Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Little Decisions

When it comes to your health, sometimes the biggest decisions are the smallest ones. Everyone has had the experience of walking past a box of cookies or a bowl full of candy. The decisions that you make during such a daily task have a gigantic cumulative effect on your overall health. American sugar consumption is now over 107 pounds of sugar per person per year.

So that you can understand what this means, in 1822, which is certainly not the lowest the refined sugar concentration has ever been in the human diet, the average American ate as much sugar as is found in a regular twelve ounce Coca-Cola every five days. The staggering increase in sugar consumption hasn't happened simply by having people gorge on Twinkies and M&Ms however. Sugars are added to many foods that are not thought of as sweets to increase their palatability. Thousand Island dressing, for example, has over four grams of sugar per ounce.

So one small decision that I strongly recommend is to read food labels when shopping. Avoid purchasing foods with high levels of any sugar, be it cane juice, agave, sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, brown sugar or honey. In addition, avoid sugary condiments like thousand island dressing and ketchup as anything other than a rare treat (every week or less).

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