Friday, April 15, 2011

Sugar Addiction

According to the Journal of American Medical Association, Americans eat and average of 21 teaspoons of added sugar a day (meaning sugar that is not naturally occurring, as in fruit and milk). The American Heart Association recommends a max of just six teaspoons a day for women. According to the JAMA, people who eat lots of added sugars are much more likely for heart disease.

Emotionally and physically, sugar gives our bodies a boost of energy, and produces “feel good” or calming effect. The body “learns” to turn to sugar when it is feeling fatigued or stressed.

Glucose is the major source of energy for the muscles and nervous tissue of the body. The body knows very well how to maintain a perfect balance of glucose unless it is presented with unnatural amounts. Food in natural form presents no metabolic problems when consumed in variety. Consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables, for example, presents no metabolic problems a normal body cannot readily deal with.

Minerals are necessary for the proper functioning of the enzyme systems, including the enzyme systems required to metabolize sugar. However, these minerals have been stripped away in the refining process which produces sugar. Also, the mechanisms which produce glucose from complex carbohydrates, proteins and fats simply shut down from disuse when you continue a steady diet of simple sugars. If you don't use it you lose it. (Ron Kennedy, M.D.)

Many people believe that to eliminate sugar from their diets, all they need to do is stay away from candy, soda, and sweet products such as doughnuts. However, over two-thirds of the refined sugar used in this country is added to manufactured food products. In other words, it's hidden in many of the things we buy at the supermarket. Almost all processed foods have added sugars in them. For instance, did you know that a tablespoon of ketchup contains a full teaspoon of sugar?

Go through your refrigerator and cabinets, and read the labels. How many products have these words in the ingredients list? Sucrose, fructose (obviously the commercially refined kind), glucose, maltose, lactose, galactose, cane syrup, corn syrup, corn sugar, invert sugar, dextrose. Try to eliminate as many of these products as you can from your diet.

As you eliminate these foods from you diet, your body may experience withdrawal symptoms, after all, sugar interferes with our bodies natural processes. If you can just hold on, after a week, the symptoms will lessen and your energy level will begin to stabilize. No more energy roller coaster! And a plus, your kids will be eating healthier too!

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