Sugar Is Poison
"This isn't about cavities and empty calories. Sugar raises your risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer's. If this book inspires only one change, let it be a drastic reduction in the amount of sugar you eat. It's lurking everywhere in processed food - not just in cakes and cookies, but in cereal, bread, salty snacks, and yogurt, to name a few. Raw sugar and brown sugar have a better public image but are just as problematic as the white stuff. Cut it out."
The next 3 pages after this one in The New Health Rules book also pertain to sugar. Rather than post them over the next 3 weeks, I will post this today and the other sugar related pages in one blog so you can take a better look at the entirety of the subject.
When I entered the word sugar in the book section of Amazon, I got 56,441 books listed on the subject. Out of the 56,441, 1,181 are on sugar detox, and I believe they are probably pretty much in sync. The main ideas being - eliminate sugar, feel better, live better, avoid or shed disease, lose weight. Incredibly simple, right?
My answer would be: so simple in concept, so hard to do for those of us who grew up in a home where sugar was as important as breathing. Some of our well meaning parents were more educated on the subject of processed foods and sugar. Many others - I would say the majority, didn't realize that serving their family members frozen pancakes with syrup and processed sausage for breakfast, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with a rice krispy treat for lunch, and a nice balanced meal at dinner with a dessert of pudding or apple pie was going to help make us into the sugar addicts we are. As a society we know more about what to eat and what not to, however I haven't seen that reflected in many grocery store carts, or habits of my friends with young children.
My experience with sugar hit me up close and personal when my dad ended up with diabetes, heart disease and a myriad of other health issues. I watched him die from Congestive Heart Failure due to his life long love of sugar. After going through that heart break you'd think I'd quit sugar for good, but I still go through periods where I crave it! Oh yea, I've been through long periods of abstinence where I thought I kicked the habit, but like an alcoholic, one or two exposures and I'm right back in the deadly sugar game.
"There's really no doubt anymore that excess sugar can be toxic to your body, and it's only a matter of time before it will be commonly accepted as a causative factor of most cancers, in the same way as we accept that smoking and alcohol abuse are direct causes of lung cancer and cirrhosis of the liver." - Dr. Joseph Mercola
Check out Robert Lustig's videos on youtube if you want to know more about sugar from a scientific perspective. Dr. Lustig is famous for his take on sugar and it's effects on the body.
What I know for sure: I agree with Dr. Lipman, in that, sugar is sugar - brown, white, our body does not distinguish the color as it sweeps through our bloodstream. Agave, brown rice syrup, honey, too much fruit - the sugar spike still happens!
Sugar is a hard habit to break. We need to stop fooling ourselves. We've been there and done that with the tobacco industry! That didn't turn out so pretty for many of us who couldn't kick the habit or have loved ones who couldn't.
To kick the sugar habit, it may take some time. And, it may take several attempts to be in the sugar free zone. Don't give up......keep trying until you are successful. You will feel better, think better, lose weight, possibly even have better blood pressure, and a better lipid profile and a much healthier future.
Oh, by the way, alcohol has sugar in it. Yes, that 'good for you glass of wine' too!
What Pam proposes: Cure your addiction!
For some of us to get there, baby steps might work best.
- The more whole foods you eat, the less you will crave sugar. That is one way to begin to cut your sugar intake, by adding in more vegetables, fruits, and good lean proteins.
- If you are someone who has dessert with every dinner, have your dessert after breakfast to allow the sugar to works its' way through your bloodstream by early evening.
- Start by making a couple homemade dessert substitutes that are better for you. Things like chia pudding and paleo desserts made with low carb flours like almond and coconut. This will cure your sweet tooth and help you make the transition to foods that are better for you.
- Put the changes you want to make IN YOUR FACE. Post your goals around the house in relevant places. For example, you may want to put up a post-it on your refrigerator that says "I feel so good without sugar!!", or a post-it in the mirror you look at first thing in the morning or before you go to bed. That one could say "You are wonderful and it's awesome that are having a successful day of eating less sugar." You make up the words that work for you, but you get the idea.
- Take a good honest look at the eating style you live by. If you eat a lot of processed foods (including breads, boxed and packaged foods) 7 days a week, try cutting it down to 4 days until you master that, and then cut down to 3 and so on.
For others who don't do well with the small step method, STOP eating what you are addicted TODAY! If moderation doesn't work for you, and you know it, logic it out. A day without sugar equals a happier, healthier you! You can use some of the same methods as the person taking baby steps. Use positive post-it notes to yourself in strategic places in your house. It's worth the hard work! It's always the first few days that are the hardest. Whoot-Whoot!!! You are going to feel sooooooo good!
The healthier you now eat, the less detox you will experience, but eliminating sugar by the 'cold turkey' method may produce some chemical changes in your body where you may experience headaches and/or body aches as you rid your body of highly refined and processed foods. Drinking a lot of water will help with this and so will exercise. At the same time you reduce or quit sugar, begin a program of walking, sign up for a 5K, just get moving!
I think it was Yogi Berra who said "it ain't over till it's over". I believe that! Don't give up trying to make your life better - EVER! And ignore those people who seem to want to sabotage your efforts. Change is sometimes harder on friends and family than the person making the change, but that is their problem, not yours. I'm rooting for you, and here to help you if you need a food friend!