Is Sugar Sneaking Up Again?

SugarI have recently learned about the Glycemic Index.  Is it possible that there are more crafty ways Sugar is creeping into our world?  I am starting to believe sugar is sneaking up on us again!  Batten down the hatches people, it is time to find some of those hiding places.

Let’s Know Who We Are Dealing With…

We have all heard of sugar, cane sugar, fructose, and corn syrup.  We all know we should avoid pounding a dozen cinnamon rolls, there is a ton of sugar in those.  But do we know to avoid spaghetti sauce?  Do we look at our protein powder label? (these are listed with a wink and a nod to my sugar detox group – thanks for insights)  I know right!  That little tasty white crystal is a rascal.  The funny part is we invite sugar into our house.  Not only do we leave the door unlocked, we leave the door open and the lights on.  Ok – lock down time.

A lesson in vocabulary

Sugar has many names:  Lucifer, Beelzebub, Twinkies, Cadbury Cream Eggs are a few I have heard.  It is tricky to know all the names.  Prevention Magazine has named 57 different incarnations of good old sugar, 57!  I am not even sure if that is the entire list.  Here are a few of the tricky names you want to watch for on the labels of your food (in case clicking on the link and reading is too hard, I know, I know).  There are some obvious ones that we have learned to spot as easily as the villain behind the mask on Scooby Doo (if it were a real villain I would hope it would be named the Sweet Sasquatch or something like that).  You have your run of the mill items like Fructose, Lactose, Maltose, Glucose, and anything that ends with Syrup or the word sugar.  It gets a little more mysterious after that.  I present the next level of sugar.  You have Maltodextrin, Glactose, Diatase, Ethyl Maltol, Diastatic Malt, Dextran, and “natural brown sugar” (really) all listed on many whole food labels.  If you knew these I will give you a B, unless we are grading on a curve, then you have an A+ because most sheep don’t even look at the label.  Here are the top hide-and-seek champs.  Turbinado, Treade, Panocha, beerPanela, and Muscovado are all names for sugar.  My god man, how are we even keeping up the insulin shortage.  Lastly I give you the most heinous of all sugars.  I don’t say this because it is a bad sugar or is made from the dark arts, it is bad because it is an affront on something near and dear to my heart – BEER!  I present to you Barley Malt.  It pains my to even paint this with the same brush as Diatase or some other made up crap, this is in beer for the love of god.  Barley Malt is an ingredient in many 12 ounce cans of liquid magic.  I am going to break from convention here…Barley Malt is an exception, consume as much as you like.

 Important footnote, I am not a Doctor

There are an amazing number of self proclaimed health experts.  I cannot tell you who is or who isn’t.  I can tell you that most people are not.  I harp, beg, and mock people into checking sources, and this is no different.  I insist you do not take my word for anything,  do your own research.  I also can ensure you that if you “cut and paste” this blog onto Facebook and present it as some kind of fact I will come unglued.  I see enough stupid-ass stuff everyday to know that I don’t want to be part of it.  I am sure Obama did not secretly sell the US Constitution to a bunch of Muslims.  I am certain that all of Hollywood are not secretly Scientologists.  I am certain I am telling you the baseline of what you already know.  Sadly, I am also certain that most doctors have little nutritional background and have little interest in becoming registered dieticians.  I hope my point is clear, there is no one clear source.  So just take it for what it is worth, quit eating so much sugar, quit it.

Here are a few tools to help

I have an IPhone with the cool app called Fooducate. This app allows you to scan bar codes and get some great information on almost anything you grab off the shelf.  It is a free app with the option to buy some of the cool add-ons.  This app is akin to Skindeep, an app that does the same thing for cosmetics.  This app is also a website that links to some great food information as well.  I know that skin care is an entirely different topic but I think the app is way cool and it may be a while until I get around to writing about your face.  Do a Facebook search for healthy eating challenge groups.  I am in two right now, one for planking and one for getting a grip on sugar.  Join a group and learn.  All of this information is brought to you by the wonder that is the Internet.  Just remember 30 – 36 grams of sugar is plenty.  That Ragu I talked about in the beginning takes up 25% of your sugar allotment with 1/4 cup.   I want to know who eats a 1/4 cup of spaghetti sauce?  That can of energy drink I looked at on Saturday had a mere 18 grams.  That seemed great until I saw there were 3 servings per can.  That brings me to the greatest tool of all, you.  Ok, you’re not a tool, read the label!

I leave you with a great quote I heard from a guest on Fareed Zakaria’s Sunday CNN show Global public Square (an amazing show by the way).  He had a doctor on who reminds those of us who are lazy enough to tout genetics as the sole culprit for all of our bad habits to step back and re-evaluate.  “Our genes are our predisposition, not our sentence”.  Dr Dean Ornish

You have to want it – so  LET’S GO!

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