RK Tip of the Week|You don’t need no sugar daddy!

Posted on September 16, 2010


I get to babysit 2 adorable twins every so often who are almost to their 2nd birthday. They love running behind the drapes & covering themself while you say “Where’s so and so?” a million times. Then, you guessed it, they pop out from the drapes giggling & grinning as if to say “Here I am!!!! You had no idea where I was…I’m here!! Right here!!” Never mind that their little feet stick out the entire time so the only person who really thinks they are hiding is them. But it’s a fun little game. 

Aparently the Corn Refiners Association wants to play this same game with you – and assumes you’re at the same comprehension level of a 2 year old. As you’ve probably heard, HFCS will now be called “corn sugar” in an attempt to re-brand the sweetener as something ‘not as bad as its’ image seems.’ The guy who re-did Britney Spears image must have been on board for this re-branding too. 

Of course, the name really does not matter – HFCS/corn sugar is and will always be VERY NOT GOOD FOR YOU. The reason? Higher fructose sweeteners (agave nectar is included in this one gang, sorry!) break down differently than simple sugars, like white sugar or honey. 

Simple sugars break down in the blood stream and are stored as glycogen in your liver, muscles & fatty tissues. Fructose is broken down in the liver and stored as triglycerides that, through a chain of reactions, makes your LDL cholesterol go up, raises your blood pressure, causes inflammation, creates insulin & leptin (the chemical relating to signals of hunger) resistance, & rounds out the picture with fatty liver symptoms. Hello Metabolic Syndrome!! 

It doesn’t matter if you’re a 30mins 3x/week gentle exerciser or a 7 hours a week high intensity athlete – you need to control your sweetener intake to an absolute minimum. Allowing your sweetener intake to be high allows for high levels of inflammation in your body. You will struggle to retain muscle, will easily store fat (especially around your middle), & will feel pain more quickly (arthritis, fibromyalgia, etc.)  

A study was done on the effects of a “one-off sugar hit” on the body. When a person had a one-time sugar rush, human genes actually ‘remembered’ the hit for weeks. After the sugar rush, the DNA switched off genetic controls that are designed to protect the body against diabetes & disease – in some cases for up to two weeks after! They also noted in their findings that chronically poor eating habits were shown to ‘permanently alter a person’s DNA.’  Lead researcher, Sam El-Osta stated that this permanent alteration of DNA could be passed down to children through bloodlines, making this a multi-generational problem. (Full article here)

*Think Sucralose (Splenda), aspartame, or TruVia is any better? Think again – it can actually set off as bad of health reactions in your body.  I’m looking at you Powerade Zero drinkers – check your label, then find something that does not contain sucralose – I use an electrolyte powder from Emergen-C that adds electrolytes to my water along with a lemon-lime flavor. 

*Morning coffee need a sweet kick? I like Stevia & find that if half & half is available, I’ll add that first, then add sweetener because I find I need less of even the Stevia since the cream sweetens it a bit already. 

*And all of you still buying things that come in cardboard packaging – fruit snacks, crackers, pudding cups, cereal, anything in the main aisles of a store – read your labels! More than 1 type of sweetener in the ingredient list and you need to wonder just what the actual food tastes like since they need so much sweetener to oopmh! it up. 

 You absolutely can help your health by reducing your sweetener intake. Life is not boring without heavy sweeteners. Food actually will begin to taste like food again & you’ll reset your palate for flavor. Take a sweetener survey of your life & leave a comment about what you can change or reduce to lighten your sweetener load!