Hi, my name is Janet.
I am a life and wellness coach, program consultant/facilitator for A Fresh Chapter, a certified Daring Way facilitator, occupational therapist, yoga instructor, global citizen, mother and a grandmother. I believe OPTIMAL HEALTH IS WITHIN YOUR REACH!
As we move into the first month of 2020 it is the perfect time to contemplate your action steps toward optimal health. If you are feeling overwhelmed about where to start on your journey to better health, reducing the amount of sugar in your diet will make a big impact on your health. According to statistics, Americans eat 152 pounds of sugar each year. https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/nhp/documents/sugar.pdf. That is 150 pounds a year more than people ate 200 years ago. Sugar is present in almost all refined foods in some form.
So what is the big deal about eating sugar you ask? Excess sugar and refined carbohydrates lead to low grade inflammation https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sugar-and-inflammation. This leads to diabetes, heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disorders and can aggravate the symptoms of Autism and ADHD.
- Leading cancer expert, Nasha Winters states in her book The Metabolic Approach To Cancer, “Intermittent and chronically elevated levels of blood sugar and insulin are the foundation for all progressive and recurrent cancers. This state stimulates cancer cell growth, inhibits cell death, promotes metastasis, helps cancer cells resist radiation and chemotherapy, and increases complications from surgery and chemotherapy.”
- It has been well known that too much sugar contributes to diabetes and obesity, and now there are surprising results about how sugar impacts heart health in men. In an article by Harvard Health Publishing it is reported, “Excess sugar’s impact on obesity and diabetes is well documented, but one area that may surprise many men is how their taste for sugar can have a serious impact on their heart health,” says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/the-sweet-danger-of-sugar.
- Another finding of the negative effects of sugar indicate that due to the inflammatory response of sugar, people with Autism would benefit from reducing their daily intake of sugar to decrease symptoms. In the blog, https://www.amenclinics.com/blog/5-foods-can-make-autism-worse/, Amen, a world renowned speaker, author and doctor who specializes in brain health, explains the impact of sugar. “Not only is sugar pro-inflammatory, but it also increases erratic brain cell firing and it is very addictive. In addition, research appearing in Frontiers in Endocrinologyfound that people with ASD, like those with type 2 diabetes, have impaired glucose tolerance and excessive levels of insulin (a condition known as hyperinsulinemia). Because of this, consuming sugar may magnify improper insulin signaling.”
Where do you start? First and foremost, work toward small consistent changes. Start by removing the obvious culprits such as soda, and sugary desserts and then start to read labels. Anything with corn syrup as an ingredient has high sugar content and should be limited, this includes ketchup and salad dressings. As you start to reduce the amount of intake of refined sugar in your diet you will also lose the desire for the taste of sugar. Be kind to yourself in the process and find ways to celebrate your progress that do not involve food; a massage, a walk, or call a friend you have not talked to in a while. Lastly, remember that change takes time and you may not notice an immediate difference, trust the process and be persistent in your efforts.
Congratulations on taking your first step toward optimal health!