Could sugar be the new fat?Posted by FJ Leto on August 25, 2021
Here we are on the brink of Halloween and the reality that the holidays are just around the corner. What else is lurking around every corner? Sugar.
It’s everywhere and it’s destroying our health one sweet bite at a time. Did you know that the average American consumes 152 lbs of sugar per year? That’s 22 tsp every day, with some studies showing that American children consume 34 tsp per day!
What you might not know is that both the American Heart Association as well as the World Health Organization recommend less than 10 tsp per day. Specifically, that WHO says 5-6 tsp for adult women and 7-8 tsp for adult men. Something is way off here!
There is no argument that we get an instant boost when we consume sugar. In fact, our bodies do need sugar to supply energy to our muscles and keep our brain active. However, unless you’re Buddy the Elf, sugar is not a food group. Sugar gives us absolutely zero nutrients, protein or healthy fats.
Yes it’s true that there are naturally occurring sugars in fruits and vegetables, but nature being the amazing thing she is, they are often balanced by the fiber, vitamins and other properties that it also contains making it easier for our bodies to handle. This isn’t to say that you should binge on fruit, as always, everything in moderation.
When we consume sugar, this turns to fat in the liver, in addition to putting stress on the liver. The more we consume the, the more fat in the liver. This greatly increases our risk for diseases such as diabetes as well as heart and liver disease.
Sugar also increases bad cholesterol and creates and addictive response in the brain. You read that right. More and more research is confirming what many people such as, Dr. Mark Hyman, have been saying for years. Sugar is as addictive as cocaine.
It’s a never ending cycle. While you get that instant boost, it doesn’t fill you up. Instead you end up crashing, feeling hungry and then craving more. Repeat.
If you’re feeling stuck in the sugar cycle, you’re not alone and it certainly isn’t a life sentence. There are actions you can take today to break the cycle.
For starters, become a label detective! If it ends in “ose” such as fructose or glucose, it is a form of sugar. If you’re needing to slowly take the sweet out of your bite, stick to things like honey, or stevia. Agave got quite the buzz not so long ago, but it’s important to note that agave is often highly processed and contains a large amount of fructose. In fact, the agave we see on the shelves hardly resembles the plant at all so, it’s one that is good to avoid.
Include protein with your meals. This doesn’t mean all meat, all the time. Nuts and seeds are also great sources! Be sure to get plenty of good fats. These include nuts, seeds, coconut butter, olive oil and avocado.
Be prepared. Keep a snack handy so that you’re never left hungry and grabbing the first thing you can find. Sticking to these helpful tips will help you kick your sugar habit to the curb!
If this has got you thinking about how sugar fits into your life or simply looking to learn more, we highly recommend checking out the documentary Fed up. It’s one you simply don’t want to miss!
None of this is to say that having an occasional treat is the worst thing you could do. After all, it is Halloween and we’re only human! In order to offset the occasional splurge, be sure to drink plenty of water and limit your intake of processed foods. Above all else, have fun!