Sugar's in the news alot these days. And rightfully so. It's a bit of a sneaky villain. Like who knew that one little cup of ice cream has 23 tsp of sugar! (Warning - you're going to see plenty of exclamation marks in this post.)
Anyway apart from the extra calories what's really so bad about sugar? Well for one it's highly addictive. Eight times more addictive than cocaine! So yes you aren't crazy when you splurge on a little dessrt one night and find yourself craving something sweet after every night thererafter.
Our bodies are designed to handle about six to eight tsp of sugar a day. But Americans consume on average 34 tsp per day! It's really not hard to do. Let's look at the average American breakfast. One bowl of cereal - which is really the worst nutrional start you could have for your day - contains four to five tsp. And we're not talking about Frosted Flakes, just regular, plain old Cornfllakes. One cup of juice is six to eight tsp worth. So before you even walk out the door you've loaded up on ten to thirteen tsp. Dang...What happens with chronic high sugar intake is that it reduces our sensitivity to insulin. This increases our insulin response to meals. And this in turn leads to excess fat gain especially in the "love handle" and upper-back areas. No one wants that!
The eventual consequence of insulin resistance is border line or full bown diabetes. And a high amount of sugar in the blood, caused by chronic high sugar intake, can cause some scary stuff including:
Joint pain and arthritis
Sound familiar? Isn't this a list of pharma ads we see on TV everyday???
One more thing. Added sugar goes by many different names!
evaporated cane juice (I like this one - pretty funny)
agave nectar (I thought this was a healthier choice but not so)
high fructose corn syrup (the only difference between this and sugar is that it's lots cheaper!)
Hmmm. You've got to read labels! Food manufacturers add sugar to many foods you'd never expect. Frozen fruit, bread, dressings, sauces and more. Because sugar makes things taste better and they want us to be addicted so we keep buying their products. So let's be smarter about what we take for granted. Let's eat real, whole foods. If you want something sweet eat fruit which has it's own sugar but also plenty of fiber to slow down it's release. Our health is up to us! Let's make better choices!