How much is too much?
There was a time when the only way we could
satisfy our sweet tooth was to eat foods where sugars occurred naturally. A century ago, the average intake of simple (refined) sugars was approximately 4 lbs per person per year. Nowadays, North Americans consume an average of 150-170lbs per year! It’s not hard to see why 60% of the North American population is overweight or obese.
The reality is processed sugar wreaks havoc on our bodies. Daily intake of sugar creates a very acidic environment in our systems. As a result, our bodies compensate by “borrowing” minerals from our bones and teeth to regulate and balance the highly acidic environment. This will cause major deficiencies, weakening and decay. In addition, as we consume extra sugar, we experience spikes in blood sugar levels which cause the adrenal glands to release extra insulin. This can lead to storing extra body fat, chronic fatigue, mood swings, and diabetes.
Sugar is hiding everywhere!
Sugar can be lurking in many so-called healthy foods. Certain cereals, yogurts, fruit juices, white breads, etc., contain high levels of processed sugar. Sometimes sugar is disguised on an ingredients list by giving it a fancy name. If you read the labels on some “diet” foods, you’ll notice lots of words ending with “ose” on the list. Fructose, sucrose, lactose, glucose = SUGAR. If you’re not paying attention, you could be taking in far too much. The problem with foods that contain too much sugar, like fruity yogurts, for example, is that your body cannot generate good energy from these foods. Instead, these sugary foods create spikes in your blood sugar, giving you the perception of energy, but it will not be enough to sustain your activities. Your body needs an appropriate mix of quality fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and enzymes to achieve the best energy.
The truth about artificial sweeteners
Substituting an artificial sweetener for sugar isn’t necessarily the answer. Artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, do nothing but trick the brain in to believing that it’s getting the nutrition it needs. Once our stomach figures out that, no, we have not actually been given anything with nutritional value, it triggers us again, but this time to eat more to help process the fake food that we’ve just ingested. It may be low in calories, but it is actually making us put on weight! Try some alternatives
Below is a list of some healthy alternatives to sugar. You can still satisfy your sweet tooth!
Honey (use only unprocessed, unfiltered honey)
Stevia – a great alternative to sugar and sweeteners because of its low-calorie content.
Fruit – dried fruit or fruits in season can be used to sweeten foods or desserts
Turbinado Sugar & Succinat – These are two acceptable forms of sugar as they’re minimally processed. Still to be used in moderation.