I think almost everyone I know has a sweet tooth. Some folks are worse than others, but almost everyone can identify with needing a sugar fix from time to time.
Mine isn’t too bad unless candy and cookies are just lying around. That’s when I have trouble resisting.
What’s that old say? “I can resist everything except temptation.”
Can you relate?
On average, American adults consume about 150 pounds of sugar each year. I don’t know about you, but that’s a shocking number to me. And in my opinion, we have cause to be concerned.
Sugar has been getting a lot of attention from the health community these days, and with good reason. Numerous studies have shown that added and refined sugar is definitely harmful to your health.
Of course it’s easy to make a statement like that , but it wouldn’t be much help to you if we don’t examine a few important details, so let’s do that now.
According to the World Health Organization, adult males should be limited to no more than 9 teaspoons of added sugar per day, and women should have no more than 6 teaspoons.
This might seem like a lot to you when you think of sitting down and eating one after the other of teaspoons overflowing with sugar. That image makes me nauseous.
But when you consider all the places where sugar can hide, as well as all the aliases it goes by, it becomes apparent that avoiding sugar is not all that easy a task.
Check out the partial list below to see some names under which sugar can go undetected by unsuspecting consumers.
Dehydrated Cane Juice
Well, you get the idea. The dozen names listed above are only scratching the surface.
No, seriously . There are over 50, and you can see a complete list at the end of this article.
Conveniently for us, manufacturers are required by law to list the ingredients of all their products on the outside of their packaging. I think we’re all familiar with these food labels. The example below is from a 12 Oz can of regular soda.
Check out the sugar content!!
And please bear in mind that 4 grams of sugar is equal to one teaspoon. Holy Sugar Shock!
This one can of innocent looking and great tasting ( at least according to some folks ) soda pop has almost 10 teaspoon of sugar added in!
That puts you over the limit for the day with just one soft drink.
We’ll go in depth into how your body processes sugar in another article, but for now let’s just say that sugar of this variety causes a spike in sugar levels in your blood.
And remember we discussed the recommended daily allowances for sugar up above? Those numbers are for adults, so imagine what happens to children when they drink can of soda…
Refined sugar has been implicated in all sorts of health issues, from inflammation to weight gain and even fatty liver disease.
And added sugar has no beneficial nutrients. All is does is supply calories without providing any value. This is why we call them empty calories.
Sugar is high in fructose, and your body has a way of dealing with it.
With just a little sugar, such as you might get from eating an orange, your body will convert the fructose into glycogen and then store it for use in your liver.
But if you repeatedly eat large amounts of sugar, your liver will become overloaded and begin turning the fructose into fat. This can lead to fatty liver disease, diabetes, and a number of other health issues.
The hormone insulin has a very important part to play in your body. It regulates the amount of glucose entering your bloodstream, but it can get all out of whack when it’s your body is constantly bombarded with too much sugar.
At some point, your body may develop insulin resistance, and this is considered a precursor to Diabetes.
Did you know that almost 10 percent of the population of the U.S. has diabetes? Of those 30 million or so people, around 8 million don’t even know they have it.
Additionally, more than a million people are diagnosed every year.
And pre-diabetes cases are up around 86 million Americans aged 20 and older.
I don’t know about you, but these numbers aren’t just startling, they’re downright scary.
And a lot of it stems from our SAD. That stands for Standard American Diet, and it is indeed sad.
Knowing. The first thing we need to do is be aware of it, and that’s why I’m so glad you’re here with me. Knowing there’s a problem is the first step towards understanding more about it.
Learning. The next step is to learn as much as you can about the issue at hand. This is where I come in. I’ll gladly share what I know and we’ll learn new things together so we can better understand what we’re up against.
Action. The next step will be to act upon all we’ve learned. This part will be the most rewarding, I can guarantee you, because there is no better feeling in the world than to meet a problem head-on and take control of the situation. This is especially true when your health and wellbeing is involved.
That’s what I had to do a few years ago.
Let me explain.
A trip to the doctor for an annual physical revealed some surprising facts about what I thought was a healthy lifestyle.
It turns out that everything was a little out of whack for me. Blood pressure, cholesterol, and yes, blood sugar as well.
I could deal with the other things by improving diet and exercise and adding a prescription or two, but the blood sugar had me really scared, because I had a serious sweet tooth and diabetes runs in my family.
It seemed like I was on the fast track to metabolic syndrome, a destination that no one wants to arrive at.
I think I have pretty strong willpower, especially where my health is concerned.
But the grip that processed sugar had on me was something I had never faced before, and it was a bit scary.
The more I researched, the more I began to understand that it was an addiction, much like alcohol or some type of illegal drug.
And try as I might, I was unsuccessful at breaking off my relationship with sugar.
I just needed the rush!
Can any of you identify with that? If so, I feel for you…
So I decided to search for professional help. Since I’m an online kind of guy, that’s where I started.
I researched a lot, and went down plenty of wrong roads that only left me at another dead with a sweaty handful of jelly beans, until one day I happened upon someone who resonated with me.
And this person changed my life. Literally.
All of a sudden things were easier to understand, and I felt like this person really understood me and my addiction to processed sugar.
And she had a plan to loosen its grip on me.
So I got on her program, and followed it to the letter, because I was determined to succeed.
And you know what?
I no longer crave sugar the way I used to, and I’m much healthier as a result.
And what’s more, if it worked for me then I’m fairly certain it can help you too.
So I’d like you to meet Diane Sanfilippo.
If you look around this blog you’ll see that I don’t recommend many things other than clean and healthy living, but when I run into something as reals and genuine as Diane and her 21 Day Sugar Detox, I just have to share it with.
And if any of my story rings a bell with you, I think you owe it to yourself and your family to give her program a shot at changing your life, too.
Thanks for reading. You’ve now strapped on your hiking shoes and embarked on the path to better health. It’s an arduous journey but one that’s well worth the climb.
As promised, please check out all the different names that sugar can go by. It’s shocking!
Barley malt, Barbados sugar, Beet sugar, Brown sugar, Buttered syrup, Cane juice,
Cane sugar, Caramel, Corn syrup, Corn syrup solids, Confectioner’s sugar, Carob syrup,
Castor sugar, Date sugar, Dehydrated cane juice, Demerara sugar, Dextran, Dextrose,
Diastatic malt, Diatase, Ethyl maltol, Free Flowing Brown Sugars, Fructose, Fruit juice
Fruit juice concentrate, Galactose, Glucose, Glucose solids, Golden sugar, Golden syrup,
Grape sugar, High Frustose Corn Syrup, Honey, Icing sugar, Invert sugar, Lactose, Malt
Maltodextrin, Maltose, Malt syrup, Mannitol, Maple syrup, Molasses, Muscovado, Panocha,
Powdered Sugar, Raw sugar, Refiner’s syrup, Rice syrup, Sorbitol, Sorghum syrup, Sucrose
Turbinado sugar, Yellow sugar
This list courtesy of http://clinton.k12.wi.us/documents/sugar_names.pdf
To Your Optimum Health!
Ted is a writer and avid researcher on the subject of nutrition and general wellness. He has recently published books on Sugar Detox as well as the inflammation epidemic, and continues to improve his knowledge by constantly remaining up to date with the latest news and trends in the nutrition world. When not busy writing, you can find him playing banjo and guitar, or outside fishing.