It’s that time of year… candy is being thrown into American shopping carts in giant quantities just in time to fill the Easter baskets of children all over the country.
And I’m THAT mom. The one who showed her kids a MARS animal cruelty video at Halloween, thus inspiring the kids to throw all of their Halloween candy away in exchange for an American Girl toy of their choice.
I feel the pressure every single holiday. I feel it at birthday parties. I feel it at cookouts. I’m *THAT* mom. The one that everyone thinks is crazy for not allowing her kids to eat artificial dyes, high fructose corn syrup, processed sugar, aspartame, or any of the other hundreds of thousands of food ingredients that my husband and I don’t want our children to consume.
I can’t understand for the life of me why I get so much negative feedback when I’m just trying to make the HEALTHIEST choices possible for my family. Maybe people just don’t understand the consequences on our health when we consume this much processed sugar.
We are living in a country where 35% of ALL adults are categorized as OBESE.
1 in 3 US children are either overweight or obese.
But WHY? You might be surprised to hear that it doesn’t have a lot to do with how much food we are eating, but with how much SUGAR we are eating.
The recommended amount of sugar that children should be consuming DAILY is 3-4 teaspoons daily for preschool/early elementary aged children.
For teens and tweens, the recommendation is 5 to 8 teaspoons per day.
But do you know how much sugar our children are actually consuming in this country??
The average 1 to 3-year-old is consuming about 12 TEASPOONS of sugar every single day! (This age group shouldn’t be consuming much, if ANY, added sugar)
The average 4 to 8-year-old is consuming 21 TEASPOONS of sugar each day. (That’s SEVEN TIMES the recommended amount!)
As for adults, The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that the average American consumes between 150 to 170 pounds of processed sugars every year! (Just 100 years ago we only consumed about 4 pounds of sugar each year! Look at how much our health has declined in the last 100 years!)
Some studies (like this one) have shown that consuming 75 to 100 grams of simple sugars (about 20 teaspoons of sugar – the amount found in two-and-a-half average 12 ounce cans of soda) can suppress the body’s immune responses considerably.
- These sugars are known to create a 40 to 50% drop in the ability of your white blood cells to kill germs and bacteria within the body
- This effect of immune suppression starts less than 30 minutes after eating sugar and can last for five hours
- If a person is consuming 150 to 170 lbs of sugar each year, this equals about 80,000 hours of immune suppression (That’s TEN TIMES the number of hours in ONE YEAR!)
This pediatric neuroendocrinologist even goes so far as to call sugar POISON- and after reading all about sugar and it’s effect on our immune systems, can you blame him? Dr. Robert Lustig, MD explains, “Food was just as abundant before obesity’s ascendance. The problem is the increase in sugar consumption. Sugar both drives fat storage and makes the brain think it is hungry, setting up a ‘vicious cycle.'” Lustig says that it’s fructose specifically that is the main culprit, which is the main component of the two most popular sugars- table sugar (sucrose) and high-fructose corn syrup.
Our sugar consumption in this country has a lot to do with the increase in MANY health issues:
- behavioral problems
- degenerative/organ disease
- immune disruption
- mental illness
- tooth decay
I know that this is a very inconvenient truth. Sugar tastes so good, and it’s added to almost EVERYTHING. And yes- it’s difficult to remove it from your diet at first.
If you still don’t think there’s anything wrong with all the sugar we are consuming, that’s fine. Keep eating your sugar filled foods, keep drinking your sugar filled drinks, keep taking your fluoride filled meds, keep telling me that you eat sugar and you are just “fine.” Just PLEASE STOP criticizing those of us who are making every effort to remove refined sugar from the diets of our children and ourselves.
And then, when no one is looking, please stop and take a cold hard look at the people around you and tell me how “fine” we really are with all of the obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, stroke, cancer, autoimmune disease, osteoarthritis, gout, gallbladder disease, breathing problems like sleep apnea, asthma, and high blood pressure that are plaguing this country.