Organic fruits and vegetables

Organic fruits and vegetables
To Love Oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance. --Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Review of “Suicide by Sugar” by Nancy Appleton

Just finished reading the book, “Suicide by Sugar” by Nancy Appleton, Ph.D.  I want to share some of the insights she has into sugar addiction and give us all some hope that we can take charge of our eating habits and make more natural and healthful food choices.

Dr. Appleton begins her book with 140 reasons we should stop eating sugar. I think all of us instinctively know that sugar isn't really good for us.  We just don't really know when to quit. How much is really "OK" for us to have?  If you look at a box of cereal it will tell you how many grams of sugar are in the package but it will never tell you what percentage of sugar you should consume on a daily basis.  Big businesses, that have a stake in you consuming sugar, paid lots of lobbyists to make sure that when congress created our food labels, the percentage of dietary sugar was left off of the label.  Anyway, 4 grams of sugar equals 1 teaspoon of sugar.  It has been suggested by nutritionists that we consume no more than 2 teaspoons (or 8 grams) of sugar a day.  Can that be done?  Yes, but you have to either spend a ton of time reading labels, or only eat foods that don't contain labels.

So, it's time to say by-by to processed foods.  For instance, a frozen yogurt can contain up to 21 grams of sugar.  That's like taking a small container of yogurt and filling it with 5 1/2 teaspoons of sugar, well over the amount we should consume a day. Sugar isn't a nutrient, it is just empty calories.  We could conceivably eat no sugar and have a very healthy diet.  It is an overly processed white powdery product that at one time came from a plant, but doesn't resemble the plant in any way. (Sounds like a drug doesn't it?). All of the nutrition has been removed and what is left is calories, and an addictive white substance.

Many diseases are connected to the processed food we eat. Diabetes, obesity, hypoglycemia, cancer, dental caries, and even dementia are related to sugar consumption. Obesity should be considered a disease because of the devastation it does to the body. There are studies that have found that sugar addiction can actually begin in the womb. If the mother eats a lot of sugar during pregnancy, her children will choose that same diet later. 

Dieters should learn to limit the amount of all sugars, especially high fructose corn syrup in their food, rather than limiting starchy foods like potatoes, and whole grains.  Fructose can actually suppress the immune system. Children are particularly susceptible to sugary, processed foods.  Once they are introduced to them, they really want nothing else.  If you have cookies and crackers, and other treats in the home, other than whole foods, you practically have to lock them in a safe to keep children from eating them. Children as young as 12 are now being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.  "It is reasonable to conclude that the constant consumption of sugar-laden, highly-refined foods ultimately exhausts the pancreas until it can no longer control blood glucose levels."  Children's body chemistry also makes them susceptible to lowered immune systems, allergies, asthma, hyperactivity, aggressiveness, sadness, low self-esteem, mania, sleepiness, and more.

Sugar addiction is far tougher to overcome than any other addiction, and our society doesn't help. All of our holiday rituals include sugary treats.  Sugar is given to kids to bribe them to have better behavior.  Companies like McDonald's systematically advertise to children to eat highly processed, and highly caloric foods.  I believe this should be against the law as it is in many countries.

So how can we lower the sugar in our diets and not go stir crazy.  I think the first place to begin is to remove all soft drinks (diet or sugary), and even most fruit juices.  Teach family members that we shouldn't eat more than 8 grams of sugar a day, and less is even better.  Have them read labels and figure out their own limits.  Reward children with small trinkets, toys, crayons, balloons, etc, during holidays.  Buy back Easter and Halloween candy.  Create new family and holiday traditions that are based on activities instead of sugary foods.

For adults, it may actually be a little bit harder to overcome a sugar addiction since you have the pocket book. It's better to ease out of the addiction.  Try limiting your intake to just a bite of the sugary treat. Don't allow set-backs to cause you to feel guilt or shame.  Just keep trying.  A lot of the battle is won in the grocery store if you just keep yourself from going down the aisles with treats and instead fill up your cart with healthy whole foods like apples, oranges, bananas, berries, pineapple, kiwi, mango etc.  Mark Twain once said, "Quitting is easy. I have done it many times."  The point is that we just keep making the effort.  We will begin to require sugar less and less and begin to love whole sweet fruits more and more. 

No comments:

Post a Comment