My e-mail inbox continues to be flooded with advice on how to eat better in 2017. I’ve written one post about this and here’s another. Cooking Light magazine has an entire guide called “Start Your Year Off Right.”
When I first met with a nutritionist to discuss health eating after my 2012 angioplasty, I brought along four pages of foods I liked to eat. She told me one by one that they were all unhealthy. Most had too much of one or more of what I call the evil triangle of American food — sugar, salt or fat.
This blog is the result of that meeting and of my attempt to keep eating foods I find tasty while cutting out the evil triangle. But it is extremely tough in a world of so many mixed food messages. That point was brought home to me by a recent piece I read on npr.org headlined 75 Percent of Americans Say They Eat Healthy — Despite Evidence To The Contrary.Continue reading “Think you’re eating healthy? Think again”→
I really tire of people telling me I can “cheat” on my low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar diet once in a while without any consequences. Doing that last year caused me to gain back 15 pounds I’d lost over the past three years. I know how my body works. If I have one donut, I want more and I usually get them.
Britain is about to try something that’s been discussed and discarded in many U.S. locales — a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. the tax begins this month (April) and amount to about the equivalent of none to 12 cents per can depending on sugar content.
That means soda makers and others will pass those costs on to consumers. The tax money collected is supposed to go to promote sports in British schools, reports FoodandDrink Europe.com.
Anticipated U.S. Department of Agriculture dietary guidelines came out Thursday and, as I wrote last February, they let up a bit on salt concerns to focus on sugar as the worst of the evil three of salt, fat and sugar that we all eat too much of in the typical American diet.
“The average person eats 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day, and the guidelines say everyone should lower that to 2,300, or about a teaspoon,” notes the New York Times report on the guidelines, which are issued every five years.
I’ve often characterized sugar, salt and fat as the evil triangle of foods — a triangle I have struggled mightily to avoid since my 2012 angioplasty. Of sugar or salt, which is harder to drop from your diet?
For me, its long been sugar. I’ve cut massive amounts of salt from what I eat by eating out less and eating less processed foods as well as by checking for low-salt varieties of such everyday kitchen staples as ketchup, tomato sauce and even olives.
Most of us are well aware that salt, sugar and fat are the demons in our lives that make us unhealthy. The truth is that we do need a little of certain salts in our bodies. And our brains need glucose (a type of sugar) to function. And, incredibly, there are good fats that are absolutely essential to our bodies.
Telling the difference is easier than you think when it comes to sugar at least. It’s important to understand why the sweet stuff is just so bad for us, though. We all understand that too many sweet things can lead to weight gain, but perhaps the reason for it is a little unclear. The energy, or calories, from sugar, can be burnt off quicker than carbohydrates. It gives us that awesome boost of energy just as we need it, right?
Yes, there are such things as ‘sugar-highs’, when you have taken on so much sugar so quickly it makes you feel excitable and energized. But that passes really quick, and you can then feel low and lethargic. The process that removes the sugar from your bloodstream can also be damaged over time. This can lead to several health problems, including diabetes. That’s why even children shouldn’t be exposed to lots of sugar. It can just bring the problem on more quickly.
Sugar has come in for a lot of criticism of late when it comes to health, being blamed for a range of issues. But now Canadian researchers are saying salt is the most demon of the demon trio of salt, fat and sugar.
“[Sugar is] not of the same impact as salt and not associated with as many diseases. Salt is worse than sugar,” Dr. Norm Campbell with the University of Calgary’s Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta said in a recent CBC News item. “About one-third of hypertension around the world is caused by excess dietary salt, so about 300 million people in the world have hypertension due to excess salt and over two million in Canada,” Dr.Campbell said.
I’ve written about how sugar is being demonized as the real cause of heart disease and other health problems. I’ve also said sugar has been the most difficult on the evil triad of foodstuffs — fat, salt and sugar — for me to give up. I’m down to about 100 grams a day, with much of that coming from bananas (16 grams each, I eat two a day, so 32 grams of sugar there to start).
The anti-sugar movement got a big push forward this week with new Food and Drug Administration recommendations that we should eat no more than 50 grams of sugar a day. The recommendation, the first time the agency has put a cap on sugar consumption, got massive media play, including this New York Times piece.
Sugar, like salt and fat, is in most every processed food. Items “like low-fat yogurt, granola and wholegrain breads, as well as in ketchup, pasta sauce, canned fruit and prepared soups, salad dressings and marinades,” reports the Times. Continue reading “Sugar is in the health crosshairs again”→