Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sugar, its not that sweet...

The average sugar consumption of an American has been steadily rising; the average American consumes 20 teaspoons of added sugar EVERY DAY and 120 pounds of sugar a year, approximately 25% of total calories consumed.

Going Paleo means changing your food and eliminating processed foods as well as other food categories primarily grains, legumes, and dairy from your diet - which to a person eating the typical American diet can seem pretty extreme. I didn't change my diet overnight to Paleo, and actually started with a No Sugar challenge. I'm urging you to try a No Sugar challenge on your own and by excluding sugar from your diet I'm not just talking about sugar that you add into things like coffee and rice crispy cereal or switching from Coke to Diet Coke, I'm talking about cutting out ALL added sugar that isn't found naturally in food. So don't worry about the sugar that occurs naturally in the apple that you're eating, as long as you're eating the whole apple or the lactose content of the glass of whole milk you just drank - the sugars in those foods are not the sugars that I'm worried about you over consuming since its hard to eat 15 apples in one sitting or to drink an entire gallon of whole milk in a day (Warnek excluded).

Sugar is pretty sneaky, especially added sugar. It goes by many names like our friend High Fructose Corn Syrup, Honey, Agave, Cane Sugar, Cane Syrup, Tapioca Syrup, Maple Syrup, Brown Sugar, and Sugar Alcohols: sorbitol, maltitol, xylitol, and mannitol.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Cleaning out your pantry

Its approaching that time of year again when you start to see charities collect food for families in need for the upcoming holidays.  This year, I suggest you take a look into your pantry and think about what you can donate - but instead of giving away your can of beans, soup, and box of pasta and then replacing it - make it a challenge to be healthier and remove the package food that you know is not making you healthier from your repertoire for good. 

After you have made the commitment to change your food, to eat cleaner and healthier, you've probably noticed that when you're hungry you're reaching for something in the fridge or on the counter verses stored in a package in a cabinet in your kitchen.  So take the opportunity this season to say goodbye to all of the package foods that are sitting in your cabinets tempting you, and donate it to a local food drive.  If you don't have it around, then you are less likely to eat package foods.  I recently made a donation of pasta, pasta sauce, canned soups, canned beans, rice packets, and about 20 gluten containing bars to a local food charity in the Philadelphia area.  I am sad that food drives can only accept non-perishable packaged foods (which tend to make them unhealthy) but I was happy that I was able to give the food to someone instead of throwing it away.  Make cleaning out your pantry part of your commitment to becoming a healthier person or family today.