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Changing Our Relationship With Sugar

Back in the 70’s Saturday mornings meant getting up and heading down to our basement to watch cartoons. Being one of six kids meant getting there first to get my dad’s chair which was the coveted spot. In between Josie and the Pussycats, Scooby Doo and Magilla Gorilla there were lots of commercials–commercials for sugary cereals, Pop Tarts, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Tang. The package food industry was booming. Little did we or our parents know that in less than 40 years time, so would the average weight of most of us.

Sugar, too much of it is dangerous and I’m going to say poisonous to our health. I’m not talking about the naturally occurring sugar in fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables also contain fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. Your body digests fruits and vegetables slowly so they release sugar to your cells at a steady pace. I’m talking about the added sugars in processed and refined foods.

In addition to most beverages, desserts and snack foods, added sugars are in everything from breakfast cereals, breads, condiments and soups. Just look at any packaged food and look at the label, you’ll see just how much added sugars are in every serving of every package.

“High amounts of sugar overload the liver and convert carbohydrates to fat. This leads to a greater accumulation of fat, which may turn into fatty liver disease, a contributor to diabetes which raises your risk for heart disease. The effects of added sugar intake–high blood pressure, inflammation, weight gain, diabetes and fatty liver disease, are all linked to an increased risk for heart attack and stroke.” -Dr. Yu, Harvard Health Studies

When I was a kid, I loved going to the drug store with my grandma because we’d each get to choose a candy bar. My lunch sandwiches were made from Wond