Christian Living

Healthy Living

Most Added Sugar We Consume Comes from Food

A disturbing report from the Centers for Disease Control reveals that Americans are consuming an alarming amount of ADDED sugar...a whopping 13 percent of our total calories come from added sugar, which is a terrible commentary and certainly explains why, as a whole, our society struggles with weight.

As the name implies, added sugar is a sweetener that has been put into the product. In contrast, some foods, such as fruit and milk, contain natural sugar.

What's interesting about the results of the study is that most of the added sugars we consume come from food, not beverages. Up until now, most healthcare experts assumed the added sugars we consumed were mostly in the form of sodas, sports drinks, and fancy coffees. Now it appears those drinks make up one-third of the added sugars we consume, when the other two-thirds come from food.

Another interesting discovery from the research is that most of the food we eat that contains added sugars we consume at home, as opposed to at a restaurant. What is the significance of that? It means we purchase these awful products at the grocery store and bring them into our homes.

We have to turn this ship around!

The astonishing amount of sugar the average American consumes may be to blame for more health problems than we even know, at this point. Certainly we know that sugar causes inflammation, which is the root of a whole host of diseases, not the least of which is heart disease and cancer.

Of course, too much sugar makes us fat and leads to diabetes. Furthermore, sugar, and it's evil twin, trans fat, have been linked to Alzheimer's Disease, Autism, ADD and ADHD and autoimmune diseases.

The list goes on, because if too much sugar causes deadly inflammation, which is linked to a wide array of health hazards, then sugar is the culprit for most of our health problems.

It's estimated that 80 percent of all of our health problems are the result of poor lifestyle choices. That means if we ate a great diet, exercised a lot, got enough sleep, didn't smoke, effectively managed stress, avoided environmental toxins, didn't abuse drugs or alcohol, practiced biblical sexuality, obeyed the traffic rules, etc., then 80 percent of our health problems would disappear. Most of the time we are not victims when we fall ill, but rather it is the consequence of poor choices.

Just think of how much healthier we'd be if we stopped eating sugar! As I mentioned above, some foods naturally contain sugar, so we should first begin by eliminating added sugar.

Boy, oh boy, is that a tall order. If you take the time, and you should, to read the list of ingredients on the items in the grocery store, you will be utterly shocked to learn that some type of sugar is added to almost everything...even things that don't really seem sweet, like bread and pasta sauce.

In general, it's the processed foods that are the worst. Food manufacturers know that we humans adore the taste of sweet and will eat more of any product that tastes sweet. Furthermore, certain sugars, like high fructose corn syrup, are cheap, so it's an inexpensive filler, from a manufacturing standpoint.

Eliminating (or at least reducing) your added sugar intake is easy to understand, but difficult to do. Nevertheless, it is one of the best things you could possibly undertake, and therefore, well worth the effort.

The first step is to look at what you are putting into your body. STOP DRINKING ANYTHING SWEET and switch to water.

Now focus on the food. Check the list of ingredients, not the labels, the LIST OF INGREDIENTS, of everything you plan to purchase at the grocery store. Don't put anything into your cart if it contains high fructose corn syrup, sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, malt syrup, pancake syrup, fructose sweetener, liquid fructose, anhydrous dextrose, crystal dextrose and dextrin.

Beware of healthy sounding sugars, like honey or pure cane sugar. They sound healthy, but they're still sugar. Watch out for ingredients that end in "ose" that are often sugars manufactured in a lab. Rule of thumb: if you don't know what it is, it's probably bad for you.

You will find that 99 percent of everything you pick up contains added sugar. The best plan of attack is to shop the perimeter of the store, especially the produce department. The middle aisles are the ones that are loaded with processed foods. Cookies, crackers, cereal, snacks, soda....POISON!

If you don't think you like vegetables, probably the reason is because you fill up on sugar and other carbohydrates and literally spoil your appetite for healthy food. So the good news is, if you don't purchase and eat sugar, you will find that fresh vegetables are more appealing.

Although temptation is everywhere, nobody is forcing us to consume all the added sugar we do. It's our own free choice what we put in our bodies. We must exercise self-control and avoid added sugars or we will suffer the deadly consequences.