While skimming through a copy of Men’s Journal (a gift my husband got when he resigned his gym membership at Bally), I read an interesting article about living sugar free. The author, Steve Nash, had consulted with a nutritionist to find out better ways he could keep his 35 year old body healthy and and in the best possible shape for his basketball games. Amongst other things the nutritionist talked about the evils of sugar in the daily diet. This is NOT a new and trendy topic as we have heard of so many “diets” that require ridding sugar from our consumption. Sugar Busters and the Dr. Atkins plan both emphasized the importance of this very same thing. More recently the Flat Belly Diet encourages to eliminate sugar in order to finally achieve that mid-section of our dreams.
It seems the average person consumes about 92 grams of sugar while our bodies only need 8 grams for energy! Those 8 grams are easily obtained from natural sugars found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. This means, on an average, we are taking in an extra 84 grams of sugar that our body does not need and stores. Let’s remember that all extra calories get stored the same way…as fat!
The health benefits of decreasing sugar consumption go way beyond flatter tummies and general weight control. Refined sugars are actually shown to decrease the immune system. Just one teaspoon of refined sugar suppresses our while blood cells for up to 6 hours, making us much more likely to catch a cold. This is something we especially want to keep in mind during this year as we try our hardest to avoid catching the Swine Flu!
The author of the article notes that though it was challenging to lower his sugar intake, after a few months he did not crave it at all. Instantaneously he noticed that he slept much better. He felt greater energy and recovered more easily from his workouts and though he practiced on the basketball courts four and five hours a day, he never got sore…or sick! Despite the challenge he will maintain the lifestyle as he feels the benefits are well worth it.
I admit to an evening sweet tooth. Watching my sugar throughout the day, eating clean, unprocessed foods as much as possible, I am able to eat something sweet in the evening and still keep my sugar consumption very low. Since I don’t want to be overweight, don’t want a middle-aged mid section, don’t want to be sick or set myself up for type 2 adult diabetes, this plan makes sense to me. I’m sticking to it, feel great and am happy with the feedback I am getting from the scale.
Thanks for sending me those great breakfast recipes. I will be sharing some later in the week. For now it’s time for a glass of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, thanks to Peter for that great and easy citrus juicer. After a hearty, low calorie, low fat and sugar, high fiber, high energy breakfast, I’ll be off to start my work day. I am happy and grateful to say that my webmaster/son, Kyle, will also be starting his work day and week. Actually, gratitude abounds as my entire family is now gainfully employed! “Do what you love, love what you do…life is good.”