Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cut the Sweetness – Live Longer!

The word is out – the “Fight Against Sugar “, as the Times Colonist article reads, is upon us.  I have been warning clients for over 2 years about the effects, especially the hidden effects, that sugars have on our minds, bodies and ultimately our increased body fat.
I am talking about the white sugar, the fructose corn syrup and/or any of those other kinds of sugars that are not meant for human consumption.  Don’t even get me started on all those chemical sweeteners out there!
Don’t get me wrong – not ALL sugars are bad for you.  In fact, just like the differences between trans and sat fats, and the "necessary for life" Omega fats, not all sugars are created equal and not all sugars have the capacity to literally destroy our very cells.
The sugars I want to help you avoid are those that are not considered healthy such as fructose corn syrup and most other sweeteners labelled ‘syrups’, white sugar and brown sugar (which is really just white sugar with molasses added to turn it brown).
All fruit, and most vegetables, have sugars in them.  But, they have the healthy and natural combination that, when consumed, breaks down in the body and is utilized efficiently and effectively as energy to keep us moving.  Other sugars, like corn syrup or white table sugar, are processed so much that they are not natural and are pure sugar and are absorbed by the body in a way which increases the blood insulin levels.  This sends the body into ‘stress mode’.  When the body believes it is stressed by the high insulin levels in the blood, the adrenal glands work overtime, the pancreas must pump even more insulin to level out the excess sugar(fat) and the end result – the body stores the fat.  It dumps all this fat that the sugar became into the fat cells that are just waiting to be filled!
Because of the adrenal glands and the pancreas working so hard, and because of the extra fat you have now encouraged your body to hold, you are bigger around the middle and there are spots that jiggle.  Not to mention how much all this plays on your heart and your mind.  Brain fog anyone?
We have changed the way we eat sugar.  Nearly 90 % of the sugar we eat comes from packaged, processed foods (how about that cereal you are eating every morning?  What’s the sugar content in that?).  Sugar is the most common food additive according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
What does this mean in terms of what you are currently eating?  Well, it means you must read your labels!  It means you must curb your appetite for added sugars.  Get rid of the simple carbs like most desserts, donuts, soft drinks, juices that have added sugar and many processed foods.  Eat more fresh and in-season fruits and vegetables.  Fill yourself up with naturally occurring sugars so that you don’t have ‘room’ for the added unhealthy sugars.  Buy processed foods, like your morning cereals, that are sweetened with a better alternative like fruit juice.
Did you know that 1 teaspoon of sugar is about all the ‘extra added’ sugar an adult woman can consume without adding too many extra calories?  That’s not much in a day when you consider some breakfast cereals have as much as 5 teaspoons!  For easy figuring – there is 4 grams of sugar in 1 teaspoon.  No wonder we are all battling the bulge, not to mention our tired and overworked adrenal glands and digestive system.
Sugar is everywhere.  You must be vigilant in your quest to rid your diet of excess sugars, especially the kinds that just overwork you inside and out.
Keep on eye on this blog for future articles on the various types of sugars and get ideas on what, and how, to make better choices for your body.