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Sugar sugar everywhere

July 12, 2012

We are addicted to sugar. The body craves it so much that even in Asian cooking, “sweet” is recognized as one of the seven tastes that the body has to have and a well prepared meal should address.

How much sugar you eat is a product of your culture. Asian desserts, for example, are not very sweet by American standards.  How much sugar you eat is also your own choice, and it is difficult to avoid it, as many manufacturers add it into the processing of foods where you would be surprised to find it, like jarred tomato sauce.

Sugar includes glucose, fructose (as in fruit sugar), lactose (as in milk), sucrose (as in table sugar), maltose or malts (as in rice malt and honey), jam (contains concentrated juice, which is high in fruit sugar), maple syrup, agave, corn syrup, palm sugar (traditionally used in macrobiotic cooking), and the very deceiving organic brown sugar, which is not all that different from white sugar. Even alcohol is a sugar. All of these sugars are problematic in many different ways.

Whatever you chose to use, on a biochemical level it is all the same.  All have the same number of calories, about 4 per gram or 16 per teaspoon. The naturally brown ones have tiny amounts of vitamins and minerals, but not enough to make much difference.

Nancy Appleton, PhD, clinical nutritionist, has compiled a list of 146 reasons on ‘how sugar is ruining your health’ in her book Lick the Sugar Habit. Here are some of them:

A high amount of sugar in the diet has been linked to a decrease in brain energy metabolism and synaptic activity, which is important for learning and memory. You can help offset this loss by increasing foods high in omega-3 into your diet.

Sugar also has an effect on the activity level in children. Sugar can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness.  We parents have often seen correlations between a high sugar intake and crazed behavior, but have you also noticed the drowsiness and decreased activity that happens just a little while later. The reason your previously hyper kid wants a nap or just be a couch potato is NOT because of getting worn out running around. It is the “crash” after the “high” that chemically takes place in their body. Cut out the sugar intake and the child will not be experiencing the peaks and valleys in their body.

Sugar contributes to diabetes. Not only can it cause the pounds to add on, sugar intake can cause spikes in how our body deals with it and can add to insulin production instability.

Cavities, weight gain…you’ve heard it before. Eating natural foods and preparing your meals from scratch is a huge step to cutting out the sugar and other chemicals in processed foods.  Hit the local farm market and enjoy the color and variety of fresh farm food!

11 Comments leave one →
  1. kennyrice permalink
    July 12, 2012 12:59 pm

    And aspartame is even worse. Problem is its in so many foods today.
    [url=]Aspartame is, by Far, the Most Dangerous Substance on the Market that is Added To Foods[/url]

    For the studies showing the problems see this link

    [url=]New Artificial Sweetener Studies | Aspartame Health Risks[/url]

    • July 12, 2012 7:41 pm

      I agree. My dad suffered from Parkinson’s Disease and it was while visiting me in the early 1980s and drinking diet soda he saw the correlation between aspartame and the problems with the neural synapses not firing correctly; his movements became erratic and his medicine did not hold him at all. He was a pharmaceutical research chemist and kept good notes on his own disease and reported it to his doctor who ended up publishing which made the results public.

      • kennyrice permalink
        July 12, 2012 11:05 pm

        Hooray for your Dad! He helped lay the early groundwork for warning people about those diet drinks.

  2. July 12, 2012 1:18 pm

    Living in the middle of sugar cane fields might lend folks to believe I’d be opinionated… I am! We eat way too much sugar!!!

    • July 12, 2012 7:37 pm

      I remember visiting friends in France. The mom had come to our Girl Scout camp years before when she was about 20 and since I knew she had been exposed to what we called “bug juice” I brought some Kool-Aid packages with me,. She mixed it with HALF the sugar it called for for and her (then) 3-year-old when crazy, crying for “plus! plus! (more! more!). It was his first exposure to sugar.

      • July 12, 2012 10:36 pm

        Yep, they now say that sugar effects the same area of the brain and acts similar in addiction to cocaine. It’s hard to indulge in moderation when your own body turns against you.

  3. May 4, 2013 8:34 am

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    • May 4, 2013 10:39 am

      Thanks. Perhaps you will find a farmers market near you where you can find local food and enjoy the tastes of produce picked ripe.

  4. June 11, 2013 6:23 am

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    • June 13, 2013 2:08 am

      If there are ideas posted here that you can help spread, more people will hear about how local food can be so much tastier and can help the local economy

  5. June 11, 2013 10:45 pm

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