Baby Steps to Whole Health

…steady is as steady goes.

The Sugar-pocalypse

on November 3, 2014

Hello again friends. Almost TWO WEEKS since I last posted, and I truly have it in my heart to do so more often – I thought once a week would be easy and fair. Not so! We had Halloween, so we spent the week leading up to it planning and making costumes – my kiddos looked awesome, of course! Not that I’m not biased just a little, but we did go to a Halloween party and we ALL won prizes in regards to our costumes – even the hubs and myself!

As Halloween leads up to more holidays, this year I find myself absolutely dreading the sugary whirlwind ahead – Halloween was bad enough, but soon there will be Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years and Valentines! I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that flu season runs from October through February, do you?

I’m not scientific, but I can read an article, or 700 articles, and understand that sugar is horrible for your body. It is poison and is killing the population off quite well. Diabetes, heart disease, and  obesity are all on the rise, and despite various ‘research’ analysis that claimed back in the 80s that it was high consumption of fat, saturated fat, trans fats, cholesterol, or whatever else, that was causing these diseases, somehow consuming foods that had less didn’t make a difference in the health of the population, and actually, continue even now to get worse!! It’s no wonder that in 1900 only 5% of the world’s population had high blood pressure, and now, 33% of the population has high blood pressure. In the early 1900s, the average person consumed about 47 pounds of sugar annually, and now, we each consume 77 pounds every year – and that number isn’t shrinking! I got the numbers for this post from this National Geographic article on sugar. (Fantastic read, by the way – interesting history of sugar and slaves and health.)

Sugar consumption has been shown (for a LONG time!) to weaken the immune system for up to 5 hours after ingestion – so you go to all those holiday parties, indulge in the sugary decadence of marshmallow sweet potato souffle and Christmas cookies, and weaken your immune system as you share breath and shake hands.

I’m not capable of relaying in any sort of orderly manner the symbiotic relationship of food and our bodies. What I can say is that your kidneys excrete magnesium to process sugar in your body, and if you don’t have enough, it will pull this nutrient from your teeth and bones to do the job.  Chronic low magnesium state has been associated with a number of chronic diseases including diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease, and osteoporosis. Any wonder that sugar consumption has been indicted in tooth decay, as well?? Not just because it turns your mouth into a breeding ground for bad bacteria, but also because if you aren’t eating enough magnesium containing foods (trust me – most people aren’t), and you’re filling up on sugar (in ANY form – raw, refined, honey, high fructose corn syrup), your body still has to process it.

I told you in one of my first posts about our no cereal challenge and how I had decided afterward that I wouldn’t be purchasing cereal anymore. And now I spend too much time considering how to help my children understand and choose to consume less sugar without me having to constantly say no. I don’t want to say no, I just want them to stop asking. Seriously. It’s a very difficult balance in that we’re behind the times and just learning how horrible sugar is, and all of the negative effects if has on your body AND your mind (brain fog, anyone? Sugar.) The kids have grown up for the most part eating the standard American diet, and they’re aren’t up for changing everything over-night. I’ve met resistance in all things food related, but I desperately want my husband, my children, and myself to be physically healthy. I have the facts, now I have to act. And it’s work. But anything worth doing is worth doing right, right?

Diabetes, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, hypertension, coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, weakened immune system, tooth decay. All diseases that can be traced back to a high rate of sugar consumption. Yet we keep feeding the addictive beast. It’s not like it’s easy to avoid – even if you avoid simply adding it to your every day food items, it is IN. EVERYTHING. Even unsuspecting things like bread. And peanut butter. And jelly (which used to be just boiled fruit with gelatin…) Your average peanut butter and jelly sandwich (classic kid fare, right?) has more than 22 grams of sugar – that’s 5 1/2 teaspoons of sugar – in just the sandwich! Is it any wonder that we’re over sugared, addicted, and sick?

Do you do anything to lower sugar consumption in your household? What are some of your favorite non-sugar sweet treats?




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