I Eat Paleo – Step One: Throw Out Sugar
By: Arthur Anderson
This is step one, “Throw out sugar”, from my 10-step plan outlined in my I Eat Paleo blog on 1/4/2018. As you read this step you may find that part of the discussion does not support a pure Paleo lifestyle. That’s okay because these are steps to graduate past before going onto the next step and so on.
Did you know that the average American consumes about 153 pounds of sugar per year? Let’s put that into perspective. That’s 346.5 cups a sugar per year or a little over one cup of sugar per day! One cup of sugar is 800 calories. Now if your scarfing down a couple cupcakes per day, or 5 non-diet sodas per day, or 5 Snickersâ bars a day or even 8 IHOPâ red velvet pancakes then you will have a pretty good idea of where the sugar is coming from. But let’s face it, that is not a diet that many of us follow. So, the question comes, where does all that sugar come from? I am only referring to processed sugar, not the natural sugars you get from fruits and vegetables.
Sugar can play the role of a preservative, like salt. Your body also craves the properties of sugar, it’s like a drug. It’s for both these reasons food manufacturers use sugar freely as an ingredient in their foods. Some examples that you wouldn’t expect: ketchup, high fructose corn syrup is the third ingredient; pasta sauce, sugar is the fourth ingredient; fruit juice; soups, salad dressings, etc. My point is that sugar is unnecessarily added to many, if not most, of our mainstream packaged products.
How do you avoid these sugars? Read the ingredients on the labels, there are plenty of your favorite packaged foods out there that don’t have added sugar and taste great. The challenge is that there are several names that describe sugar in the ingredient list. Your safest bet is if the ingredient has an ‘ose’ at the end it’s a form of sugar. Here are some common names for sugar:
- Sorghum syrup
- Fruit juice concentrate
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Corn syrup
- Corn sweetener
- Brown sugar
Paleo man, or woman, didn’t have sugar to add to their foods, they ate fruits and vegetables that contained naturally occurring sugars. And maybe they had a little honey, too. For those of you that have a sweet tooth that needs to be satisfied go to www.nomnompaleo.com, she has a lot of great Paleo ‘sweets’ recipes.
(Featured Image: Ang Fontana Photography)