The start to a new year often comes with thought and anticipation about what we are hoping to accomplish in the next twelve months. Sometimes goals can be long term and measuring them up against a year long period seems reasonable. But I think that most goals are better measured on a daily basis. We start the day with an intention to do one thing, and then at the end of the day think about how well it went. Easy. You may not always hit the mark, but at least you know what to focus on tomorrow. If all goes as planned, you can pat yourself on the back and do it again the next day. Bit by bit, this leads to long term change.
So after recently reading an opinion piece in the New York Times*, I began to think about how the idea of reducing the amount of sugar we eat can be a daily goal instead of a mondo weight loss dilemma. The scientific research continues to point to excessive sugar intake as a direct connection to disease. The obesity epidemic, diabetes, heart disease and dementia all have strong links to eating and drinking too much sugar. A good daily goal would be to significantly reduce or better yet, eliminate added sugar in our diet.
An easy way to start is to stop drinking sugar sweetened beverages - this includes soda, juice, sweetened coffee drinks, flavored milk, basically anything that has added sugar grams listed on a label. Steer clear of sweets in the form of cookies, candy, breakfast cereals, granola bars and sweetened fruited yogurt. These are daily goals that can have positive impact on health and metabolism. Some days won’t be perfect, but by keeping a focused daily intention, sugar intake will go down.
My 12 year old son looked over my shoulder and spotted the title for this blog post while I was writing and he casually asked if I was writing a fairytale. I understand how this idea would seem like an impossibility, but I think the real question should be, when did it become the norm that sugar shows up in almost everything we eat?
*A Month Without Sugar, David Leonhard, New York Times, December 30, 2016
Post submitted by Arleen Temer-Wittcoff, a Registered and Licensed Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with OrthoHealth - Illinois Bone and Joint Institute