Do you try to eat healthy? Do you try to be mindful of what you eat? You’ve probably been keeping track of your sodium intake and your fat intake but have you ever considered how much sugar you consume on an average day?
I can’t say I pride myself on being the most health conscious person on the planet but my family does try to eat foods in moderation. We eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables mixed in with a bunch of different grains, meats, and dairy. Of course, you’ll know by these posts that we have occasional treats too.
Recently, I watched a really fascinating program about sugar called “The Secrets of Sugar” from The Fifth Estate, a Canadian investigative program. There’s research, there’s information, and a lot of hidden surprises that really made me question what certain companies are thinking about when they put their products on the market.
The program was pretty profound and I can’t possibly do it justice so please, take a moment and watch it. What I can tell you is that it made me ponder and really think about the amount of sugar my family consumes on a daily basis. I’m not just talking about the obvious culprits like soda pop and chocolate or candies. You know to avoid those if you’re trying to watch your sugar intake but what about all those savory processed foods? Do you know if there’s any sugar hiding in them? Do you? I mean, have you looked at the amount of sugar in your average cracker? Yes, I said cracker, not cookie, CRACKER.
Go, run and take a look. I’ll wait. (not a true representation of me)
You might just be surprised by what you find.
Yeah…let’s just say “The Secrets of Sugar” was a well named program.
Another thought: do you know what your daily recommended intake of sugar is? I certainly had no idea until I watched this program. As it turns out, I should be having no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar daily. At the time of this program, the average daily amount consumed by Canadians was a lot more than that. I won’t tell you the exact number but you might be shocked when you find out.
Let’s just say it’s not 6.
Okay, I think my jaw hit the floor at that point. Granted, the program was from a few years ago so I can’t even imagine what the number might be now.
Just think about it.
Now, it’s one thing to think about how much sugar you’re eating on a daily basis but you really have to take it to the next level and consider the potential impact of what all that sugar can do to your body. I think that’s where this show, “The Secrets of Sugar” really hit home. They interviewed researchers and other professional experts and what I heard really made me sit back and think. Okay, I won’t lie, as I watched the program, I think this is what I looked like:
Wait until you see the study involving rats. I totally appreciate that rats aren’t humans but if you even remotely consider the effects on that rat, you’ll think twice about what you eat. Yes, the program doesn’t really talk about the glycemic index or other related topics but still, it’ll be worth your while to watch and learn.
That brings me to my next story, it’s related, I assure you.
A few months ago, I had lunch with a few friends. What I ate seemed harmless enough: we each had a burger, shared some fries, no soft drinks. We also had ice cream as a dessert. As the afternoon wore on, I couldn’t help but feel incredibly sleepy and I’m not talking about the ‘I’m full and sleepy, I ate turkey’ kind of sleepy. I’m talking, ‘I can’t keep my eyes open or pay attention to this conversation anymore’ kind of sleepy.
On my way home, I continued to feel sleepy to the point where my head actually started to nod. I texted the same friends briefly and it took every ounce of effort to stay alert enough to head home. Later that night, I checked the texts I sent and they were completely incoherent with words that really don’t go together and we’re not talking autocorrect mishaps either. I felt better later on that afternoon but I was definitely not myself for a good little while.
The only conclusion I could come up with: processed foods. Although I occasionally eat at different fast food places there must have been something in the foods I ate that made my body too sluggish to function properly.
Things to do: definitely watch “The Secrets of Sugar” from The Fifth Estate.
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