“Honey, ah sugar sugar
You are my candy girl
And you've got me wanting you”
The Archies tongue and cheek song even alludes to the addictive qualities of sugar! There is some research indicating sugar is more addictive than cocaine. Even if you try to avoid sugar it can be hard since there are nearly 60 aliases it can go by on food labels. One of the reasons I advocate for cooking at home is you are better able to control what goes into your body. But you do have to be mindful even at the grocery store. Nearly 80% of items sold have added sugar according to holistichealthplan.com. This is a great reminder to read labels. A few facts about sugar that are a bit shocking:
On average each American ingests over 150 pounds of added sugar each year- whoa!
There are about 10 teaspoons of sugar in an average can of soda (and often a lot more in your morning coffee drink)
Between 1977 and 2000 the United States has doubled its sugar consumption
Fructose that is refined from beets, corn and sugarcane can damage your liver as much as alcohol does
Refined sugar has no nutritional value (but lots of calories)
“Low fat” foods often have added sugar to help meet American’s taste preferences while decreasing the amount of fat
There are times I eliminate sugar 100% from my diet as a way to reset my palate. I do believe most people can have small amounts of sugar in a healthy, mindful manner. However, when sugar becomes a daily indulgence it can have an impact on health you may not like.
My preference and recommendation are to enjoy natural sweets! Fruit, fresh or dried, are a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth. And I promise the less sugar you eat the sweeter these whole foods will be. Select fruits that are in season for the best flavor, sweetness, and nutrition!