I have blogged about sugar numerous times - with a focus on corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. Most of us don't add a lot of sugar to our foods, the problem is with the amount of sugar found in most processed foods. According to Robert Lustig, MD who wrote "Sugar, The Bitter Truth", "Roughly 80 percent of all packaged foods in the United States contain added sweeteners." The problem with all of the sugar we are ingesting is two-fold. Not only does sugar give us empty calories lacking in nutrients, it can deplete our systems leading to a fatty liver and other health concerns, including obesity. When looking at labels, Dr. Lustig states that if you find any kind of sugar listed in the first three ingredients on the label, consider that food a dessert. The sugar is going to cancel out any of the health benefits that would have been in the other ingredients. If you are considering cutting down on your sugar consumption, my first recommendation would be to eliminate high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, and corn sugar from the foods that you consume. This one change will greatly improve the quality of food that you are ingesting. Be sure to look at labels of foods that you wouldn't think would contain these sugars - even savory foods now add these sugars to the ingredient list. Small steps to health are more attainable, so this is a great item to choose for a New Year's Resolution. Have a great day ~ Shanna
Ultrametabolism by Mark Hyman, M.D.
I talk about sugar a lot - mostly because we are inundated with sugar in the majority of processed foods that we eat. According to Dr. Hyman, the average person eats about 180 pounds of sugar a year - which comes out to about a half pound per person per day. Yikes! If you look at the ingredient list on many foods, it won't look like there is a lot of sugar in the product - This is because the sugar is hidden under names such as corn syrup, dextrose, sucrose, fructose and more. Dr. Hyman recommends looking at the sugar grams on the ingredient list on the following products: Breakfast cereals, salad dressings, luncheon meats (also watch for nitrates), canned fruits, bread, peanut butter, crackers, soups, yogurt, relish, chewing gum, jellies and jams, and frozen desserts. These are a few products that we don't necessarily expect a large amount of sugar, but it is hidden there none the less. If you want to cut back on sugar consumption, I do not recommend switching to artificial sweeteners - there are numerous health concerns that are caused by these products. I first recommend avoiding or eliminating corn syrup, corn sugar, and high fructose corn syrup. This one change can make a huge difference in sugar consumption. Have a great day - Shanna