Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sugar, sugar

For the last two weeks, I have tried to stick to a sugar-free diet. I came across the 30 day challenge to remove sugar completely from my life and have been working at it every day. I thought I would start by drastically reducing the stuff and gradually wean myself off, and for a short time I thought I was doing okay. But last night I failed. But what was interesting was the effect that the sugar had when I did eat it after cutting out the majority of it from my diet for the two weeks. The challenge is to cut all sugar and everything that acts like sugar in the body for 30 days. This means all table sugar (which I rarely ear anyway), high glycemic starches, and artificial sweeteners.

Last night I ate a homemade fiber bar that I had made a while ago made with marshmallow creme and sweetened condensed milk. I still can't believe the effect after consuming that bar; I was shaky, dizzy, and felt horrible. I noticed this about a half hour after I ate it while I was making dinner and all through dinner my hands were shaking and I couldn't sit still. I felt bloated and slightly nauseous. The rest of the night I felt out of sorts and basically crappy. This morning I feel better, but I still feel a little dizzy. It's really weird. I guess I was/am really addicted to the stuff.

According to the authors of the 30 day challenge in the book Sugarettes, processed sugar is the worst thing you can put in your body and is more addictive than heroin. Over the last half century as our foods have gotten more and more processed, sugar has been put in all manner of foods. They are not just talking abotu the white refined table sugar that we all know and love. This includes high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Nutrasweet, and the ultra-refined grains that breads and snacks are made with. If you read the labels when you shop you will definitely agree that there is all manner of stuff in our foods. The challenge makes you eat only unprocessed, natural food, which is far better for you anyway. For the last few decades of my life I have tried to eat a healthy diet and tried to stay away from a majority of processed foods, but I have consumed tons of artificial sweeteners. I won't say that I don't eat any processed foods; everyone does, but I usually don't eat lots of cookies, cakes, and candy on a daily basis. I will admit that I have also been known to eat my fair share of pre-packaged foods and commercially prepared, time-saving mixes and canned goods. But in the last few years I have tried to steer myself, and my family, more toward fresh cooking with fresh ingredients and home prepared foods. It's tough on a busy schedule.

I was intrigued with the principal of the book and realized that if you look at the overall health of this county and the type of foods we eat that there is a definite correlation between the time frame these types of foods have been available and the declining well-being of our citizens. The food industry is killing our people. Yes, they may buy fresh ingredients from farmers, but after it's gone through the factory it has the nutritional value of cardboard. So, from now on I am going to try to stick with the saying; "if its made from a plant it's okay, if it comes from a plant stay away." It's not easy, but my health depends upon it.

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