A recent purchase after a hard day at work
I am an addict, but my addiction isn’t to an illegal substance, or to something which involves 12 steps or a weekly meeting, no, I am addicted to sugar. I have always considered myself to be a healthy person. I work out at the gym minimally three times a week, and I walk everywhere; at least five kilometers a day, and when I have the time, it could be between 15-20 kilometers. I generally eat healthy foods, but I enjoy my desserts and sweet treats. You wouldn’t think I have much to worry about, but recently I noticed how my eyes tend to be drawn to the cookie aisle in a grocery store, or how I scan the sugary decadent desserts coveting a red velvet cupcake covered in cream cheese icing, and rummage through the candy section looking for a nice sweet treat. I justify why I deserve a treat, or I look at the calorie count and work it into my budget of caloric intake for the day.
Found this gem from CHOICE.COM.AU
Counting calories… I bet a lot of you count calories. If you want to lose weight it is how many calories you take in which counts right? So, I could live off cupcakes and still lose weight if I stayed within my range of calories based on my height and weight. Maybe, but what is concerning me more as I am in my 40s is being more healthy and feeling healthy. Doughnuts may be super yummy, but they are not going to fuel my brain, and I don’t know about you, but I can eat something sweet and then crash pretty hard a couple of hours later, with few calories to spare for the rest of the day.
The sweet refined sugar which is mostly used when referring to added sugar.
It was a colleague from work who pointed out to me how much sugar was hidden in a variety of foods I always considered to be healthy choices, such as Peanut Butter, Orange Juice, Yoghurt, Granola Bars and even Tomato Sauce. All of which are processed, yet convenient. I was so concerned with counting my calories I never stopped to think about how much sugar was in something. I was looking occasionally at carbohydrates and fats, but sugar was not a concern. I began noticing that while all contents had a percentage beside them for recommended daily intake, nothing was beside sugar, so who knows how much sugar is okay to consume. My friend Rachelle said that it is because you don’t need added sugar, so the percentage doesn’t apply; she makes a valid point, but I think there is something deceptive about it myself.
Nutrition value on the back of a box of granola bars
You see grand claims of low fat, high fiber, 100% of Vitamin C daily intake, natural ingredients, whole grains and even organic, but did you know that the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day for a man is 37.5 grams or nine teaspoons (equal to 150 calories), and for a woman 25 grams or six teaspoons of sugar (equal to 100 calories). The US department of agriculture does not have a recommended amount of naturally occurring sugars, but for now, let’s just look at the added sugars.
Picture from 10TipsForHealth.com
I often grab a granola bar for a quick fix to help me get through a meeting, or finish up the last hour of a day, but one granola bar has nine grams of sugar, that is 36% of how much added sugar I should be consuming. That healthy strawberry Greek yoghurt has 12 grams of sugar; say what? Yeah, I know!!!! If I am thirsty, I must remind myself not to reach for an orange juice, as one cup (250ml) has 25 grams of sugar which is my full day of maximum consumption for added sugars. In a can of cola you could be looking at 39 grams of sugar, in addition – the whole drink is synthetic. So, what is 39 grams of sugar in teaspoons? How about another visual to make a point.
Yummy chocolate! Hard to resist!
In a nutshell, most North Americans are consuming way too much sugar, and what you think is reasonable is probably not, as we are given no guidance as to how much we should consume. I only found all of this out by doing my own research and looking at labels, and I will tell you, I have put a lot of stuff back on the shelves looking for a similar product with a lower amount of sugar.
Let’s try and eat more organically & obtain our sugars naturally, like fruit!
So, what is the big deal if we are eating too much sugar? What is the worst that could happen? Does it really matter if we are staying within our calorie allotment based on our BMI? I honestly don’t know, but I do plan to find out & will report back!
Something to chew on for now, while researching on sugar I found this quote by Jenny Schatzle who is a trainer of celebrities (Kathy Ireland & NBA player Dwight Howard), “Research shows sugar is as addicting as cocaine; it raises your insulin level so you want more”.
Let’s find out what exactly makes sugar so addictive and hard to quit.
Peace & love – Rachel