Sugar, Obesity and Stress


Last week I had the privilege to hear renowned researcher Kelly Brownell, Ph.D. at a national health conference. His keynote address was on the topic of nutrition and obesity, but the real focus of his presentation was on the impact of sugar on the American diet. As a whole, our national consumption of sugar is mind-blowing. It has been suggested that each person consumes his or her own weight in sugar each year. Most likely, this is a very conservative estimate. Refined sugar  (not to mention high fructose corn syrup) is associated with obesity, which is associated with Type II diabetes, which is associated with heart disease. Estimates suggest that in the coming decade, over one-third of Americans will be diagnosed with Type II diabetes. The news is even more grim for India, as we export our lifestyle worldwide. From cereals to soft drinks to processed foods you wouldn’t even believe have sugar in them, food companies do their best to win your addiction to sugar. Brownell is the author of a new book on food addiction. Pulitzer prize winning author, Michael Moss, has just come out with a new book on the food industry’s attempts to win you over with salt, sugar and fat, in fact this is the title of his book, Salt Sugar Fat. Well worth the read. Sugar is also associated with a suppressed immune system and an increased stress response. Yet when people are stressed, the first thing they turn to are comfort foods, processed foods and junk foods that are loaded with these empty calories.
Stress Tip for the Day
Have you ever stopped to think about the amount of sugar you consume in a day? Refined sugar is in a great many foods, from salad dressings to breads. High fructose corn syrup is also in a great many foods as well. Here is a challenge: Try to go a whole day without eating any refined sugar or any foods that contain refined sugar. It’s hard but not impossible. Consider imposing a personal ban on refined sugar for a 24- hour period. Longer if you can. So, here is your chance to substitute foods with sugar to fresh veggies, nuts and even fruit (not fruit drinks). Good luck, and remember, if you slip (through no fault of your own) do your best to continue the sugar fast. Healthy eating is not about feeling guilty. It’s about starting today with healthy behaviors.
Links, Books and Links Worth Noting
These two links will educate you on the marketing efforts of the food industry to win your dollar over your health.
http://sugarpolitics.com/about/
http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2013/03/08/f-vp-crowe-big-sugar.html
And check out this link about a food industry insider:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/17/michael-mudd-kraft_n_2896628.html
Nancy Appleton, Ph.D., author of Suicide by Sugar, has written several books on this topic. Here is one link to her writings:
http://www.whale.to/w/appleton3.html
Quote for the Day
“The bottom line is that sugar upsets the body chemistry and suppresses the 
immune system.  Once the immune system becomes suppressed, the door is 
opened to infectious and degenerative diseases.  The stronger the immune
 system, the easier it is for the body to fight infectious and degenerative 
diseases.” –Nancy Appleton, Ph.D.
Photo For the Day
Not that we need one more photo of people trying to lose weight, but even though Colorado (where I live) is said to be the state with the lowest nationwide obesity levels, our numbers are increasing dramatically too, as evidenced here at the Colorado Irish Festival last summer.
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 12 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (7e) and the newly released, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

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