Many people still think that if they cut enough fat out of their diet, that they will be able to lose weight. But is this true? Is there perhaps some other things that cause weight problems? Well, first of all most people who cut way back on fat in their diets don’t seem to be able to stick with it. Your body needs fat, it is an essential nutrient. In addition, we think there are a couple very important things that cause obesity and weight problems, including excessive sugar and refined foods in the diet, a lack of nutrients and also too many chemicals like MSG in our foods. We think these have much more of an impact on your weight than the amount of fat in your diet does. This article is going to focus on the impact sugar has on your weight loss efforts.
Obesity Rates Now Approaching 33%
In the past 3 decades, the percent of obese people in our population has risen from about 15% to around 33%! By the year 2000, more than 2/3 of adults in the USA were either overweight or obese, according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control). At the same time, we spend 10 times the amount we used to on obesity-related illnesses. This is because obesity increases your risk of all sorts of serious diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, gallstones, depression and even cancer!
Average Refined Sugar Consumption: 180 pounds Per Year
Did you know that we now consume an average of 180 pounds of refined sugar each year? That is equivalent to a teaspoon of sugar every hour, 24 hours per day, each day out of the year! One of the biggest problems is that refined sugar is contained in most packaged and restaurant foods, so you might think you skipped the dessert, but you actually had “dessert” in all your foods unless you fixed your meal from scratch. Refined sugar comes disguised under the names glucose, fructose, sucrose, corn syrup, maltose and more, so just because the ingredients don’t say “sugar” doesn’t mean there wasn’t any sugar in your food. So in general, you really need to try to cut out canned, pre-packaged and restaurant foods as much as possible.
Sugar is an Addictive Substance
In addition, sugar is really an addictive substance, and many say that if it was new on the market today, it would not be allowed in our foods. If you don’t believe me, think about how you get a “sugar high” including increased energy and an elevated mood from eating sugar. In addition, many who have tried to quit eating refined sugar by abruptly stopping their intake of it have ended up with headaches, moodiness and irritability, anxiety, depression and more. Even cocaine is made from a natural substance, but like sugar, it is refined to an unnatural state that makes it more like a drug than a food.
Refined Sugar is Stripped of Vitamins and Minerals
Refined sugar is also stripped of most or all of its nutrients, including the all important B vitamins and magnesium and other minerals that you actually need to process and metabolize the sugar. This means that refined sugar is not just an empty calorie – it’s a “negative” calorie, pulling much needed nutrients from your body just to digest that sugar every time you eat some! This is why many people who eat a lot of sugar or who did in the past really need to boost their vitamin and mineral intake, especially the B vitamins and minerals like magnesium and chromium.
So, next time you go on a diet, make sure you put refined sugar on your “to avoid” list. If you crave sweets, try using small amounts of more wholesome, mineral-rich sweeteners, like Rapadura whole cane sugar, pure maple syrup and raw honey. You also need to make sure you are getting enough protein and fat in your diet, this can also stop sugar cravings, along with chromium. Chromium is a mineral that is often deficient in those with sugar cravings. Other supplements like greens and natural B vitamins are also often helpful. If you have to try more than once to stop eating refined sugar, take heart and just keep trying, it really is an addictive substance and therefore difficult to stop. But many have succeeded and then lost weight and gotten healthier at the same time, and you can too.
Copyright 2008, Karen Pijuan. This article may be copied in its entirety if and only if all links including those in the resource box or about the author section remain intact.