Friday, January 17, 2014

Sugar Break

We don't drink a lot of pop or other typical sugary junk foods, but there is plenty of added sugar in things like cereal, jelly, ketchup, lunch meat, spaghetti sauce, salad dressing and bread. I believe all foods can be healthy in moderation, but the more I learn about processed sugars (white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc.) I am beginning to think of it more as a chemical than a food. Or somewhere in between.
Sometimes referred to as "empty calories", sugar is more of a negative calorie because it uses up real nutrients (particularly B vitamins, magnesium, chromium, calcium, and zinc) to digest it, but it leaves no nutrients in return. According to one story I read, marooned sailors discovered you can live longer eating nothing than eating sugar.

Regardless of whether sugar is a food and what "moderation" might be with it, I'm sure we consumed a bit much over our holiday travels due to eating out and Christmas treats. So I'm going without it for a week as an experiment.

  • Read food labels better to become aware of the hidden sugar
  • Break the habit of buying the cheaper product with more sugar rather than something healthier
  • Stay in the habit of making things like dressing and bread from scratch and try a few new recipes too
  • Give our bodies a chance to recharge
  • I think we were designed to enjoy our food and also to enjoy sweet tastes. I hope by taking a break from sugar we will have more enjoyment in the occasional sweet treat.
  • Noon on Sunday until after-church cookies the next Sunday
  • I won't be replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners
  • Honey and molasses do provide some nutrients and health benefits, but for this week I will not be using them except perhaps a tablespoon or two to make bread. Less processed sugars such as rapadura still have nutrients left so I don't consider them "as bad", but again I will not be cooking or baking with them this week.
  • Nate is on his own, and I'm not going to worry about what the kids eat if they are away from me or offered foods outside our home
  • Kids gummy vitamins and a few ounces of water kefir for the kids (to prevent eczema in Malachi and to prevent jealousy in Tobias) will continue
We're already well into our week of doing this, so come back soon to see how we succeeded in our goals!

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