By Kac Young PhD, ND, DCH
Those tempting commercials, that molten river of chocolate, the bubbling pot of swirling, golden caramel, or a steaming hot chocolate chip cooking being pulled from the oven where you can see the chocolate chips still oozing their chocolaty delight……who wouldn’t cave with all those sensory temptations crooking a beckoning finger and whispering, “Come here…enjoy all these goodies!”
But let’s take a moment to look at some real facts about what’s really contained in those sugary goodies. They can actually kill you. Here is some staggering proof:
1. “The risk of cardio vascular disease death increases exponentially as you increase your consumption of added sugar, ” says the CDCP and senior scientist Quanhe Yang.
2. Americans consume 300 calories a day of sugar, or 15% of their daily calories, when the American Heart Association recommends no more than 100 calories a day.
3. People who consume more than 21% of their daily calories from sugar have double the risk of death from heart disease than those who consume 10% or less. That’s 420 calories in a 2,000 calorie a day diet. (From JAMA Internal Medicine.)
4. Other research has tied a high intake of added sweeteners, especially sugar-sweetened beverages, to obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
5. Sugar (table sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, honey, molasses, dextrose, sorbitol, malt syrup, maltodextrin, maltose, mannitol, molasses) in prepared and processed food and beverages in doses over 15% of our daily caloric intake set the table for the body to break down and fall prone to disease.
6. These findings do not include the sugars that occur in fruits, fruit juices, milk and dairy products.
We can easily conclude from these studies involving over 31,000 people in the National health and Nutrition Study, which examined the dietary habits of all participants, that sugar is anything but sweet. It is a killer in a sweet disguise and the more we can limit our intake, the longer and healthier we will live.
That means stopping:
– eating candy bars
– drinking sugary sodas and soft drinks
– eating cookies, pies, cakes, desserts, ice cream, cupcakes
– consuming pretty much anything you find at an amusement park like cotton candy, funnel cakes, fudge
I know it sounds brutal. As Americans we were raised on treats and sweets. But we are also paying the price with diabetes, heart disease and high medical costs. Wouldn’t you rather enjoy the sweetness of a piece of fruit and live a lot longer with a healthier body, or do you actually look forward to losing the feeling in your feet, having high blood pressure and possibly suffering a heart attack while driving?
That’s the reality of falling into the temptation in the den of sugar. Give it some thought and think about exchanging processed for natural sweetness and gradually turn your sweet health around.
This is not to say you can’t have a treat every now and then. You can always have a bite of dessert and savor it. Dark chocolate at 65% cacao and above is actually good for your heart. But only 1 oz a day. Just cut way back on sugar and limit your pumpkin pie to half a slice on Thanksgiving!
Look for sweetness in the other things life has to offer besides sugar.
– Kac Young, a former television director and producer, has earned a PhD in Natural Health and is a Doctor of both Clinical Hypnotherapy and Naturopathy. She is the author of 10 books. Heart Easy is a system of nutritionally sound, delicious meals that promote heart health, long life and taste great. In the Heart Easy Cook Book sound nutritional advice is followed by family favorites that have been turned into heart healthy meals anyone can make and everyone will love.