There is much discussion these days on which is more evil, sugar or fat. For years the American public has been told to cut out or at least cut down on the fat in their diet. As a result processed food products and the people who eat them replaced the missing fat calories with sugar. I am not going to debate which is better or worse to have in your diet , sugar or fat, at least not in this blog, but I am going to suggest that reducing or eliminating added sugar from your diet would dramatically improve your health, both physical and mental.
Added sugars include table sugar, brown sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, honey, molasses and any other sweeteners that are added to processed foods, like cookies, cakes and many foods you may not think of as sweet, such as spaghetti sauce and bottled salad dressings. This is where label reading comes in. Go to your pantry and pick out a boxed or jar item and check the label, I bet you dollars to donuts that there is some added sugar in the product.
In a recent study* researchers from the Center for Disease Control in the United States found that Americans consuming over 10% of their daily calories from added sugars had significantly higher risks of developing cardiac disease. What does 10% look like? On average you might take in 2000 calories per day, so 10% would be 200 calories or 50 gm. of sugar. A can of regular soda (12 ounces, not the BIG GULP) has 33 gm. of sugar, more than half of the recommended allowance. Like me you may have given up soda long ago and think “I’m good”, however soda is the obvious villain here, take a closer look at your diet and you just may find that you aren’t quite as good as your thought.
This is not a big study but a recent professional experience underlines the results of the CDC study. When we eliminated daily granola bars from a client’s diet, their cholesterol levels fell to an appropriate range, without medication. Not huge but it sure made a difference to my client who did not have to increase his medication. The very first change I recommend to my clients is that they cut out added sugars for at least 30 days. Whatever their nutrition issue this is one step that improves the picture.
I won’t say that removing added sugars from your diet is easy, half the problem is identifying the ones that sneak in to your daily bread. Fortunately Sprout Lifestyle (www.sproutlifestyle.com) has a No Sugar Challenge for the month of August, that will educate,support and guide you as you reduce and eliminate sugar from your diet. August is perfect timing to break up those sugar rush habits we picked up over the summer vacation. I highly encourage all my readers to join in the No Sugar Challenge, it will do your body good. To sign up for the August No Sugar Challenge or to find out more information go to: http://www.sproutlifestyle.com/2014/08/no-sugar-month/
Eat Well, Live Well, Have Fun!