I was asked today in a radio interview, “What do you say to someone who says, they really need to stop eating sugar, but just can’t.”
My off-the-cuff response was, “Do you want to live?”
Hey, don’t hate on me! It’s the first thing that popped into my head. And you know with live radio you don’t have much time to think. However, if I had thought long and hard I couldn’t have come up with a better answer.
For those who are morbidly obese and have tried every way possible to lose weight, but just can’t seem to do it, processed sugar is the reason. And it can be a killer.
If you have diabetes 2, processed sugar, and probably gluten, is the reason. What if you stopped eating those two things? What would that do to your blood sugar, blood pressure, extreme weight issue? What would it do to the possibilities of heart disease and cancer? I’m not saying that if you stop eating sugar and gluten you will not have these ailments, but your risks for contracting them goes down greatly.
Even for those who are not obese, a recent study links sugar directly to heart disease. Always before it went like this, sugar affects obesity and obesity affects heart disease. Now researchers are saying it may be processed sugar all by itself. That means for those who are thin sugar addicts, and I’ve run into quite a few on this journey, you are compromising your health as well.
According to an Associated Press article released Feb. 4, “scientists aren’t certain exactly how sugar may contribute to deadly heart problems, but it has been to increase blood pressure and levels of unhealthy cholesterol and triglycerides; and also may increase signs of inflammation linked with heart disease, said Rachel Johnson, head of the American Heart Association’s nutrition committee and a University of Vermont nutrition professor.”
The study found links between sugary diets and death from heart disease. “This link was found even in normal-weight people who ate lots of added sugar,” the article said.
Researchers focused on sugar added to processed foods, drinks, cereal, packaged bread, tomato sauce and salad dressing. Health-Alicious-Ness.com says certain sauces like ketchup, chocolate syrup and salad dressing can be 50 percent sugar! Here are some of the top foods containing sugar: cereals, soft drinks, powdered drinks, candies, dried fruit, fruit roll ups, cookies, cakes, pies, spreads, jams, oatmeal packages, ice cream, cafe drinks and canned fruit packed in syrup.
The survey found that “adults who got at least 25 percent of their calories from added sugar were almost three times more likely to die of heart problems than those who consumed the least — less than 10 percent.” Not only that but even two cans of sugary soda out of 2,000 calories a day made the risk 20 percent higher than the safest level.
Sobering thoughts especially when sugar adds up quickly with one 12-ounce can of non-diet soda containing nine teaspoons of sugar and a cinnamon roll can have 13 teaspoons of sugar.
When I talk about processed sugar, I always talk about how it affects me. I can’t mitigate it. For me, it is very addictive. I have to approach it as an all or nothing proposition. It’s interesting that I do fine with raw honey or almond flour combinations. I’m not prone to overeat these. Items made with them don’t call my name in the middle of the night to come and consume them, even though I like the taste.
There is something in the combination of processed sugar and processed flour that overwhelms my senses and my ability to stop. I have willpower as long as I don’t eat it. Once I start again it’s hard to stop. It’s like trying to stop a moving freight train or at least that’s what it feels like in my body. It takes too much energy and so I just give in.
I recognized this profoundly when I ate a cookie about a year ago. I was only going to have one. I had five before I finally listened to the still, small voice and threw the cookie away. If I didn’t know before, I knew then. There is no moderation of sugar for me.
I’m sure any alcoholic who has stopped drinking alcohol can relate to what I am saying regarding alcohol.
It always seemed impossible for me to give up sugar, until I did it with God’s help. I never want to find myself bound and shackled to processed sugar and gluten again.
I understand the meaning of this scripture so much more now. “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.”1
Here’s my favorite way of saying that: “Nothing tastes as good as freedom feels.” If I were into tattoos that would be what mine would say, tattooed in a place that is sure to sag even more as I continue to lose weight.
As you ponder that, here’s the radio interview from this morning on KFRU. Just go this link to listen.
And by the way, I hope you love your life more than sugar. I really do.
1 1 Corinthians 6:12
Teresa Shields Parker is a wife, mother, business owner, life group leader, speaker and author of Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God’s Favor and Sweet Grace Study Guide: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Overcome Sugar Addiction. Get a free chapter of her memoir on her blog at Teresa Shields Parker.com. Connect with her there or on her Facebook page.