soda, or juice at lunch time, or for dinner at restaurants?  What desserts do you like to order?  How often do you eat out at restaurants? Daily? Weekly?
  5. What do you grab and buy to eat as a snack in the checkout line of a grocery store? How often do you do this?  Daily? Weekly?  Biweekly?  Monthly?
  6. Do you buy snack food in the snack food aisle of the grocery store?  If so, what do you purchase?  How often do you buy these items during the week?
  7. How often do you visit a fast food restaurant during the week to purchase food?  What sweets and pop/soda do you buy?
  8. When you are at the mall, what sweets or beverages do you buy at the food court?  How often do you do this during the week?  Monthly?
  9. What do you buy in vending machines?  How often?  Daily? Weekly?
  10. During happy hours or out at night clubs or bars, what beverages do you order?  How often do you consume these beverages during the week or monthly?
  11. What do you buy at concession stands at movie theaters, at sporting events, or at concerts to eat?  How often do you do this?

How did you do on your sugar posttest?   Are you more in control of your sugar consumption now?

 

 

 

A must-read on the topic of sugar is the book, Sugar Shock!: How Sweets and Simple Carbs Can Derail Your Life – And How You Can Get Back On Track by Connie Bennett with Stephen Sinatra.  I have highlighted and underlined portions of almost every page in the 396-page book.  It is an eye-opener!  Connie Bennett is a journalist and a former sugar addict.  Bennett experienced mood swings which (in her own words) “would quickly transform (me) from an easygoing Dr. Jekyll to a monstrous Ms. Hyde whenever I indulged in sweet foods such as candies, cakes, cereals sodas, ice cream, waffles smoothed with powder sugar.”  Could this be YOU??  Examine your sugar pretest again.  Bennett admitted that even just one glass of wine could quickly turn to sugar in the bloodstream that could exhaust her to a wave of irritability and a hangover.  The sweets would cause bouts of weeping episodes, listless zombie behavior, difficult interpersonal behaviors, brain fog, and making her quite accident prone.  She experienced many years of being misdiagnosed by a multitude of doctors.  Finally she went to one physician, an expert in nutrition, who diagnosed her as having reactive hypoglycemia or low blood sugar (caused by a diet high in sugar and refined carbs). The doctor recommended that she immediately eliminate sugary foods, processed carbohydrates and substitute “protein, plenty of fresh vegetables, low sugar fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, some whole grains, and healthy fats.”  She was transformed.  Her symptoms were eliminated. Bennett said, “ I truly felt reborn.”  Bennett says that from ¼ to ½ of the U.S. population … has difficulty processing sweets and refined carbs.”

 

DEFINITION OF SUGAR SHOCK

“A mood-damaging, personality-bending, health-destroying, confusion-creating constellation of symptoms affecting millions of people worldwide, who often eat processed sweets and much-like-sugar carbs.  SUGAR SHOCK! describes the often-misdiagnosed and maligned condition of reactive hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) as well as other blood sugar disorders, from insulin resistance to diabetes.  Research reveals that repeatedly overconsuming sweeteners, dessert foods, and quickie carbs (white rice, chips, etc.) wreaks havoc on your blood sugar levels, overstimulates insulin release, triggers inflammation and could contribute to more than 150 health problems, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, polycystic ovary syndrome,  severe PMS, failing memory, mental confusion, Candida, sexual dysfunction, infertility, wrinkles, acne, and early aging.  Victims of SUGAR SHOCK!  also may experience depression, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, cold sweats, anxiety, irritability, tremors, crying spells, heart palpitations, forgetfulness, nightmares, blurred vision, muscle pains, temper outbursts, suicidal thoughts, and more.  Ultimately, this insidious roller-coaster effect hampers sufferers’ ability to function at full or even half throttle.”

Connie Bennett has a wealth of information to share to educate the general public about sugar.   Remember, sugar is like a drug and is very addicting.

Here are her SIX Ds: Delay, Distance, Distract, Decode, Decide, and Delight that can cope with the cravings of sugar:

  • Delay!  Drink a glass of water and then delay for 15 minutes.  Then delay a half hour. Chances are that the craving will pass.
  • Distance!  Make an escape! Shun your favorite bagel joints, candy stores, pizza parlors, supermarkets, or even drugstores when you’re in the throes of a craving.
  • Distract!  Do something else! Take a hike. Clean your house. Read a book. Throw yourself into a project. Time will fly, as will your sugar cravings.
  • Decode!  Now it’s time to figure out what the heck is going on.  In other words, decode your cravings. Determine why you’re so sugar obsessed right now.
  • Decide  to respect yourself. Now ignore your cravings. Watch them subside, and then give yourself nonfood treats.
  • Delight  that you said no!   Really relish your joy, relief, and pride that you successfully took control over your destructive habit.

Avoid These Sweeteners:

Sweeteners in packaged foods have more than 100 names.  Here are a few names of popular sweeteners that you will find when you are reading food labels according to Connie Bennett that she recommends to avoid:

High–fructose corn syrup

Sucrose

Brown sugar

Corn syrup

Invert sugar

Dextrose

Fruit juice concentrates (concentrated fruit juice)

Raw sugar

Maltodextrin

Turbinado sugar

Crystalline fructose

Molasses

Maple syrup

Honey

Rice syrup

High-maltose corn syrup

Barley-malt syrup

Powdered sugar

Cane juice

Inulin syrup

Chicory syrup

Tapioca syrup

 

Here are foods, etc., that are recommended by experts in Sugar Shock! to curb cravings:

Begin your day with a balanced breakfast, eat ample protein, fiber, and some fat at every meal and with most snacks.  Never allow yourself to become famished.  Drinking plenty of water and herbal teas.  In addition, exercise often.

Follow Connie Bennett’s Sugar Shock! blog at:

www.sugarshockblog.com

Here is Connie Bennett’s official Sugar Shock! website:

www.sugarshock.com

I have never spent so much time examining a book.  I have been reading it, underscoring it, highlighting it, and rereading portions for over three months.  It was first published in 2007.  It is still on the market.  The publisher is Berkley Books of New York.  The book is available on Amazon.com.  It has become a permanent reference source for me.  Connie Bennett has written a comprehensive account on the topic of sugar!  This current blog post of mine has only scrapped the surface of what she has to offer.  She has a detailed index and an extensive bibliography.  Sugar Shock! is worth the purchase!

 

New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg’s Ban

This past week Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City has proposed a ban on the sale of  any cup or bottle of sweetened drink that is larger than 16 ounces.  What are your thoughts on this?  Are you for it or against it and why?  Please leave your comments below.

 

 

To View The Other Two Parts of My Sugar Post Series, Go Here: Part 1Part 2 | Part 3 

To read about my journey to becoming a vegan, please go here: Hertha Woodruff’s Vegan Journey  

To view the rest of my posts, please visit the Health & Nutrition category page of our blog: Click Here

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