Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Give me some sugar!

I used to be obsessed with avoiding fat in my food consumption. To cure my sweet tooth while sticking to a non-fat diet, I licked lollipops, ate licorice, or chewed gummy anything (e.g., bears, fish). I also sucked on Sour Patch Kids at the movie theater. These candies do not have fat, but they are all loaded with sugar, which I chose to ignore. This bizarre approach to "dieting" continued throughout my adolescence and adulthood. What I failed to realize is that we all need a certain amount of fat in our diets and that sugarof any kindcan prevent you from losing weight.

Suicide By Sugar: A Startling Look at Our #1 National AddictionThe tricky thing about eliminating sugar from your diet is that it has many pseudonyms: sucrose, dextrose, fructose, maltose, and lactose, or common table sugar, corn sugar, fruit sugar, malt sugar, and milk sugar respectively. Pretty much any ingredient with "OSE" as its last syllable is bad news. Don't forget the "TOLs"; maltitol, mannitol, and sorbitol are all sugar alcohols. And of course, corn syrup is sugar, too. Trying to not eat sugar in our society is nearly impossible, but it can be done.

My point of view regarding sugar changed five years ago when I experienced food allergies. I had to limit my diet in order to figure out which foods were causing me serious digestive problems. During the process, I discovered how much sugar I consumed and how it affected my health. I also acknowledged that my favorite non-fat drinkDiet Cokecontained aspartame, which is 200 times sweeter than sugar. The combination of the ingredients and the carbonation in the soda was causing constant bloating, occasional pain, and continuous sugar cravings. So I began to change not only what I ate, but how much.

For example, quitting Diet Coke cold turkey was simply not going to happen so I slowly weaned myself off it. Instead of buying two-liter jugs, I purchased cans so I could monitor my intake better. Initially, I limited myself to two cans per day. After about six months, I managed to get down to one can per day. Then one can three times per week. Now I no longer buy Diet Coke for home consumption; it is my treat at the movie theater. I still love that bitter aftertaste, but I no longer need it every day.

I love sugar, but I don't want the problems that come with consuming too much of it. When I examine ingredients now, I look for less than nine grams (preferably five) of sugar per serving. I make exceptions occasionally, but the less sugar I eat the better I look and feel!

AWW – XoXo

P.S. I recently stopped putting any sweetener in my coffee in an effort to further reduce my intake of "fake" sugar. (I sure miss those yellow packets of Splenda!) The next step is eliminating Diet Snapple and to drink only unsweetened tea at all times.


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    The information in this blog is not intended as a substitute for professional health care. Please consult your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise program.