With Valentine’s Day approaching, what better subject to discuss than sugar, the substance that can create the sweet life, or as they say in Italy, La Dolce Vita.
Today is the first article in a series on love and relationships, in honor of Valentine’s Day and the sweet life.
Unfortunately, too much of a good thing is not a good thing, and so sugar is something that can be detrimental to your health, and lead you into a High Density Lifestyle, which would not be the sweet life you want.
In the U.S., it is estimated that the per capital consumption of sugar is 175 pounds per year. The current recommendation is a maximum intake of 8 teaspoons of sugars a day, yet one 12 ounce can of soda or a 20 ounce bottle of Vitamin Water puts 9 teaspoons of sugars into your body. So you’re already maxed out before you’ve gotten going.
Then add onto that all the other potential sugary things you might eat: cookies, salad dressings, processed foods, soups, juices, fruit-flavored foods; heck, even a lot of natural and organic foods are sweetened with sugars.
So as much as you may like sugar, and like living the sweet life/la dolce vita, you are probably sugar-overloading your body. And whether the sugar is from corn, fruit, sugar cane or beets, they’re all simple sugars that the body doesn’t process or metabolize very well at all.
It takes a pound of oranges to produce eight ounces of juice, which concentrates the simple fruit sugars and strips away the appetite-satiating fiber and bulk of the fruit. “An eight-ounce glass of juice from oranges, apples or grapes has about five to eight teaspoons of sugar,” said Dr. Barry Popkin, a professor of global nutrition and author of the book, The World is Fat. “Calorically and nutritionally, it’s much better to eat the fruit.”
Simple sugars cause weight gain, which then leads to obesity. And obesity, at least in the U.S., is at epidemic proportions. Simple sugars are metabolized in the liver, and the liver will then store them and transform them into fats. The result of this, besides obesity, is also diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, auto-immune disease and other chronic and degenerative ailments.
Plus it stops you from living a Low Density Lifestyle, and if anything is going to lead you into the sweet life, it’s a Low Density Lifestyle.
The answer is to focus on eating complex sugars, the natural occurring sugars found in whole grains, vegetables, fruits and other whole foods, and then when you want something sweet, to look for something sweetened with barley malt, rice syrup, maple syrup and honey.
So this Valentine’s Day, when you and your sweetie are looking to live the sweet life/la dolce vita together, remember that there are many ways to do this, and eating simple sugars isn’t the best or only way.