As the holidays finally come to an end and the dust settles from the chaos of the season take a look in your kitchen… what do you see? Leftovers? Sugary treats? Fruit cake? While some of us still see those tasty treats, many of us have purged our cupboards swearing off all “bad” foods for the next 30, 60, or even 90 days. But how long does that really last? How many resolutions are set and within days we are justifying that it’s ok to sneak a little something in and will “get back on track tomorrow?”
Successfully accomplishing healthy dietary changes is difficult because the food industry knows how to feed our cravings and addictions, most frequently in the form of sugar. “Natural sugar” is relatively healthy, in moderate amounts of course. Keep in mind, however, that the only sources of naturally occurring sugars are fruits and milk, or lactose. Foods that have natural sugar also include fiber and protein, slowing the affect of sugar on our brain. Any other sugar is considered “added sugars.” Next time you’re in the grocery store, take a look at some food labels. Unfortunately, the grid that tells you how many grams of sugar are in a product include both “natural” and “added” sugars. So we must look at the ingredient list to get an idea of where the sugar is coming from. Here is a short list of key words that are synonymous with added sugar:
- barley malt
- brown rice syrup
- cane sugar
- corn syrup
- evaporated cane juice
- rice syrup
So how much of that sugar is healthy to eat? Not much!! In 2015, the World Health Organization changed the recommended daily intake of added sugar to roughly 25 grams per day. To give you an idea of how much added sugar is in different products, 1 tablespoon of ketchup has 4 g of sugar and one can of regular soda contains up to 40 g of sugar. I hope that just made your jaw drop! It should. According to government data, in 1999 Americans consumed on average 111 g of added sugar on a daily basis. That is more than 4x what is recommended and is the biggest reason, in my opinion, why we are seeing the epidemic in both Type II Diabetes and Heart Disease. We’re killing ourselves by eating too much sugar.
What can we do about this? Change your lifestyle and make better choices. Sugar is most definitely addictive. Some reports even compare sugar addiction and cravings to those of cocaine due to sugar’s affect on the brain. Although difficult to do, I recommend removing added sugar from your diet. For some, this even means going as extreme as skipping the ketchup just because the taste induces the craving. And I’m not going to sugarcoat this… it’s not easy! But every choice you make to eat a food that doesn’t contain added sugar is one step closer to leading a healthier life.
There are resources to help you. At Body Logic, we want to help you reach your health driven goals. Dr. Amanda’s background in Applied Clinical Nutrition can be a useful way to work through dietary changes on an individual basis. We are also hosting our first nutrition class of 2017 on Tues. Jan 10th and will discuss a great 10-day program that helps kick the sugar addiction using healthy food choices and Standard Process supplements designed to help support the body as you remove sugar from the diet and curb the cravings. Here’s a sneak peek at the 10-day Blood Sugar Support Kit that will be discussed at the January 10th class. We look forward to seeing those that signed up! If you missed the chance to sign up, we’re always here to provide individualized help.