Food Police! Sugar, Part II of III
-By Hertha J. Woodruff, A.M.L.S., M.A.
I promised that I would return soon to discuss more on the monumental topic of sugar and how it affects human health. Earlier in April before the Easter and Passover holidays, I encouraged you to take a simple, sugar pretest to examine what you consume on a regular basis such as pop/soda, juices, alcoholic beverages, sugary snacks, desserts, candy, items from vending machines, etc. I also gave you the food label formula for determining how many teaspoons of sugar you are eating from a packaged food product. How did you rate in your self-examination? I want you to become aware of how much sugar you are eating. The only way you can measure is to record it. Weight Watchers instructs members to always keep a food log. It is effective. I know because I am a member of Weight Watchers. I am not asking you to perform a post-test quite yet because that will be in my third post on sugar but first I wanted to chat a bit more about sugar.
Sugar should be considered as a drug and never as a food. Although sugar is satisfying, think of it as toxic to your body. Try to avoid it as much as you can! Sugar is very addicting! It is hard to avoid because it is everywhere! Learn to substitute it for something healthy. If you do this, you may save your life.
I have been visiting grocery stores to read food labels and to see how snack foods are displayed. I was amazed to discover how the snack food aisles in food markets have grown in recent years. Look for yourself the next time you are there. In past years, it was common to see just one snack food aisle with pop/soda and packaged snacks such as candy, chips, etc. I found some food stores that had three or four full aisles of snack food. I was alarmed to read a food label on a two liter of pop/soda that had 40 grams of sugar! Let’s do the math now to convert grams into teaspoons. If you divide 40 by 4, what do you get? Yes, 10 teaspoons of sugar! Remember, this is just one serving, which could be 8 or 12 ounces of the beverage. The average person does not drink just one serving. So, let’s say you drink two servings, you have consumed 20 teaspoons of sugar at once! This sudden surge of sugar to your bloodstream could spike your blood sugar sky high which could later drop to an extreme low. This could affect your behavior, your energy, and more importantly, your potential for serious diseases.
(Dr. Warren Woodruff created a chart to show you how much sugar is in your typical daily drinks. Click on the image to see the full size chart. Hopefully this makes you think twice before you grab one of these drinks off of the grocery store shelves. Sugar information taken from Sugar Stacks)
I have been called the Food Police in my household, I guess like Joan Rivers is called the Fashion Police in the fashion world. She has a television show called the Fashion Police where she likes to critique women and men on the red carpet. When I empty trash baskets in my home, I notice food wrappers that may have been hidden from me when a family member tried to sneak a sugary snack. But then I have the proof! I look inside shopping carts of others in grocery stores in checkout lines and shake my head in disappointment when I see some of the food choices. I will voice my opinion when I am at a restaurant with my family when they are ordering. I often challenge them to rethink what they are selecting with the waitress or waiter. I am really concerned about everyone’s health so I will blow the whistle if my family is making a grave mistake in his or her food selections. Most people don’t have a clue to what they are eating. They are only concerned with eating what tastes good to them. We are what we eat so we must be more careful to protect our health.
I have been following the writings of Nancy Appleton, Ph. D. She is the author of the book, Lick the Sugar Habit. Click here to read Dr. Appleton’s list about the hazards of consuming sugar. It will be an eye opener once you read the entire list. She recommends that you eliminate as much sugar as you can. That is when I will ask you to do a post-test to see what you can do to eliminate some of your sugar consumption.
Do just this for the time being to curb your sugar:
Only drink pure water as your main beverage during the day. Cut out the pop/soda and juices. Read the labels on juices. Juices have a lot of sugar grams.
Eat fresh, whole fruit as your snacks. Fruit has rich fiber which allows the fruit sugar to gradually absorb into your blood stream which is healthier as opposed to pop/soda and juice. Fruit will really work to satisfy a craving. Try it. Dr. Douglas N. Graham promotes the consumption of fresh fruit in his book, The 80/10/10 Diet. I attended a weekend lecture by Dr. Graham during the fall of 2010. Another snack choice that I mentioned in February is fresh veggies such as carrots, celery, bell peppers, and cauliflower. Dip these veggies into low fat hummus or into another low fat, low, calorie dip. Veggies like fruit have high fiber that will curb appetites. Whole Foods Market has a good selection of healthy dips.
Before you leave this post, view the Is Sugar Toxic? video of CBS 60 Minutes aired on April 1, 2012. I will share later in a third post on sugar some of the items that I learned from reading the informative book, Sugar Shock! by Connie Bennett, C.H.H.C., and Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D. I am blowing the whistle on sugar! Stop it now before it stops your life!
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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