Most people’s New Year’s resolutions probably involve some form of dieting. And that’s a good thing because we are quickly becoming a nation of lard. One-third of all American adults and one-sixth of all children are obese.
There are many reasons for the obesity epidemic: lack of exercise as more people become sedentary with their computers, their remote controls, their couches; an increasing habit of people eating starchy fast food on the run; a lack of nutritional knowledge; and the terrible habit of eating sugary foods.
Researchers are finding sugar to be a veritable dietary villain, so much so that every sugar bowl should probably be printed with a skull and crossbones.
Most of us know dieting can be so difficult, so discouraging. Many seek the impossible (a miracle diet), but effective dieting involves lifestyle changes that include eating habits, the portion sizes of meals, types of foods chosen and even emotional patterns (highs and lows) that can compel some to head for the kitchen or fast-food eatery.
Most dieticians recommend an incremental approach to dieting, changing one’s foods and intake amounts gradually over time. It’s next to impossible to make the necessary life changes overnight.
In this new year, 2013, those who resolve to diet should begin incrementally with one step: cut out as much sugar from the diet as possible. Recent scientific studies show sugar can be downright toxic because of its devious presence in so many of the foods we eat.
Too much sugar can lead to obesity and all the problems associated with being overweight. Sugar can also wreak havoc with the liver, kidneys and heart. The statistics are absolutely alarming. Nearly 20 million Americans have Stage I kidney disease, and that is a direct result of high blood pressure and diabetes, both of which are also on the increase.
Table sugar, as it’s known (also known as sucrose) is the worst kind of sugar. Its consumption has skyrocketed in the last few decades throughout the world, and that is because of convenience foods, more and more sugar-based snacks and processed foods – many of which contain sugar, such as many breads. A can of soda pop, depending on the brand, contains the equivalent of anywhere from 3.4 tablespoons to 4.2 tablespoons of sugar. That’s not just a load of calories; it’s eventually a load of health problems.
The best step toward incremental dieting, according to most dieticians, is to start by drastically cutting down on sugar in the diet. When shopping, become a label detective and look for words such as these among the ingredients: corn syrup. sucrose, glucose, fructose. Those are all forms of sugar.
Don’t allow children to have easy access to so many sweets. It’s an awful way for them to start their lives.
Another incremental way to pursue a diet is to cut down on fats and salt. Start slowly, one step at a time, and the first step is to treat sugar as if it’s poison.