Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Grinch who stole sugar from Christmas

We are quickly approaching that time of year again. The time when I would dust off all of my recipes and get to work baking for poisoning my family. I loved to see the look on their faces when they would come home to see their favorites treats beckoning them. From frosted cut out cookies to apple pies, a lot of the holiday season's emotional significance was in sugar laden food.

Part of my day is devoted to cooking and preparing real food from scratch. I've got to admit, the smell of bacon grease frying and the ambiance of the smoke detector blaring, as it was last night (our temporary rental house does not have an operating cooking fan but it does have very sensitive smoke detectors attached to very low ceilings), just isn't the same comfy cozy feeling as the smell of fresh baked cookies and breads coming out of the oven.

I've learned too much though, there's no way, knowing what I do now, for me to pour cup after cup of addictive and health devastating sugar into my family's food. I'm going to have to be the bad guy, the Grinch, the mom who will be depriving them of dopamine rushes, gas and bloating, holiday weight gain, blood sugar spikes, and inflammation pain.

My husband was asked yesterday, as he was eating his noodleless lasagna, how much sugar is acceptable in a diet.

None. Take a look at the label on your food. What is the "percentage daily value" of sugar in that particular item. Nothing's listed, is it? In other words, your body has no need for sugar. There is, however, a maximum amount that you should not go over:
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day are (7): Men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons). Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons).
The best way to wake up to the reality of what we are feeding our families is to track everything for a day or two. I thought back to when my son was four to six years old and what he would eat in a day. Remember, grown men should not consume more than 9 teaspoons of sugar in a day. This is also a very conservative estimate of what he ate. It doesn't include regular soda, candy or ice cream treats:
1 Cup Cheerios -1 gram sugar
1 tsp sugar sprinkled on top - 4 grams
1/2 Cup skim milk - 6 grams
1/2 Banana -7 grams sugar

1/2 Cup grape juice - 18 grams sugar
1/2 Cup SphaghettiOs - 5 grams sugar
1 Serving Goldfish Crackers - 1 gram sugar
1/2 Cup skim milk - 6 grams sugar
1/2 Cup grapes - 8 grams sugar
2/3 cup Hamburger Helper Stroganoff - 7 grams sugar
1/3 cup cooked carrots - 1 gram sugar
1/2 cup skim milk - 6 grams sugar
Chocolate Chip Cookie - 17 grams sugar

87 grams of sugar, which equals 22 teaspoons sugar which is approximately 1/2 cup sugar (over twice the dietary guidelines for sugar for grown men per day). That is 91 pounds of sugar per year.

To be honest, some days were much worse than that. I know for me, everyday was much worse than that.

Take a moment to read Dr. Mercola's article: The Bitter & Ugly Truth About Sugar

For the Holidays I could spend some time converting my recipes into sugar free treats using almond flour, coconut flour, Stevia, etc. but I think it might be a big waste of money and effort. A couple weeks ago I made a batch of pumpkin cookies doing just that. They taste pretty good. The problem is there is no addictive quality to them. I have never seen a batch of cookies last this long. It's similar to offering a heroin addict a cup off coffee. Whoopie! "Thanks Mom for the most unrewarding cookie ever!"

So this year we will start new traditions with regards to the foods we'll be eating.

A piece of bacon/kale/swiss cheese/crustless Quiche anyone? How about a nice soothing cup of turmeric and black pepper tea?

Update: Sugar is Definitely Toxic, a New Study Says


  1. Homemade eggnog has the same effect. It's tasty, especially mixed with quality bourbon, but one doesn't NEEDITGOTRAGIVEMEMOARNOW feel for it.
    As far as snacks, stuffed mushrooms, jalapeƱo poppers (homemade, naturally), bacon wrapped anything, and beef jerky would likely keep the blissful faces, too.

  2. My wife (Paula of Noble Nutrition) uses coconut and date sugar in a lot of her cooking that would normally call for regular sugar. We've been almost entirely paleo for a couple of years and we did autoimmune paleo for about six months. It took some adjustments, but I eat pretty darn good. I eat lots of meat and fat plus occasional treats like brownies and tarts, so it's hard to complain. All grain free, which sounds awful, but some of it tastes even better than what I used to eat. If it tastes bad, I don't eat it.

    I'm 45 years old, yet I've lost weight, put on muscle (with moderate exercise), and feel better than ever.

  3. SD, I just received your lovely Christmas card in the mail, and now I feel terrible because I haven't posted mine yet! (Our family has had a run of illnesses for the last two weeks.)
    I assume the Packers are some kind of sports team? :P I'm only half being obtuse - it's football, right?
    Thank you for the kind gesture.

    1. That got there fast!
      Sorry to hear your family has been sick. Hope you all feel better soon.
      Yes, the Packers are our National Football League team (American Football - not soccer). Because we are the dairy state, we were called Cheeseheads, no offense was taken by that, instead Packer fans steered into the skid and adopted the name. So when you see a large cheese shaped foam hat on someone, you know they are a Cheesehead and a Packer Fan! :)


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