I was out to lunch last week with a friend and no big surprise here we starting talking about food, diet and generally how we eat. Now when I say diet I don’t mean – going on a diet…the kind that Canadian’s spend 7 Billion dollars a year on! – Yes, 7 BILLION! I mean the diet that most people follow. This being HIGH Carb, Low fat, minimal fruits and vegetables and lots of poorly raised meat. My friend recently (6months or so ago) watched Food Inc. and the documentary changed the way she looked at meat, and turned her onto vegetarianism. She feels and looks great! She is starting to reintroduce meat into her diet little by little but has changed from mass produced to organic/locally sourced. This inspires me every time I hear about someone how has changed their food habits based on education. I wish it happened more, I wish the general population would start to really think about what they put into their yaps!
As our lunch went on I told my friend about the latest book I picked up – Fat Chance by Robert H. Lustig, M.D., I had just started reading the night before but what I did know already was that this book was going to expose just how terrible sugar is to our health. However, I had no idea just how bad! Since I have finished the book, watched numerous talks, documentaries, special series etc. on the topic and I am horrified.
This is why I’m horrified:
- In 1700, the average person consumed about 4 pounds of sugar per year.
- In 1800, the average person consumed about 18 pounds of sugar per year.
- In 1900, individual consumption had risen to 90 pounds of sugar per year.
- In 2009, more than 50 percent of all Americans consume one-half pound of sugar PER DAY—translating to a whopping 180 pounds of sugar per year!
I took this directly from Mercola.com, to illustrate just how much sugar we are eating.
Now you may be thinking okay so that is a lot of sugar, but who cares. Well you should, not only are your teeth going to rot out of your head, but you are setting yourself up to be a diabetic, suffer from heart disease, numerous cancers and you are going to continue to get FAT! I’m speaking from experience here, I am a sugar and carb addict! Have been all my life, just like my late father. The story of my father Pat Garand goes like this. He drank minimum 20 cokes a day, snacked on sugar candy all day (anything that was made of high fructose corn syrup), ate fast food as often as possible (mainly pizza), loved processed cheese, and canned baked beans, smoked a pack a day and worked shift work. He died at 59 years old of a massive heart attack. I’m not 100% blaming sugar for his death, but I think it was a huge contributor to his heart disease. Pat was not overweight when he died so no one would think that sugar had anything to do with his death.
R.I.P. Dad, Pat Garand November 24, 1950 – March 11, 2009
I don’t want that to be me or you. I’ve put some links below to shed some light on what I am talking about. Just how bad sugar is for for us?
The Secrets of Sugar – the fifth estate – CBC News
SUGAR IS KILLING US!
Is sugar toxic ? 60 minutes April 2012
Because of this recent realization I have eliminated 99% sugar from my diet. This has proved to be easy and difficult at the same time. As you know, I LOVE WINE and BEER – they contain a ton of sugar, I know what your thinking if you look at the nutritional information on beer or wine they don’t contain “sugar” but they are both made with carbohydrates, that once in your system turn into sugar and SPIKE your insulin. This means my nightly glass of wine while cooking dinner and the second or third with dinner is off the table. Now I’m not going all Rob Ford on the situation, I will still have wine just not everyday, more like once a week. The harder part is giving up my potato chip, ginger-ale, orange juice, gummy bear, pasta and bread eating habits. So once again I am welcoming you on my journey to go sugar free. I am day 5 right now, and things are progressing alright. I feel better, I’m sleeping better but I am having some side effects of no sugar – mainly craving it.
Check back often as this is going to be an ongoing series here on FMK.
Well done Heather. This is very inspiring – I’m torn about giving up sugar. It’s in all the things i love. I know I need to educate myself and you have me thinking more about what I eat.
That bowl of cereal for dinner last night probably was not a good idea.