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Sugar … it’s everywhere.

You will find it in just about every packaged food you buy or beverage you drink. It sneakily hides in hundreds of places you’ll never expect it to be. It has names in you will likely do not recognize. You’ll find it in everything from savory foods to toothpaste to packaged seasonings. Did you know that added or “hidden” sugar has more than 65 different names as listed on ingredient labels? Take a closer look at the nutrition labels on the foods you eat. You know the one which lists the percentage of a given ingredient’s contribution to your recommended daily totals. Notice the absence of a percentage number next to sugar? Why is that? Many of your favorite foods are chock-full of it. Our bodies crave that sweet “pick me up” that we get when we consume it – it’s a vicious cycle!

Documentaries like “Fed Up” & “That Sugar Film” are real eye-openers to what sugar can do to your body.

It is staggering to realize the amount of money that companies spend on marketing sugar. Much of this marketing is aiming directly at children. In “Fed Up”, Robert Lustig suggests 75-80% of the nearly 600,000 food items sold in grocery stores contain added sugars. Many, if not most “Low fat” products, especially those intended for kids, are the biggest sugar bombs of them all. When they take out the fat, they replace it with sugar and other ingredients to replace the mouth-feel of the missing fat. Lustig goes on to suggest that it is 8x more addictive than cocaine. Whether it is or isn’t, our society sees no fault in freely feeding it to kids. Yet that same society would be aghast if children were freely fed cocaine.

” Sugar… It may be more addictive than Cocaine, but it’s perfectly Legal! “

In “That Sugar Film”, Damon Gameau embarks on a unique experiment. He sets out to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body. For a short period, he consumes only foods that we commonly recognize as ‘healthy’. What he discovers is amazing, it’s almost unbelievable! Contrary to what we’re being hearing told, it appears not all calories are equal. Some calories may, in fact, be worse or harder on us than others. Most of all, it seems one of our favorite ingredients may, in fact, be making us sick.

So, what are we saying ? – Eat the Orange instead of drinking it!

The ill-effects of a diet riddled with too much sugar are a growing concern. It can be linked to many failed diets, as well as problems like non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, insulin resistance, diabetes and perhaps even anxiety & mental illness. It is certainly the culprit behind the troubling child obesity epidemic as well. While there are many more, these are a few reasons to consider reducing the amount of sugar we consume. If we’re going to make our health & well being a priority we will need to make a Lifestyle Change. We will need to pay closer attention to the forms of sugar that we consume. Ultimately we should try to eliminate the highly processed versions like HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup). Check out this infographic with some of the names for added sugars.

Some of the many names of added hidden or sugar