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Here you will find great tips for healthy living, nutritional advice, and the latest news on health studies and research.

Tag Archives: sugar

Sugar & Health

Excess sugar in our foods is one of the most critical health issues facing our present and future generations.  Many physicians and researchers are now saying it is the major driver of cardiovascular disease. To help kids reduce sugar in the diet, some experts offer the following tips.  Let the kid have sweets, don’t deprive them, however give them only one sweet treat or dessert per day.  Kids must learn to regulate their sweet intake.  Give them a choice between sweet snacks but keep it at one.  Keep sweetened fruit drinks, soda and sugary beverages out of the house, as they generally have no nutritional value regardless of what the commercial says and deprive your child of critical nutrients from better sources. Keep an eye our for hidden sugars in breads, sauces and condiments.  These contain fructose, sucrose, glucose and/or dextrose.  Also watch out for evaporated cane juice, brown rice syrup, malt syrup and molasses. Some natural sugars are not as healthy as advertised.  Honey and agave are actually sweeter than table sugar but contain more calories.  Fruits are generally better choices even though they contain sugar, but most will also provide fiber and other nutrients providing greater health benefits!

Sugar, Kids & Health

I hope you are enjoying the World Series! Now that Halloween is over and sugary treats are everywhere, did you know sugar has the same effect on the liver as alcohol?  Sugar (especially fructose) is metabolized in the liver just as alcohol is and that is why kids are getting the diseases of alcohol such as type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease.  “These are diseases that were unheard-of in children prior to 1980” according to doctors.  “Sugar doesn’t cause disease because of its calories. Sugar causes disease because it’s sugar.”  Even thin people get metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes. Sugar is its own risk factor apart from calories or obesity.  Even adolescents are getting metabolic syndrome more often including increased blood pressure, excess fat around the waist , diabetes and increased risk of heart disease.  The key is distinguishing good sugar from bad and when it comes to kids, there must be a strategy.  More on this on Friday!

Drop The Sugar Increase the Health

A huge story in the health news discusses what happens to kids if they go without sugar for 10 days. A study showed that 43 kids went without sugar for 10 days and found they decreased triglyceride levels by 33 points on average, lowered bad cholesterol by 5 points and dopped the diastolic blood pressure numbers. Pretty remarkable numbers for just 10 days. Just think how profound this might be for adults!

Sweet Drinks and Heart Failure

Do you like your sodas and sweet drinks? Another article just released shows a very high correlation to drinking two or more sweetened beverages daily to a significant risk of going into heart failure. Almost 6 million Americans live with heart failure in the US. The study only included soft drinks/sodas that were sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners. Tea, coffee and fruit juices were not included. Prior studies have shown a connection between hert disease and stroke and the consumption of sweetened beverages.  This is the first study that looked at heart failure.  Time to reconsider the beverage choices?

Healthy Eating and Depression

Read an interesting article about a giant study that looked at women who ate significant amounts of refined carbohydrates and its link to depression.  A study of 70,000 women found that those who consumed foods higher in glycemic index and foods with added sugar and refined grains, had a higher risk of new-onset depression.  Those women who consumed a diet with more dietary fiber, whole grains, vegetables and non-juice fruits, had a decreased risk of depression.  It is theorized that the sugar “high” is followed by the subsequent “crash” which can lead to mood changes, fatigue and other symptoms of depression.  Eat healthy, be happy!

Sugar and More Sugar

Nutrition labels are getting a makeover for the sake of “added sugar”.  A growing body of research shows that sugar, not fat and cholesterol, is becoming the number one health enemy of the American public.  The FDA is making food makers report not just on “added sugar” but also the percentage of the recommended daily intake of added sugar that is contained in a serving.  The only issue is that it is dealing with “added sugar” and not sugar already in the product.  So read the labels carefully and determine how much sugar and added sugar is in your foods because many foods have a ton of sugar already in them.  Just as an example, a cereal currently on the market is about 33% sugar.  Be proactive, be wise and be healthy

Babies, Salt, Sugar & Health

We all know that we should try to consume less salt and sugar as well as limiting it to our children but what about babies? The CDC recently analyzed more than 1000 foods to find that 7 of 10 toddler dinners had too much salt and that most cereal bars, breakfast pastries and snacks for infants and toddlers contained sugar well above the recommended limits. This puts these kids at a greater risk for obesity and other health issues. These empty calories contribute to 1 in 4 US children between the ages of 2-5 being overweight or obese.  Almost 80% of kids between 1-3 exceed 1500 mg of salt daily.  These are truly alarming statistics!

Sugar, Health and Death

Just a followup on the last health tip about sugar and fatal heart problems. Sugar is in a lot of foods we consume without knowing it, even foods that are not sweet. For example, packaged bread, tomato sauce, salad dressings and a multitude of other products. With all the attention on the bad health aspects of high fructose corn syrup, sugar has kind of floated below the radar. It is very helpful to understand the negative benefits of too much sugar in our diets. Read food labels to determine what you can eliminate, or reduce, relative to daily consumption. Also think about our children. As for adults, just two 12 ounce sugary soft drinks daily can put you in the highest risk for death from heart problems. Isn’t it time to reconsider priorities?

Sugar and Death

Too much sugar can be deadly, at least according to a new fairly large study. We know sugar can make us fat, but now there is a link to sugar and fatal heart problems.  That is correct…fatal.  People who consume 25% or more of their daily calories as sugar, have a 3 times greater chance of death from heart issues than those whose daily sugar consumption is less than 10% of total calories. The scary thing is that this study looked at normal weight people. Not only is too much sugar linked to high blood pressure, high levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides, but now sugar is linked to inflammation of the heart.  To be in the lowest risk group, keep your total daily sugar consumption, under 10% daily, for overall calories. No more super-sizing it!

Consuming Sugar In Drinks

Lets face it, Americans consume a lot sugary drinks, more per capita than any other country in the world. Also, our youngsters consume way too much of it. A shocking study associates children (5 year-olds) who drink lots of soda to more aggressive and problematic behavior such as physically attacking and destroying others belongings in comparison to those kids that drink less or none. Though association does not mean causation, this study is a warning to all of us, especially for the health of our kids.