I read this article online after a friend posted is on facebook and feel the need to write about it after being at the beach for a week where all of our kids, nieces, nephews, and adults consumed more sodas and capri suns than you can imagine. This was all on top of loads of chips, cookies, crackers and everything else a family vacation brings with it naturally!
KNOW IT: When I read, research, or find something that will benefit readers, I get the info and summarize here for you to get it quickly and apply it faster. I will always link to my sources and suggest you read for yourself to form your own opinion but this is mine!
(Excess) Sugar is a toxin, it is what contributes to heart disease, diabetes (type II), heart attacks, obesity, low energy, and even feeds cancer in my opinion. This article is written as an interview of an endocrinologist (diabetes specialist).
Kimber Stanhope’s study suggests that when a person consumes too much sweet stuff, the liver gets overloaded with fructose and converts some of it into fat. Some of that fat ends up in the bloodstream and helps generate a dangerous kind of cholesterol called small dense LDL. These particles are known to lodge in blood vessels, form plaque and are associated with heart attacks.
Here is an excerpt from the article (a must read!)
So with the best of intentions, they say, “Time to reduce fat in the American diet?” And we did. And guess what? Heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and death are skyrocketing.
Dr. Lustig believes that’s primarily because we replaced a lot of that fat with added sugars.
Dr. Robert Lustig: Take the fat out of food, it tastes like cardboard. And the food industry knew that. So they replaced it with sugar.
APPLY IT: this section is here for you to quickly apply something that I research or write about to your life without becoming some obsessive follower of one particular trendy diet, fad eating style, or exercise method. Apply it if you believe it, skip it if you don’t.
First of all, I do NOT believe or think that it is possible that we all avoid sugar!!!! I don’t think that everyone needs to be “gluten-free, Vegan, Nut, Dairy, or Soy free”, and I don’t think that taking all carbs out of your diet or eating like our “ancestors” is a lifestyle that you can live by. What I do believe and base my entire nutrition philosophy, lifestyle, and diet on is avoiding excess sugar. This is for the many reasons mentioned in the article above, the book “Wheat Belly”, the fact that I eat this way and I am not starving, deprived, unhappy, or struggling to find ways to fit in at restaurants and parties.
What does that look like?
- Avoid the bread basket, chips, and french fries (added things to a meal that you don’t need and don’t provide any nutritional value, you are just addicted to how good they feel and taste going down).
- Avoid adding sugar to your drinks, stick to truvia or stevia and HALF the package (what artificial sugar you think is best is for a nutritionist to break down, I don’t care….just don’t pour a pack or two of sugar in your drink!!!)
- Track how much additional sugar you eat a day and try to stay within the guidelines of the article linked here, I guarantee you are over it.
- Know that “additional” means outside of what is in a normal diet of vegetables, fruit, and rice/quinoa. These are the staples of your diet that make up the Carb section of your plate.
- limit your alcohol to one glass or drink a night. Red wine is lower in sugar than white. vodka is best choice with soda/lime.
- Decide to make choices and still live a fun and social eating life. IF you want dessert, don’t eat bread. If you want wine, don’t eat bread. If you want dessert AND wine….do it once a week. If you like dark chocolate…70% or more and treat yourself nightly by buying the pre-packaged squares for portion control. If you don’t have a sweet tooth….your are well ahead of the rest of us!
I personally have noticed that when I decided to avoid wheat products and “snack” food altogether, I have not missed them as much as I thought I would. After I got over the “addiction”, I realized that I preferred to use my “sugar-points” on other things that taste better AND are more natural. It takes making a decision to decide what it is that adds too much sugar to your diet and limit it to a particular time of day only or take it out completely.
Comments always welcome, ideas on ways to add variety without the additional sugar and articles or books you have read that help you to understand what sugar does in our bodies.
Most importantly, it is up to you to be an advocate for your own body and health (and your kids). Don’t just trust the government, doctors, or healthy friend you have. Read about it on the internet, in books (wheat belly is a good one), and form your own opinion about what is healthy for your body first. The physical benefits will come second, I promise!
until next time,