Sugar Mama

It seems like every time we turn around there’s another excuse to celebrate.  And with every social event, there’s one party guest you can always count on – SUGAR!  This summer has been particularly packed for me, with showers, weddings and family gatherings every weekend.  Just last weekend, my family put on a camp for all my nieces and nephews.  It was an absolute blast, but there was tons of junk food.  It’s hard not to serve a lot of sugar and starchy carbs when you’re feeding that many people!  Last night we celebrated my husband’s birthday with a party, so there was yet another reason for cake.  The sugar never stops!

Here's my whole family at the AnderCamp closing ceremonies last weekend - it was a big deal!

While I’m really thankful to have such an awesome community of friends and family around me, I’m glad the summer is drawing to a close and there won’t be so much sugar around.  But wait, the holidays and all the parties and festivities that come with them will be here before we know it!  It’s always something!  Anyway, this post is all about sugar, and I’m writing it not only for you, but also as a reminder for me to clean up my act!

There are so many reasons to limit our daily sugar intake.  For one thing, sugar causes nearly 60 negative side effects to our bodies every time we ingest it!  One of those side effects is that it suppresses our immune function for several hours. So, if you eat some birthday cake in the evening like I did last night, your immune system is unable to fight against any harmful antigens that you were exposed to throughout the day, and your chances of getting sick are increased.  That’s why it’s so important that we limit kids’ sugar intake, as they are exposed to so many different germs at school each day.  Check out this list of 146 Reasons Why Sugar is Ruining Your Health.  It’s pretty eye-opening.

There are 55 grams of sugar in one cinnamon bun from Cinnebon. Yikes!

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, a board-certified nutrition specialist, nationally known author and expert on weight loss and nutrition, offers the following Ten ways we can cut back on our sugar intake:
  • Don’t add it to foods. This is the easiest and most basic way to immediately reduce the amount of sugar you are eating. Biggest targets: cereal, coffee and tea.
  • Don’t be fooled by “healthy sugar” disguises. Brown sugar, turbinado, raw sugar… it’s all pretty much the same thing far as your body is concerned.
  • Make a real effort to eliminate or reduce processed carbohydrates. Most processed carbs—breads, bagels, and most pastas and snacks—are loaded with flour and other ingredients that convert to sugar in the body almost as fast as pure glucose. The sugar gets stored as triglycerides, which is a fancy way of saying fat!
  • Watch out for fat-free snacks, as they are usually loaded with sugar.
  • Shop for color. The more your grocery basket looks like a cornucopia of color, the better.  It usually means you are getting more fresh vegetables and low-glycemic fruits such as berries and cherries.
  • Become a food detective.  You can’t reduce sugar if you don’t know where it is, so start reading labels.
  • Beware of artificial sweeteners (Nutri-sweet, aspartame, Splenda, etc.). Unfortunately, they can increase cravings for sugar and carbohydrates.  They can deplete the bodies’ stores of chromium, a nutrient crucial for blood-sugar metabolism.
  • Do the math.  Look at the label where it says “total sugars” and divide the number of grams by four.  That is the number of teaspoons of sugar you are ingesting.
  • Limit high-glycemic fruit. Fruit has sugar, but it also has fiber and good nutrients. Just don’t overdo it.  Eat two servings a day and try to make most of them low-glycemic.
  • Eliminate packaged fruit juices.  They are a pure sugar hit with none of the fiber and fewer of the nutrients found in the fruit itself.
Stevia is a great zero-calorie alternative to sugar. You can now find it in health food stores and most regular grocery stores.  Our pharmacy also carries several different brands and flavors that you can use to sweeten your drinks and in recipes.  Many people also use sucanat as a baking alternative to sugar.

Let’s stop being sugar mamas and daddies, and kick the cravings once and for all!  I’m going to make an effort to cut back on my sugar intake in the coming weeks.  Since it’s back to school time, it’s a great excuse to get your kids back on a routine and reduce their sugar intake as well.

Have a great day, and don’t forget to wish Mama Kay a happy birthday.  (Thankfully, she opted out of having cake today, so there’s one less sugar temptation!)


Filed under Healthy Tips, Rants and Cravings

4 responses to “Sugar Mama

  1. Great post! One of my biggest accompishments this year has been really cutting back on sugar. Most of the sweet things I eat now come from natural sources, like real maple syrup added to morning oatmeal since the high fructose corn syrup stuff is liquid evil. And the cravings for it have really diminshed too. Last month I “helped” my five year old niece make my chocolate chip banana bread receipe without sampling a single errant chip. Of course, the fact that eating a couple of mini Reese’s cups the night before at my brothers house, and feeling lack crap afterwards, was a great incentive not to continue on the sugar junket. 🙂

  2. I agree Shira, the more I stay away from sugar, the less I crave it! And I just feel so much better when I stay off of it for long periods of time. Not eating the chips while baking…well that’s just straight up Super Woman restraint! You go girl!

  3. Pingback: Spenda Side Effects, The Sour Truth : Fitblogger Eats

  4. Pingback: Spenda Side Effects, The Sour Truth : FITBLOGGER

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