For the next 26 weeks I will be sharing a different way you can become healthier in your daily life. Some of these suggestions have to do with food or exercise, others have to do with lifestyle changes, but all of them are practical and relatively easy to execute. You may already be practicing some of these habits, but hopefully you’ll be inspired by at least one or two new ideas you can begin to implement.
Decrease Your Sugar Intake
More and more studies are linking disease and cancer with the consumption of sugar. And no wonder… it’s in EVERYTHING. Trust me. I had to give up sugar over four years ago when I started my Lyme Disease treatment. Since then I have had to check every label obsessively to ensure there was no hidden sugars in the ingredients. From pizza sauce to salad dressing, from canned beans to hot dogs and gluten-free breads… nearly everything has added sugar in one form or another.
CHECK THE INGREDIENTS
I want to challenge you to start checking the ingredients on all food labels that you eat this week. I think you will be shocked at just how much sugar you’re consuming, no matter how “healthy” you think you are. I thought I ate fairly healthy before having to give up sugar. But my eyes were quickly opened to the reality that I was unconsciously eating sugar several times a day!
Today, Americans consume more sugar per day than the average Hunter-gatherer consumed in a year! The average American ingests 22-30 teaspoons of sugar every day! That is equal to over half a cup a day!
Recently I found out that the average 20-oz soda contains 15 teaspoons of sugar! That is 5 tablespoons! That just makes me sick thinking about it. Would you ever consider putting that much sugar in your coffee or tea? No wonder we have so many health issues!
SUGAR IS ADDICTING
THE HIDDEN NAMES OF SUGAR
Be aware that refined sugar is hidden in many products, disguised with these names:
high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, sucrose, aspartame, splenda, agave nectar, barley malt, brown rice syrup, cane juice, cane syrup, corn sweetener, fructose, corn syrup solids, dextran, diastatic malt, diatase, ethyl maltol, fruit juice concentrates, galactose, glucose, lactose, maltodextrin, maltose, molasses, panela, panocha, rice bran syrup, sorghum, treacle, tapioca syrup, etc.
GOOD SUGAR SUBSTITUTES
Perhaps you feel there is no way you could give up sugar. Why not consider substituting Stevia or Xylitol for sugar in baking recipes? I have been doing it for years and don’t even notice a difference anymore.
Stevia is a zero-calorie, natural sweetener that comes from a plant. Be sure to read labels, however, because some manufacturers have isolated the sweet chemical in stevia called “rebauside A”, making it a refined food substance. Other manufacturers mix stevia with “maltodextrin” which is a starch (acting like sugar in your body) and defeats the purpose of eating stevia in the first place.
Xylitol is being recognized more and more for it’s oral health benefits. When bacteria eat xylitol, they are unable to digest it and they then die off. However, if you had problems with candida, do not use xylitol or else it will exasperate your issues.
What do you think? Will you begin looking at all the ingredient labels on your food choices this week? Are you willing to decrease your sugar intake?