Today, I’m taking a break from normal podcast interviews to step on my soapbox for a few minutes. I love doing interviews (you can check them all out here), but a recent experience reminded me of the importance of this issue and I didn’t want to wait for an interview to talk about it.
Any guesses as to what the issue is?
I’ll give you a hint- it is an addictive substance that is linked to various types of disease and is especially harmful to children who are exposed.
Illicit drugs? Those too, but no.
Asbestos? Yes, but not today’s topic.
Another hint- It is molecularly similar to cocaine and harmful to the liver.
Vegetable oils? Nope, but those are bad too.
Toxic cleaning chemicals? No, but I would recommend using natural alternatives to those as well.
Today, I’m ranting about SUGAR.
Why? Because I decided to count for a week and my children were offered refined sugar in some form 21 times! The scary part is that we avoid a lot of situations where they would most logically be offered it and these were just places like the bank, the gym (!!) and friends’ houses.
All things in moderation….
A little bit won’t hurt…
It’s fuel for the brain…
All justifications for consuming sugar in some amount. The question is: should sugar ever be consumed and if so, in what amount?
I suggest that refined sugar should be avoided completely. Not so sure? Consider this:
- 27 million+ people suffering from thyroid problems
- 66% of the population overweight or obese
- Rates of cancer and heart disease skyrocketing
- estimated 95% of the population obese in next few decades
- 1/3 of the population suffering from metabolic syndrome
- In 1700, average sugar consumption was 4 pounds per year.
- In 1800, that number jumped to 18 pounds per year.
- In 1900, this had more than quadrupled to 90 lbs per year.
- Currently, Americans average one-half pound PER DAY—translating to a whopping 180 pounds of sugar per year! (or roughly equal to a person’s bodyweight in sugar per year)
I wrote about the problems with sugar in depth here, but a paper called The Harmful Effects of Sugar on the Body and Mind explains:
Many times, so much calcium is used to neutralize the effects of sugar that the bones become osteoporotic due to the withdrawn calcium. Likewise, the teeth are affected and they lose their components until decay occurs and hastens their loss. …Refined sugar is void of all nutrients, consequently it causes the body to deplete its own stores of various vitamins, minerals and enzymes. If sugar consumption is continued, an over-acid condition results, and more minerals are needed from deep in the body to correct the imbalance. If the body is lacking the nutrients used to metabolize sugar, it will not be able to properly handle and rid itself of the poisonous residues. These wastes accumulate through the brain and nervous system, which speeds up cellular death. The bloodstream becomes over-loaded with waste products and symptoms of carbonic poisoning result.
Listen to the episode to hear more about the potential problems and how to transition away from it.
I offer this challenge to you: Drop refined sweeteners for 30 days. Stop eating breakfast cereal (two words that should never go together) if you haven’t already and focus on whole nutrient dense foods without the added ingredients. My recipe index has a lot of real food recipes to get you started.
Think it will be tough? It probably will, but most things worth doing are. If you need the support, recruit a few friends to join you and let me know in the comments how it goes.
Are you ready to give up sugar for a month? Can you do it? Share below!