Love is Sweet

sugary heart candy

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, another year of chocolates, and other tantalizing sweet treats. Most of us don’t need the extra calories but we are still drawn to that sweet treat nonetheless. Why? What makes us want sugar? A little indulgence will be okay…that diet can wait until after I eat this…right?

I’ve learned more about sugar and it’s affect on us, mind, body and soul. First watch this video on, How Sugar Affects the Brain. Did you know that sugar lights up the receptors in our brain, the same reward centers that light up with heroin or cocaine. Sugar is a drug and is addictive and almost everyone in the United States has grown up on a sugary diet. How did we get in this shape? The food industry has employed scientists to create the “bliss point” that keeps people eating. Carefully engineered combinations that are chemically designed so you can’t just eat one.

Yesterday was full of chocolates, sweet treats and lovely and decadent treats that are supposed to show how much we love each other. That chocolate, that sweet sensation that tickles our taste buds and tantalizes our brains, but do you really know what happens to our body after we eat sugar?

My father in law used to say “candy is poison” and I would smile. I thought, “a little bit won’t hurt”. Well, I’ve started to understand what my father in law was telling me.

The Truth About Sugar

Did you know the average person eats over 20 teaspoons of sugar a day. The recommended amount of sugar no more than 6 teaspoons per day. Most of the sweet calories are in the form of sugary liquid drinks like sodas. Like many people you want to cut back on the fizzy drinks and find refreshments in fruit juices. Even these have added sugar and even if they aren’t loaded with extra sweetness they have natural sugar in the form of fructose….better but still sweet. It is better to drink water to hydrate your body.

Nearly all processed foods contain some form of sugar, starch or carbohydrate that turns to sugar in our bodies. This sugar is often harder to spot in all it’s forms. Beware of items that have sugar as one of the main ingredients, or contain multiple types of sugar, i.e., sugar, high fructose corn syrup, natural sweeteners, just to name a few. You need to read the labels and become and educated consumer.

But before you reach for that substitute sweetener, here’s a few facts you may want to digest first.

The Science of Sweetness

 

It saddens me to think of people who suffer from diabetes and don’t understand how the disease works….or doesn’t. I’ve heard so many stories of loving, well meaning parents taking children to the doctors office to be told the child has diabetes. Something is missing in education for these parents when they reward the child with a “treat” that typically is full of sugar. I wonder if there is a misunderstanding that insulin is the “cure” for to much sugar. It shouldn’t be a balancing act of highs and lows, with the emotional rollercoaster that ensues.

A relative is now on dialysis because as a Type I diabetic his kidneys can no longer filter his blood. Three days a week he sits for hours while a machine keeps him alive. He had lots of warning signs that his body was not able to process the sugar in his diet. He lost toe after toe, submitting to this dreadful disease rather than understanding and getting help for his sugar addiction. His is not the only story. Unfortunately the rates are about 1 in 3 adults will end up with diabetes. Children aren’t immune to this disease and the ages 2-5 are the fastest growing population of newly diagnosed diabetics.

I Tell You This Because I Love You

I share this blog post today because I love you. I want you to live a long life full of sweet moments made sweet with love and not processed sugars. I too had a sweet tooth and had to give up the drug of my choice…after all I was once a “Sprite-a-holic”. Since my sudden cardiac arrest in 2014, I have been rethinking my lifestyle. I’ve made changes to many facets of my daily life. Food is one of the changes and beating sugar was the hardest. But I refuse to be another statistic.

I have been following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) since the beginning of the new year, 2017. My husband joined me in my quest to resolve my digestive issues that have plague me all of my life. I’ve suffered enough from debilitating Crohn’s and the many flare ups over the years. My sweetheart and I both got each other flowers that we can enjoy for a week or more. A flower by any other name would smell as sweet.

Valentines Day flowers 2017