What's Wrong With Sugar?

Refined sugar, corn syrup, and yes, agave 'nectar' are all over refined, low nutrition, and high markup foods.  They do more harm than good for your body, so it is best to keep them out of your grocery cart, cupboards, and off your plate.  I believe that the consumption of nutrient-depleted refined foods are responsible for the high amount of overweight people in modern societies.   

What's wrong with sugar and other refined sweeteners?

Cause weight gain (I've admitted this here and here)
To be digested, they use up your body's stores of enzymes, vitamins, and minerals
Used as a substitute for foods with needed nutrients.  In Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, Dr Weston Price talks about how a lack of nutrients is causing us to have dental cavities, narrow dental arches which cause teeth crowding, a more narrow pelvic opening

High in Refined Sweeteners:
  • Soda. BIG time! And 'diet' is bad too
  • "Fruit" drinks
  • Sports drinks
  • Energy drinks
  • Candy
  • Cakes, cookies
  • Puddings, jello
  • Commercial jellies and jams
  • "Fruit" Snacks

Most brands have refined sweeteners but you might not expect them to:

  • Ketchup
  • Peanut Butter
  • Canned fruit
  • Frozen fruit
  • Dried fruit
  • Yogurt
  • Bread
  • Any processed/convenience food
  • Spaghetti sauce

Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health (Vintage)Recommended Reading:
Nourishing Traditions, The Maker's Diet, Eat Fat Lose Fat, and Good Calories Bad Calories
Good Calories Bad Calories is the book that recently motivated me to stop baking white flour bread for my husband- He talks about the link of heart disease, stroke, and cancer to refined carbohydrate.

What helps me keep refined sugar out of my diet:

  • Eat plenty of fat, particularly coconut oil.  I have no sugar cravings when I eat enough coconut fat, in the form of coconut milk or coconut oil.  I'll sometimes still eat sugar, but I don't have the drive-to-Walmart-right-now-and-buy-sweets cravings that I get without good fats. 
  • I haven't seen much difference, but I've heard people say that including fermented foods in the diet can help with sugar cravings. I include lots of fermented foods for other reasons, though.
  • Have nutritious filling snacks on hand (crispy almonds, cheese, soup)
  • Use honey to sweeten things. If anything, the cost prohibits me from eating too much honey.  But I use it in my coffee, and sweets so I don't feel completely deprived.  
  • Read labels and stick with 'safe' brands of bread, yogurt, etc that don't contain sugar
  • Even better, make your own and you have complete control over what goes in! 
  • Make the decision to not eat any refined sugar at all. Sometimes I'll think that I can eat a moderate amount of something sweet- but more often than not the addictive properties will get to me and I'll keep going until I've had way too much.  I do better not eating any at all- I even pass by the little sample tables at Costco

How about you? 
Are you joining our No Refined Sweetener Challenge?

Where have you found refined sweeteners that surprised you?

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