I’ve never met one person who didn’t like sugar. It isn’t a learned taste. Even if you aren’t a person who eats a lot of sweets you’re still eating sugar every day, but you may not know it. My father used to put ketchup on his scrambled eggs. It started because the ketchup hid the taste of powered eggs he was served in the mess tent when he was in Korea for 36 months. He put ketchup on most of the food he ate there. While it enhanced the taste of the food it was also building his dependence on sugar. Assuming you care about being healthy I would like you to consider the following and evaluate your affair with sugar.
When I tell my clients to cut the sugar in their meal plan they believe it means to stop having pastries and donuts with morning coffee. That’s just the beginning. Few people are aware of how much sugar we eat in the foods we make. To begin, the food manufacturers and the companies who produce the seasonings used by those processing plants use sugar to help the taste of our food. It doesn’t stop there.
Where is Sugar?
- The Obvious. On the table in the sugar bowl, candy, cakes, pastries, ice cream, soda pop, juices, syrups and toppings.
- Insidious. As High Fructose Corn Syrup in ketchup, salad dressings, many condiments, taco seasoning, packaged foods — check your labels.
- The Pretenders. Artificial sugar and diet-man made food, chemical pretenders that our bodies were never supposed to handle. There is no pigeon-hole for these products. They’re poison and should be avoided.
- Food that Digests as Sugar. Potatoes, bread (wheat and whole grains), corn, pasta, carrots, and other root vegetables like turnips, radishes or beets.
- Liquid. In the form of alcohol. this is a sugar we embrace and few will walk away from.
- Natural. We believe this is healthier because it is in the form of fruit and honey.
Without realizing it we’re addicted to sugar, and the more we try to change our eating to help our growing waistline the worse it becomes. The sad thing is that the nation if not the world is hooked into believing that diet food is best for us. When we embrace the food I call The Pretenders we don’t realize that the body’s inability to process them builds fat on our already hefty frame. This slippery slope causes more problems than we might believe.
How to Break Out
There is simply no way the population will give up sugar. It tastes too good, and we are driven by taste and texture. Start feeding an infant their first foods. There’s a decided reaction to food that feels funny in the mouth as well as those which taste bad. The same thing happens to adults. So, how do you break the habit? First you must know that sugar is really killing you slowly. Even if you aren’t diabetic. It’s not your friend. It’s not the end-all in the food world. The Sugar Association claims that it’s a necessary ingredient because it has important functions — of course they would say that. I say sugar is not your friend. I encourage you to pick and choose those things you can give up and the foods you refuse to give up. It can only make your body healthier. Give it a try and keep your mind focused as you attempt to reduce the amount of sugar you eat. I hope that one day you can kick the habit completely. Here’s an example of how you can begin.
Bob loves having dessert. He refuses to give up a piece of cake or pie after dinner. He recognizes the need to cut back on sugar so he’s decided to attack his sugar issue by cutting out other forms of sugar. He doesn’t mind giving up the condiments like BBQ sauce and ketchup. Salad dressings he feels are highly over-rated and he’s happy with oil and vinegar. He cannot tolerate the taste of low-fat, no fat and diet food. He isn’t a drinker, decided to stop drinking soda pop, has never been a fan of juice. He feels that if he can have his cake he can easily walk away from candy. The hard thing will be potatoes, pasta, and breads, but when he weighs them against a wonderful, moist piece of chocolate cake (smothered with a thick layer of deep chocolate icing) it’s not an issue. So Bob has eliminated #1, 2, 3, and 4 from the list above. Well done Bob, but I believe he can safely add fruit into his diet (with more vegetables) and do just fine.
Do you think you can be like Bob? Use discernment and pick and choose from the bounty that’s on your table every day. You don’t have to give it all up. Start by tightening the reigns and perhaps you’ll be willing to give up more in a month or two. That is — if you’re interested in being healthier.