I see it every day just how addictive sugar can be! I see the effects it has on my family and not only in my children but also with my husband and even myself many times. This white stuff is in everything, people and consuming high amounts (like we do) is so damaging to our bodies. Check this article that tells you about 6 surprising sources of sugar.
Here’s some scary statistics:
- In 1800’s, the average person consumed 5 pounds per year. The average American today consumes 150-170 pounds of sugar every year.
- The average American consumes 22 to 30 teaspoons of sugar every single day in comparison to 22 teaspoons of sugar per year in the 1800’s.
- Approximately 80% of packaged foods contain added sweeteners.
- 1/3 of added sugars consumed by adults come from beverages.
- In children, 40% of added sugars come from beverages.
- One 20 oz bottle of soda contains almost 17 teaspoons of sugar.
- Drinking just one can of soda a day can increase a child’s risk of obesity by 60% and a woman’s chance of diabetes by more than 80%.
No wonder sugar is so addictive! It’s in almost everything we consume. I see the struggle that my husband goes through to keep excessive sugar out of his diet. His mother suffered with diabetes for many years and he saw first-hand what she went through and how this disease plagued her body. Diabetes literally affected every aspect of her health. He knows that he doesn’t want that for himself or our children so we have to work twice as hard to keep this stuff at an all time low in our diet.
There are no health benefits when it comes to processed or refined sugars. Even though it’s almost impossible to not consume the “white stuff”, you should stick with whole and real foods such as vegetables and fruit which are balanced by the fiber, vitamins that slow down the digestion of sugar and helps your body to deal with it properly. Here’s are some of the effects that excessive, processed sugar has on your body:
- It has no nutritional value, which means it doesn’t fill you up but encourages you to eat more.
- It causes an addictive response in your brain
- It increases bad cholesterol
- Terrible for your liver (the fructose can develop into fatty liver disease)
Our bodies are meant to consume these high amounts of sugar but let’s keep it real and practical. Like I said before, it’s almost impossible to completely eliminate all processed and refined sugar, however, we can reduce the amount we consume on a daily basis.
- Start with cooking whole foods with limited amounts of “processed” items in our daily diet.
- Teach our children to make healthy choices when it comes to their snacks so when they are at school they choose an apple over a bag of chips or a bag of fruit snacks.
- Drink more water and stay away from sodas and juices that contain high amounts of sugar.
- Our breakfasts should be a balanced meal of protein and carbs staying away from sugary cereals. Believe me, this is a struggle for our family. My children love cereal!
And remember, it doesn’t click in our brains overnight! We’ve been programmed to eat sugar and that “white stuff” is extremely addictive. But “knowing” is everything which leads to better choices and a healthier lifestyle.