Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Diet of Sugar: Strategy for Cutting it Down

Highly sweetened food are extremely common in the American diet. Did you have sweetened cereal for breakfast, a doughnut in midmorning. A coke and a hot apple pie with luch, and a bowl of ice cream after dinner? If so, your diet is like that of most Americans. It has been estimated that as much as 18 percent of our total caloric intake comes from sugars added to foods, and that the average American eats 120 lbs of sugar per year.

Why have we become a nation of sugar junkies?
One reason is that we may be genetically programmed to prefer sweet foods. Babie show a preference for sweets, perhaps because in early human history consuming sweet foods (fruits, for example) was important for quick energy and thus for survival. Given this preference, it is no wonder that we are readily manipulated by advertisers into becoming consumers of sugar crisp, seven-up, live savers, and mars bars. Many of us have developed a demanding sweet tooth from the eating habits we established in early childfood and we have a mouthful of fillings to show for it.

Like sait, much of the sugar we concume is hidden in processed foods that may not taste particularly sweet, ketchup, for example, is more than 25% sugar; bouillon cubes, nearly 15 percent. Sugar is added to salad dressings, canned soup, peanut butter, hot dogs, TV dinners, and to supposedly healthy foods like granola and yogurt, it should be emphasized that refined sugar of any type is not a natural food for human beings; indeed, white table sugar was unknown until a few centuries ago. Now we consume pound after pound of it, with fairly predictable consequences to out teeth and our waistines.

What can we do?
Until know we don’t know yet what ultimate affects heavy sugar consuming may have on our health it seems prudent to reduce the amount of sugar in our diets. Like sait, it is an important flavor enhancer in processed foods, and we must make an effort to wean curselves from it. If you attempt to cut back for example, contains several trace nutrients that sugar does not but to your body it is suit sugar. Saccharin, although it is noncaloric and is used by many who want to diet, is still sweet to the taste, and its use will only feed an existing taste for overly sweetened foods.
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