I have a master’s degree in public health, and it’s always been a huge interest and focus of mine. So I was thrilled when I came across an article recently with the headline, “The food industry must slash sugar, not just tinker with it.”
This article couldn’t have come at a better time. So many food and beverage manufacturers are busy trumpeting “reduced sugar” versions of their products — and then patting themselves on the back for doing such a good deed.
How heroic of them. But it’s a classic case of too little, too late.
Because the fact is, “reduced” sugar doesn’t necessarily mean low in sugar. In fact, as this insightful article points out, the “reduced sugar” versions of most products are still relatively high in sugar.
And as the author put it, “Tinkering over small reductions in the sugar content in foods/drinks that fundamentally remain high-sugar foods/drinks is unlikely to achieve the desired levels of sugar reduction.” And, as a result, we won’t get any of the health benefits of cutting sugar. Which means public health will remain in dire straits.
Here’s a good example of why “cutting back” just won’t cut it. Earlier this year, the World Health Organization recommended people reduce consumption of added sugars to less than 5 percent of their total caloric intake. For an average, normal-weight adult, this is equivalent to about 25 g of sugar—or about six teaspoons. Yet a standard can of soda contains up to 40 g—or a whopping 10 teaspoons.
Obviously, asking people to reduce their sugar intake simply isn’t going to work. At least, not without making drastic changes to food and beverage manufacturing processes. Right now, our food manufacturing industry removes one component of our foods and replaces them with an equally unhealthy product.
The only real way to significantly impact public health is to advocate the same message I’m always giving you. Cut sugar, cold turkey. It’s the only way you’ll see a REAL difference in your health.
Think of how well this tack worked regarding smoking: We flat out told people that cigarettes kill you and guess what? A lot of people stopped lighting up. Reducing nicotine and tar weren’t touted as the solution. Quitting was. The same must be the case for sugar.
I’m not saying it’ll be easy. Even if you don’t have a “sweet tooth,” chances are you’re still more hooked on sugar than you realize. And, I’ll be honest: The first few days without it are pretty tough. But if you can make it through three days, it gets much, much easier. Plus, once all the sugar is out of your system, you’ll feel so much better—more energetic, more alert, more alive—you won’t ever want to look back.
If you haven’t already made the leap, I promise you, you won’t regret it. And if you want some extra guidance, support, and tips to help get you “over the hump,” refer to my report “The 3-Day Sugar Cure.” (Subscribers to my monthly Logical Health Alternatives newsletter can download and view this report for free on my website.)
The bottom line is: Humans simply do not require “added” sugar in our diets. And the sooner we ditch it, the better off we’ll be—in terms of public health AND personal health.
“Food industry must slash sugar – not just tinker,” FoodNavigator,10/14/14 “Compared with apes, people’s gut bacteria lack diversity, study finds,” ScienceDaily, 11/3/14 (www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141103192138.htm)