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Total Body Wellness: The Not-So-Sweet Side of Sugar

Total Body Wellness: The Not-So-Sweet Side of Sugar
Sugar's effect on your health is far reaching, and the solution isn't just as simple as cutting back on ice cream. Our fitness columnist weighs in on where some major sugar culprits are hiding.


Excess sugar is at the heart of America's health issues. Am I being a little harsh on sugar?

 

Well, it's the main cause of diabetes, obesity and cancer. Healthy cells use oxygen while cancer cells utilize fermentation (sugar). "A major ingredient in the recipe for getting cancer is a diet high in refined sugar and high in unhealthy fats," says Dr. Keith Block, founder and medical-scientific director of the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment.

 

And if degenerative diseases aren't enough to keep you away, too much sugar slows metabolism. (It's 50,000 times more acidic than water.). Sugar also increases instances of ADD, ADHD and sleep inadequacies, and it impairs your immune system for six hours.

 

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Not all of your sugar intake is as obvious as candy bars or cake, though. You can get loads of sugar from breads, pasta, rice and anything that turns into sugar in your bloodstream.

 

Another huge source of sugar you don't eat, you drink. A Starbucks Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha has a whopping 95 grams of sugar packed into its 20-ounce cup. An Arizona Kiwi Strawberry drink boasts 81 grams of sugar. A Sunkist soda has 84 grams of sugar, Rockstar energy drink 62 grams of sugar, Sobe Green Tea 61 grams of sugar and the worst milkshake you can drink? A chocolate triple thick shake from the Golden Arches with an astounding 168 grams of sugar.

 

In 2006 the World Health Organization recommended limiting sugar to less than 10 percent of your total energy intake. On a 2,000-calorie diet, that totals up to be less than 48 grams of sugar daily. Now, if you're someone looking to lose weight, your sugar intake should be significantly less. I'd challenge you to limit your sugar intake to natural, unprocessed sources if your goal is weight loss.

 

So what does that leave you left to eat? Here's an example of a good lunch: a large mixed field green salad with pine nuts, some natural cheese, 4 ounces of meat, half an avocado, green pepper, cauliflower, baby spinach greens and salad dressing with a tall glass of fresh water.

 

If nothing else, start paying attention. Check out the labels of what you're eating. Many people absentmindedly consume hundreds of grams of sugar daily, and frankly, that's deadly. Take control of your health, and the results will be phenomenal.

Ashley Berlin -

Ashley Berlin is the health and fitness columnist for Cincy Chic and the owner of BEAT Personal Training in West Chester. Want more information about something you read here? Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>


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