Happy Monday! The subject of today’s topic we all have in our diets and it makes many foods taste great. However, it’s also wreaking havoc on our health. The consumption of sugar, and sweets, has gone through the roof over the past few decades and it shows.
Type II Diabetes is everywhere, and many who don’t have full-blown diabetes are pre-diabetic (on the verge of developing the “disease”).
Sugar and sweets as a part of our diet
I used quotes for disease because I’m not a big fan of calling (type II) diabetes disease in the same way that I feel about that label for obesity. Yes, type I diabetes is auto-immune based and appropriately labeled as it’s not (yet) preventable.
On the other hand, type II diabetes is a largely preventable or at least highly controllable condition related to our daily lifestyle and food choices. Diabetes is the poster child for the massive increase in preventable illness over the past few decades.
If we look at the top 10 causes of death in Canada, most of these can be largely prevented or greatly reduced through living a healthy, active lifestyle. This list includes many types of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, and more!
The top 10 causes make up 80% of all deaths. Cancer and Heart Disease make up 55% of their own. Again, making a dramatic reduction in all-cause mortality comes down to the small, simple daily choices we make relating to our health, activity, and eating.
Far too many people think getting sick is “just bad luck” or too complicated to worry about. As I mention in my book The Fitness Curveball, studies repeatedly show that we “make our own luck” from our mindset and actions.
Best things you can do for your health
Hey, I’m for living longer…and better!
One of the best things you can do for your health is to significantly cut down on refined sugar. Few of us sit down and eat spoonfuls of sugar, but it’s in so many foods that it’s tough to avoid without making yourself aware of it.
The biggest culprits are sweets, candy, baking, sauces, condiments, juices, and other sweetened beverages. It’s fine to have these some of the time. I’ve never been the type of coach to tell people to eliminate things completely. My goal is to help people understand the impact of their food choices on their health, energy, performance, and overall well-being.
In our Fuel Your Body for Success workshop, you will learn the difference between real food and food type products, calorie counting, portion sizing, metabolic typing, and creating a meal plan customized to your lifestyle.
Sugar isn’t bad, it’s just how much of it we eat
In 2014 Stats Canada reported that the average Canadian consumed 110g of sugar per day. This equates to 26 teaspoons and was over 21% of their daily calories! The American Heart Association suggests no more than 6 teaspoons (or 24 grams) for most adult women and no more than 9 teaspoons (or 36 grams of sugar) for most men per day.
Wow, no wonder 2 out of every 3 people in our country are overweight or obese! And it’s getting worse.
The only way this will change is through individuals like you making a personal decision to take control of your health.
Government regulations, sugar taxes, and prevention programs are useless until people WANT to make a personal change. It all starts with you! Keep in mind, I’m not saying you need to avoid all sugar entirely. Some people take this to the extreme.
I’ve had clients tell me they avoid carrots because they are too high in sugar! This is insanity!
Sure, a fresh garden-grown carrot has a natural sweetness, but it’s nothing compared to the overpowering sweetness of refined sugar such as sucralose. Plus, a carrot has many other vitamins, nutrients, and healthy attributes that contribute to overall health when eaten in its whole food form.
For example, maple syrup is generally said to be about ½ the sweetness of table sugar, while stevia is about triple the sweetness, and sucralose is about 6 times as sweet.
What happens if we reduce the intake of processed sugar and sweets
When we reduce the amount of sugar and sweets in our foods (along with the sodium content of highly processed foods), our palate begins to recover from the sweetness onslaught. This allows us to begin tasting the nuances of food again and provides greater taste enjoyment from healthy, whole foods.
To put it simply, an apple or carrot won’t taste sweet (or have any flavor) if you are used to binging on pixie stix from the candy store or eating bags of salted potato chips.
Think about the choices you’ve made this week, and what changes you feel would be helpful to make in your eating habits.
Over the next couple of days, identify the opportunities you have to make small adjustments and lower your intake of refined sugar, salt, and processed foods.
Oh yeah…move your body each day too! 🙂
In our Movement Foundations Course, you will learn how to perform foundational movements correctly to maximize the benefits of your workouts and daily activities.
These simple little changes will add up to a large positive impact on your health.
Send me a message to let me know what changes you made!
We share the lifestyle we love!