Holistic Living – Sugar
For nearly 4 years I hosted Holistic Living with Barb, a radio show on a local radio station here on the island of Roatan. In September of 2014 new Management came in and decided they no longer wanted any talk shows on air, and turned it all into a music station. So, Holistic Living with Barb became history. Until now!
I truly enjoyed hosting the radio show and covered a variety of topics all centered on living holistically, living more naturally, focusing on all things healthy and in tune with Mother Nature. I recently decided since I enjoyed doing that so much, there was no need to sit in the background, but to step forward and continue my research and share it with others via my Holistic Living Blog here on my website.
Today is the first post down this new path. My intent is to post no less than every two weeks. It may be more often if something strikes my eye and I can find the time to research, but in any case you can expect to see a new article of interest at a minimum every two weeks.
I thought I would start with a topic that touches nearly everyone nutritionally. Sugar – The Sweet Lie. Most all of us have sugar in our diet on a daily basis. Obviously some ingest more than others, but it is insidious in so many of the foods we eat it is difficult to eliminate it entirely from our diets.
Sugar consumption has risen 1500% in the last 200 years. Today the average American consumes 150 pounds of sugar a year, compared to 12 pounds in the early 1800s. According to the U.S.D.A. that is equivalent to 52 teaspoons of sugar per person, per day. Astounding!
It takes about 400 – 500 generations for our bodies to physically adapt to such drastic diet changes, so it is no wonder that obesity is one of the major side affects experienced today. Too many carbohydrates in the form of sugar permeate our daily regimen.
A 20 year research study by Dr. Mark Hyman proved that sugar is 8 times more addictive than Cocaine, yet it is found in nearly everything you find in the grocery store. Dr. Hyman says it isn’t as easy as controlling what we eat and exercising more. Our taste buds have been hijacked by processed, hyper palatable, high glucose, high sugar foods that drive hormones and neuro-transmitters to make us want to eat more. Hence the problem with obesity and so much more.
Sugar hinders the body’s immune system and predisposes people to allergies and infections. There are a host of dis-eases associated with too much sugar, and here are just a few: eczema, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, kidney stones and failure, learning disabilities, IBS, depression, candida, anxiety, hyperactivity in children, adult onset diabetes, and the list goes on.
Sugar is hidden in processed foods and we consume it often times without being aware. Sugars can be listed as cane juice, caramel, corn syrup, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, glucose, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, lactose, maltose, maltodextrin, molasses, raw sugar, sorbitol, xylitol, and sucrose.
If you desire sweetness in your diet, you may want to consider honey, and maple syrup as good alternatives, as long as they are locally sourced. Often times honey is shipped from China and relabeled by various Distributors, so be wary of non-locally sourced honey.
In 1931, Nobel Laureate in Medicine, Otto Warburg Phd discovered that cancer cells feed on sugar. An epidemiological study in 21 modern countries that keep track of morbidity and mortality rates in North America, Japan, England and Europe revealed that sugar intake is a strong risk factor that contributes to higher breast cancer rates, particularly in older women. Many additional studies show an increase of sugar intake affects IQ.
When we ingest sugar our blood sugar spikes, dopamine is released in the brain which kicks in the addiction. Mass insulin is secreted to drop the blood sugar levels. When the blood sugar levels drop drastically, this triggers our body to immediately store more fat, lowers good cholesterol and increases bad cholesterol. The body then craves the sugar “high” we have low blood sugar levels, which cause an increase in our appetite and cravings, and the cycle repeats itself. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like roller coasters and this is exactly what we are doing with our body with a sugar addiction.
Do you have a sugar addiction? Check this quiz to find out.
MotherJones.com Sweets Industry Marketing Statistics
Food companies spend billions of dollars each year to cover up the link between sugar consumption and health problems. View the graph above, or visit the Mother Jones website for more details on what the industry is spending. The Sugar Association and Corn Refiners Association plans to convince consumers that sugar is fine in moderation. There are still no guidelines from the FDA on sugar consumption even though it is considered highly addictive.
So what do we do to eliminate sugar from our diets. It may be nearly impossible to eliminate all sugar just given the scope and the insidious inclusion of sugar in so many of our foods. But if you are serious to give it a try, here is your challenge:
- Toss anything that is not real food. Remove all processed goods packaged in plastic, or in a box, or a bottle or a can, unless it’s whole food with only a few real ingredients, none of which are any type of sugar.
- Toss anything with ingredients that you don’t recognize, or can’t pronounce.
- Toss anything that has HFCS – High fructose corn syrup or trans fat on the labels.
- Dump sweetened drinks, juice, sodas, and sport drinks. These can have 15 – 20 teaspoons of sugar alone.
- Nix anything with hydrogenated fat, oils or refined vegetable oils like corn and soybean.
Now you say, what’s left? What do I eat? Fill 50% of your plate with salad or vegetables. These foods provide essential minerals and will improve insulin production. Drink water or natural teas as replacements instead of sodas. Eat whole foods, and stay away from processed foods (anything in a box, a can, or carton) as much as possible.
Health is a habit. When you begin to add healthier foods to the mix, you will notice a rebound and increase in energy, your mood will improve, digestion improves, your skin clears up and you will sleep better. Add exercise to your daily routine, get some sunshine (I know it is difficult when faced with sub-zero temperatures, so schedule this whenever weather permits), reconnect with yourself internally, find time for meditation, and breath! You will soon find yourself on a path of optimum health.