Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sugar... the sickeningly sweet truth

American's are sugar addicts. No, really!!

According to WebMD, the average individual consumes 22 tsp. of simple sugars a day, which is a total of 355 calories. This is in comparison to the recommended amounts of 6 tsp/day for women and 9 tsp/day for men. Good grief!! That adds up to... approximately 129,575 calories of SUGAR per year. Women.. based on the recommended amounts, you should only get about 35,347 calories from sugar per year; men, 53,020 calories. We're consuming between 76,555-94,228 extra calories per year on sugar alone, on average.

Gag. Disgusting. And we wonder why America is fat???? Not to mention the fact that many Americans are completely inactive couch potatoes.

But sugar does more than make you fat. Eating excessive sugar causes a dangerous increase in blood fat levels and can triple your risk of heart disease, whereas low sugar diets actually protect against heart disease by lowering triglyceride levels and elevating HDL levels. Additionally, it greatly increases your risk of developing Type II diabetes later in life. Sadly, because of our eating habits, there is an increasing number of obese children being diagnosed with Type II diabetes... children who should have been able to avoid it had they been fed more nutritious meals and less sugar. A recent study revealed that 1 out of every 4 children is obese, and of those children, 70% of their parents thought that their child was healthy or even underweight. We don't even recognize healthy weight anymore!

I find that absolutely heartbreaking. As a kid, I was forced to eat my fruits and veggies, and I spent my days playing outside. I'm so thankful that my parents didn't feed me junk all the time!

Whether you are diabetic or not, it's time to wake up to the reality of our dreadful eating habits and do something to change the trends! No, you don't have to cut out all simple sugars, but please start considering the amount that you consume each day! One can of regular pop usually exceeds the recommended amount of daily sugar intake. Find ways to cut out excessive sugar, and practice eating fresh fruits for snacks and desserts, rather than candy, ice cream, and Little Debbies. Start using  sugar substitutes in your baking. While many tout the excuse that sugar substitutes cause cancer, they have been approved by the FDA. Some are less controversial than others, including Stevia and Truvia, which are natural sweeteners, and Splenda. One cup of Stevia has zero calories.. Splenda has 95.. and white sugar?? A heaping 770 calories.

Do yourself, your family, and friends a favor by exercising control over your diet. Our obsession with food and sugar is not only destroying our health, but it's also become an idol of our hearts. Wait. Did I just say idol?? Yep, I did. If you think that you can't live without that can of pop or daily piece of chocolate, think again. What are you truly depending upon? So-called "comfort food" or our Almighty, Holy God who has called us to excellence in all things, even eating and drinking??? (I Cor. 10:31).

Next time you're tempted to have a little coffee with your sugar, think again! Make a conscious effort to glorify God through the way you take care of your body... find your satisfaction in Him!Joy in Christ.... is truly the sweetest thing you will ever find.

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