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Food For Thought: A look into the effects of sugar

Vickie Dickson

By Vickie Dickson

The devil looks like white powder and he is hiding in your cupboards. I’m not talking about cocaine, or any other street drug. What I’m talking about is sugar. AKA white death.

Do I have your attention? I hope so. The root cause of most disease is inflammation. Sugar is an inflammatory substance.

You may be thinking, “Well, I don’t eat sugar. “

Really? I wouldn’t be so sure. Sugar is hidden in so many packaged foods. Even the so-called “healthy” alternatives are sometimes laden with sugar.

When you’re reading the labels (which I hope you’re doing) 4 grams of sugar = 1 tsp. Check your ‘healthy’ cereal. One brand has 12 tsp of sugar per serving! And it’s supposed to be a healthy choice?

We’ve been duped.

Do you want to get really fired up? Check the “juice” your children are drinking. See? I told you!

It’s time for a revolt and it won’t be easy. Removing sugar from the diet causes horrible withdrawal symptoms but it’s worth it. You’ll feel really, really ill for about 3 days. After that, you’ll start to improve. Within 2 weeks, you will feel better than you’ve ever felt in your life.   I promise. If you can stick with it, you will be glad you did.

Now, I don’t recommend going crazy and removing fruit from your diet. Yes, fruit does contain sugar. The “diet” that I believe in is based on eating whole, natural foods. This type of food is not packaged and sold in the middle aisles of the grocery store.   You’ll find it all around the perimeter. Maybe hit the organic section or the health food store for your nuts and seeds, hearty flours, beans, etc.

Speaking of fruit, smoothies have become quite a craze these days – and for good reason. Smoothies are a great way to make a nutrient dense snack on the go. The trouble is that many of us are drinking a fruit smoothie to start our days, which can lead to a sugar rush and crash, all before noon. I encourage my clients to have a veggie-rich smoothie. Focus on getting as many vegetables as you can into the blender and add a bit of fruit to taste.

What’s in my smoothie? Any combination of the following:

– a raw beet
– 1/2 cucumber
– 2 handfuls of leafy greens
– 2 pitted dates
– 1 banana
– 1/2 c frozen berries of choice
– 1/2 avocado
– slice of fresh pineapple
– 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
– 1 tbsp nuts of choice (avoid peanuts)
– 1 tbsp sunflower seeds

My smoothie always contains 1 tbsp of coconut oil and some sea vegetables or spirulina.

Now that’s a great start to the day! I challenge you to try this. You will be balancing the effects of the sugar by adding many other nutrients AND you’ll have had about 4 servings of veggies in one place. You can’t go wrong.

Back to sugar.   Even if you’re not ready or willing to give it up entirely, simply by reducing it you will really benefit your body. You could eat only whole foods one day and then fall back on your packaged foods every second day. This alone will reduce your consumption by 50%! If you sit down to have a granola bar, eat just half with some veggie sticks or an apple. Voila! You cut it again.

You can win this battle – and it is a battle. It’s a battle for your health and for your dollars. Those boxes of packaged foods are not cheap. If you’d like to learn how to make your own granola bars and snacks, follow my blog, where I add new recipes often. A couple hours of preparation can set you on the right track for the entire week.

One more thought I’d like to leave you with is this: Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) and behaviour problems are on the rise in our children. Is anyone considering it’s because of what we’re feeding them? In many cases, they go from a sugary breakfast (often unintentionally) to a sugar snack (perhaps a fruit cup – laden with sugar – and a granola bar) to a sugary lunch (Lunchables anyone?) and on and on.

How can we fill these little bodies with sugar all day long and expect their brains to function well? It just doesn’t make any sense.

It’s Food For Thought.

Vickie Dickson is a Holistic Nutrition Student at CSNN. Follow her at vickiedickson.com

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Food For Thought: A look into the effects of sugar

Vickie Dickson

By Vickie Dickson

The devil looks like white powder and he is hiding in your cupboards. I’m not talking about cocaine, or any other street drug. What I’m talking about is sugar. AKA white death.

Do I have your attention? I hope so. The root cause of most disease is inflammation. Sugar is an inflammatory substance.

You may be thinking, “Well, I don’t eat sugar. “

Really? I wouldn’t be so sure. Sugar is hidden in so many packaged foods. Even the so-called “healthy” alternatives are sometimes laden with sugar.

When you’re reading the labels (which I hope you’re doing) 4 grams of sugar = 1 tsp. Check your ‘healthy’ cereal. One brand has 12 tsp of sugar per serving! And it’s supposed to be a healthy choice?

We’ve been duped.

Do you want to get really fired up? Check the “juice” your children are drinking. See? I told you!

It’s time for a revolt and it won’t be easy. Removing sugar from the diet causes horrible withdrawal symptoms but it’s worth it. You’ll feel really, really ill for about 3 days. After that, you’ll start to improve. Within 2 weeks, you will feel better than you’ve ever felt in your life.   I promise. If you can stick with it, you will be glad you did.

Now, I don’t recommend going crazy and removing fruit from your diet. Yes, fruit does contain sugar. The “diet” that I believe in is based on eating whole, natural foods. This type of food is not packaged and sold in the middle aisles of the grocery store.   You’ll find it all around the perimeter. Maybe hit the organic section or the health food store for your nuts and seeds, hearty flours, beans, etc.

Speaking of fruit, smoothies have become quite a craze these days – and for good reason. Smoothies are a great way to make a nutrient dense snack on the go. The trouble is that many of us are drinking a fruit smoothie to start our days, which can lead to a sugar rush and crash, all before noon. I encourage my clients to have a veggie-rich smoothie. Focus on getting as many vegetables as you can into the blender and add a bit of fruit to taste.

What’s in my smoothie? Any combination of the following:

– a raw beet
– 1/2 cucumber
– 2 handfuls of leafy greens
– 2 pitted dates
– 1 banana
– 1/2 c frozen berries of choice
– 1/2 avocado
– slice of fresh pineapple
– 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
– 1 tbsp nuts of choice (avoid peanuts)
– 1 tbsp sunflower seeds

My smoothie always contains 1 tbsp of coconut oil and some sea vegetables or spirulina.

Now that’s a great start to the day! I challenge you to try this. You will be balancing the effects of the sugar by adding many other nutrients AND you’ll have had about 4 servings of veggies in one place. You can’t go wrong.

Back to sugar.   Even if you’re not ready or willing to give it up entirely, simply by reducing it you will really benefit your body. You could eat only whole foods one day and then fall back on your packaged foods every second day. This alone will reduce your consumption by 50%! If you sit down to have a granola bar, eat just half with some veggie sticks or an apple. Voila! You cut it again.

You can win this battle – and it is a battle. It’s a battle for your health and for your dollars. Those boxes of packaged foods are not cheap. If you’d like to learn how to make your own granola bars and snacks, follow my blog, where I add new recipes often. A couple hours of preparation can set you on the right track for the entire week.

One more thought I’d like to leave you with is this: Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) and behaviour problems are on the rise in our children. Is anyone considering it’s because of what we’re feeding them? In many cases, they go from a sugary breakfast (often unintentionally) to a sugar snack (perhaps a fruit cup – laden with sugar – and a granola bar) to a sugary lunch (Lunchables anyone?) and on and on.

How can we fill these little bodies with sugar all day long and expect their brains to function well? It just doesn’t make any sense.

It’s Food For Thought.

Vickie Dickson is a Holistic Nutrition Student at CSNN. Follow her at vickiedickson.com

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