Sugar...there is no shortage of blog posts and articles about sugar and it's ill effects on our society. From the sneaky use of sugar in non-fat or low fat foods during the 1990's low fat craze to the incredible amounts of sugar in soda's, drinks and the “health food” yogurt, that most people just didn't count. Sugar is definitely the culprit of many a modern disease, chronic illness and the obesity epidemic. Here is an interesting read about the complicity of the food industry and the efforts back in 1999 to take an active, honest role in changing the culture of the secrecy in the food industry. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/magazine/the-extraordinary-science-of-junk-food.html (which by the way didn’t work so well but it was a start)
Many integrative and functional medicine physicians will support the idea that sugar feeds cancer and many studies will point to this evidence as well. This recent study here has some ground breaking results. As with any work like this more research is necessary but the fact remains that we know less sugar is better. When we talk about limiting sugar it really needs to start with a conversation about added sugars versus natural sugars. If you are following a diet that is high in processed foods, eating snacks out of boxes, crackers, cereals, and even yogurt, check the label for nutrition information and ingredients. As of January 2020 it will now be required by the FDA that all food labels show total sugars and added sugars separately!! Out of the closet with the food industry’s shenanigans that led to consumers not really knowing how much added sugars were in products. Here is a great reference to show just a fraction of the names that sugar can be labeled (I believe the full list is somewhere above 200) from the University of California San Francisco.
Now, the bottom line is that ultimately it is our responsibility to be aware and make the best choice when we take the time to think about what we are eating, but having this information and calling out food manufacturers to be honest about what’s in our food is a huge part of this. Our choices on a daily basis are what will lead us to a healthier overall life. And isn’t that what this is all about? Growing old gracefully and in your healthiest body, so you can enjoy life as you age and have energy to live the life you imagine.
Here are my five best tips for managing the sugar in your day…just take the time to think.
Eat real whole food, no label to decipher on an apple or a handful of berries!
Get your sugar from natural sources in moderation - low glycemic fruits such as berries, green apples….
Use natural sweeteners for baking such as dates or maple syrup.
Switch to unsweetened carbonated water such as La Croix or GTS living foods Kombucha (yes kombucha has sugar to create the fermented nature of the drink but - this brand has 8 grams in 16 oz. as compared to typical soda that has a whopping 39 gms of sugar in 12 oz, about 9 1/3 tsp!!!) and you get the added benefit of probiotics
Take a moment to be MINDFUL about your choices every time you choose to consume something. Stop, evaluate the choice and decide if this is in alignment with your goals and the type of person you want to be.
Once you limit added sugars in your diet, you will no longer crave them as you once did! Here is a really great synopsis of what will happen when you detox from added sugars. I promise you it will happen, you will be able to look at a table of sweets and not really crave them! Truth! Wouldn’t that be amazing?
If you consider doing a sugar detox post a comment below and let me know how it goes. I would love to support you in finding this new way of living.