The White Death: How Bad is Sugar?
That is what Arnold Schwarzenegger called highly refined, processed foods way back in the 1970’s when he was in his bodybuilding heyday. White bread, white rice, white pasta, white flour and sugary foods of all kinds are in this group.
Here we are in the 21st century and has anything changed?
Nope. Sugar and white flour are absolutely everywhere, and just how bad is sugar?
Within the past few decades, there has been a fairly prominent war on sugar. If food consumers (a.k.a all of us) want to keep diabetes at bay, we must resist temptation and avoid all of our favorite sweets.
It seems easy enough in theory; after all, it takes little effort to pass the cookie aisle and grab some fruit instead. Some would say that granola bars are healthier.
But before you buy that granola bar or gallons of ‘fruit juice’ for your family fridge, check the label. More likely than not, both the granola bar and the alleged fruit juice will have high percentages of refined sugar; sugar that definitely isn’t originating from the fruit in said fruit juice.
And that is the sneaky part of the food industry. They know that most people don’t read food labels and won’t question, how bad is sugar?
How Bad is Sugar?
Every year the typical American consumes approximately 140 pounds of refined sugar. 140 pounds! The purified stuff is rotting our teeth and giving us small bursts of “sugar highs” that leave us dead tired by the end of the day.
Also, hopefully by now, most Americans concerned with their health know the mantra: sugar is full of empty calories. Therefore its refined form (sucrose and fructose being the most common forms) is certainly one of the leading causes of obesity.
And too much can even inhibit your white blood cells from fighting against infections and cancerous cells.
Refined sugar doesn’t only appear to sweeten your iced tea or make oatmeal a little more kid-friendly; it’s commonly found in manufactured foods such as frozen meals, white bread, fast food, ketchup, cereals, cured meats, lunch meat, salad dressings, spaghetti sauce, pickles, crackers, mayonnaise, peanut butter, canned fruits and vegetables, and many other foods that were otherwise considered safe.
The best step to take in the fight against sugar is to rid your poor body of much of this poison as soon as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have something sweet here and there—after all, what’s the point of living healthy without the little joys?
The problem is most people can’t stop at one sugary snack; let alone only having one sugary snack once a week.
Add on the fact that most consumers are also eating white bread, store-bought bologna, frozen “health” meals, and so on … it adds up fast.
So as painful as it might seem, the best way to avoid this conundrum is to rid your kitchen of foods that have these words on the labels:
- Corn syrup
- Cane syrup
- Corn sugar
- Invert sugar
Once the offending food is out of the house (and hopefully not in the dog’s mouth), it’s time to load up on fruits, vegetables and starches. Buy whole wheat everything instead of white foods. Whole wheat bread, pasta, brown rice, etc.
Whole wheat foods are complex carbohydrates that burn slower and give you sustained energy throughout the day. The “White Death” foods burn very quickly and give you a quick burst of energy. Want to eat a candy bar, or drink an “energy” drink to get you going? Better be ready for the sluggish feeling you’ll feel in about an hour or so.
The more stabilized your energy level is, the less likely you’ll crave the sweet stuff—and your body will start acknowledging just how bad sugar is for you and shedding the addiction. You will jump-start your weight loss goals. After all, most of us grew up eating these foods on a daily basis; it’s ingrained in our body to expect that refined sugar.
Remember, the key to a healthy life isn’t simply working out. Eighty-percent of what you gain from exercising is directly tied to what you put in your mouth.
Now go clean out your cabinets and refrigerator. 🙂