We’d be hard-pressed to find someone in the United States who can honestly say he or she has never been concerned at some point with his or her weight or everyday diet plan. True, we are a nation that tends to obsess over weight, physical beauty and body image. However, it’s no secret that diet and overall health condition is closely connected. It’s one thing to say that it’s not a good idea to stress over bust size, waist inches or whether a visible six-pack exists in the ab region; it’s quite another to disregard diet altogether and spend a majority of one’s eating time consuming processed, chemical-and-potential-cancer-causing-laden, sugary foods that don’t even come close to being able to be considered valid forms of sustenance.
In addition to the propensity to stress over weight and body appearance, we in America also often justify our poor diet choices in various ways. We may say we work hard all week and are entitled to a quick meal or treat now and then. (The problem is we convince ourselves that now and then means every other day.) You may also have heard someone say (or have said yourself) that it’s more important to be happy in life than to worry about every spoonful of food that’s going down the hatch. (The problem with this one is that, like it or not, what goes down the hatch has a direct effect on one’s health condition. No one is happy about diabetes, high blood pressure or other adverse health effects that typically result from consistent poor food choices.)
As in many other areas of life, there’s often a simple solution to the diet problem that we may either overlook or ignore because we don’t want to change. For example, one of the easiest ways to improve your diet and move toward better health is to eliminate or severely restrict processed sugar intake. Those of you who did not stop reading and delete this page after that suggestion may benefit from the information that follows:
- Cancer cells love sugar. Processed sugar feeds and stimulates growth in cancerous tumors. Anyone wishing to prevent cancer or aid the treatment of an existing cancer will want to stay far away from consumption of processed sugars.
- Obesity is thought to be associated with cancer risk. Copious amounts of sugary, processed foods lead to obesity.
- Our bodies need energy. Sugars are simple carbohydrates that ultimately get converted to energy in our bodies. The type of sugar (natural or processed/refined) greatly impacts the effects of sugar on our bodies and overall health conditions.
- Raw fruits, vegetables, grains and other whole foods allow your body to cull all the glucose it needs; hence, such food choices are much healthier sugar-wise than a daily dose of donuts and a latte.
- Artificial sweeteners, no matter what marketing and advertising may have you believe, are generally not good (AT ALL) for you.
Scientific studies exist that show processed sugar affects the human brain like a powerful narcotic drug. Like many drugs, it is highly addictive. As with most addictions, as soon as you decide or are told you can’t have something, such as sugar, you want it all the more. Kicking your sugar habit may be crucial toward any goals you have to improve your diet in relation to your overall good health.
A first good step to take in reducing processed sugar intake is to replace the white, highly refined, processed sugars in your life with whole food choices or pure, unprocessed honey (Be careful! A lot of the honey sold in stores is not true honey!). Sugar is sugar though, so your best bet to get the carbs you need for energy conversion is to consume raw, whole foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables; however, it’s understandable that kicking the sugar habit instantly, 100 percent may be a bit unrealistic for many people — in which case taking baby steps and replacing it with better sugar choices like pure, raw honey may help.
The bottom line is that overcoming sugar addiction is one of the best means for building a strong health and nutrition plan in life. Our culture is built on customs that involve processed sugar, however. (Think and add to the following examples: birthday cakes, Christmas cookies, Halloween candy, etc.)
You pretty much have to go full-out countercultural to choose a diet path that doesn’t include daily intake of processed sugar but I fully believe that if you do, you’ll be glad you did!
Writer Bio: Judy Dudich
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.