Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Confession: I Have the World's Biggest Sweet Tooth

It's true... I love sweets way more than any person who claims to be a "healthy eater" ever should and still claim to be "health conscious". The Battle of Added and Natural Sugars
I'm not just any one kind of sweet tooth either. I love chocolate--all forms: brownies, hot chocolate, mochas, Valentine's Day chocolate, M&Ms, cookies... I'll stop before I have to go hunting around the house for a snack...

I love candy--suckers, skittles, suck-ons, mints, gummies, starbursts.....
I love ice cream--bars, cones, sherbet, frozen yogurt, soft serve, from a store, from a carton....
I love pastries--donuts, cupcakes, cookies, breads, scones, cakes...
I love drinks--lattes, cappuccinos, frappes, sodas, juices...

And even when I'm trying to be "healthy", I often attempt to 'disguise' my sugar-love... By getting a bagel instead of a donut...but getting the cinnamon sprinkled (+sugar) bagel... Or by eating oatmeal instead of Lucky Charms--but that instant oatmeal is full of sugar itself. 

But when it comes down to it, I KNOW... I know, know, know, sugar is terrible for me. There is absolutely nothing good about sugar for me... Nothing. The natural sugars in fruits, veggies, etc, are all my body needs. 
You’ll Stop Eating Sugar After Reading This Post
I know all of this, but, oh, how our world is filled with sugar. Sugar is even in the things we least expect, making it that much harder to cut out or steer clear of the sneaky sweetener.

It's funny, though, isn't it, that we are super concerned with keeping sugar away from our youngsters, yet we are completely OK with making the exception for ourselves? Is it because have fooled ourselves into thinking we only make our kids avoid it as to avoid the "sugar buzz" effect--and not the actual health aspect of it: that sugar is NOT good for our kids? Because if we face this fact, we must also face the fact that it is also NOT good for us!

My sister posted a link to this article and it's gotten me thinking about my sugar addiction--because, let's be honest, that's what it is. (Thank goodness Mingus and I try to keep most sugars out of our house, but I'm still amazed at the amount chocolate, ice cream, graham crackers, granola bars, canned fruit, yogurt...) 

I've been recently thinking about what I will give up for Lent this year. Luckily, Easter is coming late in 2014, making Ash Wednesday not come until March, meaning I have more time do make up my mind about my Lenten sacrifice (and I got to enjoy Valentine's Day sweets). Reading this post about sugar, and having a young baybo who will sooner rather than later be looking to me as an example, I think I have decided what I will do for Lent.

I would like to give up sugar completely. I really have no idea, though, how realistic this is and know going to an extreme like that is asking for failure. As slide #13 says, "Sugar is Sneaky". It's true. It has so many forms and names on labels. Of course, looking at the nutritional facts is the easiest way to find out sugar content. But how many things is sugar in that I don't even realize as I type this??
No Sugar, More Spice Blog
So, my goal over the next two weeks, before March 5, is to pay attention to labels--especially of the things I keep in the house and eat regularly. (Yes, yes...obviously I KNOW my instant oatmeal is out!) I will definitely cut out all obvious sugars--candy, ice cream. I will allow for honey as a sweetener as well as other natural sweeteners. As this article points out, it's the sugar we ADD to things that makes our intake level so poor. I think if I can go the 40 days of Lent with much LESS sugar--all while becoming aware of where it is hiding--it may help me at least cut back on the amount I consume after the fact. After all, Lent is how I learned to like to drink my coffee black! I found this blog to help keep me motivated.

How much does sugar run your life and you don't even think about it? Please take a moment to flip through these slides to read a little more into just how BAD sugar is for us--cancer stimulant, bad on our skin, addictive, an energy-suck, immune system killer and the REAL reason we're all FAT--the list goes on and on. Honestly, the cancer part scares me most, as I know too many people who get it and you never really know why... meaning I'm just as viable a candidate for it as anyone.

You don't have to go to the extreme of giving it up completely--I admit that's hard, but at least start becoming aware of the amount of sugar you consume on a daily basis and try cutting it out with some of the easier daily decisions--like in your beverages--skip the sugar in your coffee or pass on the soda. This article will help you figure out what sugar substitutes are actually OK for you--as opposed to those trying to pose as a positive alternative, when really they are no better, maybe worse. 

Everything begins with baby steps.

Food for Thought:

"Sugar is added to dozens of foods you didn't know about, especially "healthy" options. A 2013 study by the University of Copenhagen shows that sugar actually aids the growth of malignant (cancerous) cells." -25 Reasons to Stop

"We cannot treat our way out of the cancer problem. More commitment to prevention and early detection is desperately needed in order to complement improved treatments and address the alarming rise in cancer burden globally." -Excessive Sugar

"Twenty years ago I wasn’t sure, but now there's little doubt in my mind  that artificial sweeteners can be far worse for you than sugar and fructose, and there is plenty of scientific evidence to back up that conclusion." -Sugar Substitutes

1 comment:

Jacy said...

I loved this and it's so easy to be misconstrued with today's food marketing so it's def important to check the labels! I think I may have to join you in giving up sugar for lent :D