Identifying the Culprit
Knowing if sugar is present in what we are eating is important in order to limit our sugar intake. Yes, you would be surprised to learn the different names for sugar and the amount of it contained in even some of the “health foods” we crave. As a rule, examine your labels and use the list below (common names for sugar) as your guide.
Also, note that the ingredients are listed using their weight. Yes, if the first three ingredients belong to the list “the common names of sugar”, then you may want to think again before consuming that product. My solution is to eat whole foods as often as I can. Yes, I know this is not always practical so here is the much talked about “List of the common names for sugar”.
The common names for sugar are:
- Brown sugar.
- Raw sugar.
- Cane sugar.
- Corn sugar.
- Turbinado sugar.
- Corn syrup.
- High fructose corn syrup.
- Molasses sucrose.
- Fruit juice concentrate.
Overdosing is Easy-Let’s Do the Mathematics
What exactly does 1 gram of sugar means?
- Four (4) calories. Here is the math: 1 gram of sugar = 4 calories.
- Four grams of sugar is the same as 1 teaspoon of sugar. Here is the math: 4 grams of sugar = one teaspoon of sugar.
It is also felt that women do better on 6 or fewer teaspoons of sugar and men do better on 9 or fewer teaspoons of sugar per day. Here is the math: Women should consume ≤ 6 teaspoons of sugar, while men should consume ≤ 9 teaspoons of sugar.
Yes, this means that it is very easy to overdose on sugar, especially because it is found in processed foods such as:
- pasta and other sauces, and the list go on…
I also need you to understand that some of the foods we eat will also get converted to sugar. The dangerous ones are those which gets converted quickly. This group includes, but is not limited to:
A Sugar overdose can cause the following:
- Excess weight gain.
- High blood pressure.
- Heart disease.
- Make you feel hungry too often.
- The more sugar we eat, the more sugar we crave.
It’s Time to do Some Kicking
Here are a few things I did to kick my sugar addiction as part of my overall strategy to control my blood sugar:
- I started off by reducing the amount of sugar in my tea to one (teaspoon) instead of two (2). In time, I reduced to a half teaspoon and now I go sugar-free.
- I also started to drink the regular drinks sold instead of super-sizing. Eventually, I came off all drinks and juices bought in the store.
- I started making fruit and vegetable smoothies at home. I mostly drink water now.
- Initially, I ate sweet fruits whenever I craved sugar. Ripe bananas were my favorite plant-based food when I needed to stop using sugar in my tea and when I needed to stay away from sugary drinks. I also ate berries, prunes, and dates to satisfy my sweet tooth, until it became a thing of the past.
- I researched what a gram of sugar meant and I realized that food containing 4 grams of sugar is equivalent to consuming 1 teaspoon of sugar. Yes, this is crazy stuff. I now understood that when I ate a slice of a certain bread, I was consuming about 1 teaspoon of sugar. Yes, imagine when you sit and eat 2 to 4 slices of bread? Like I said before, real crazy stuff!
- I try to stay away from rewarding myself with sweet foods, such as cakes and pies. I go for fruits and nuts, even for special occasions. Sometimes I eat a bit of cake, but I pay attention to the thickness of the slice now and I do have a small slice instead of a chunk.
- I am now aware of emotional eating and so when I am unhappy, frustrated or sad, and feel like eating, I stop and ask myself if I am hungry, or just about to eat because maybe, just maybe I need to talk with someone, to get or even to give a hug. Knowing why I am going to eat helps me to decide if I should eat.
- Planning is the key. I plan my meals at least a day in advance. This gives me time to prep foods ahead of time so that when I am hungry it is easy to find something healthy to eat and so I avoid eating a snack which could be loaded with sugar.
The Impact on Our Bodies and Our Emotions
If you are still not convinced that you need to kick the sugar addiction, then continue to read to see what sugar does to our bodies and also our emotions:
- Sugar spikes, especially the fasting blood sugar (insulin resistance, diabetes)
- High blood pressure.
- Feeds cancer cells (breast, prostate, lung, gall bladder, ovary, rectum, stomach).
- Protein absorption more difficult when we overdose on sugar. This results in other issues, such as:
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn’s disease
- Food allergies
- Makes the digestive tracts acidic
- Kidney problems.
- Weakens the immune system.
- Inflammation, eg., arthritis.
- Issues absorbing minerals, which can result in the following:
- Tooth decay
- Weakened bones
- Sleep disorders
- Kidney and gallstones
- Heart attack.
- Aggressive behavior.
Sugar can obviously lead to a number of other illnesses and so we do ourselves a huge favor when we learn how to identify and by extension how to avoid eating sugar, especially when we are educated about her many disguises.
If you are serious about fighting your sugar addiction take a look at this article about five foods we should avoid. Note it also offers some alternatives.
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