No arena of health and wellness is more debatable than what we should be eating. Looking back through time, the foods that constitute a healthy diet have changed so dramatically, you can literally mark the passage of time by the coming and going of dietary fads.
- Weight-loss clubs and diet pill popping in the 1970s…
- Cabbage soup and liquid diets in the ‘80s…
- The Zone and blood-type diets (along with lawsuits related to diet pills!) in the ‘90s…
- In the aughts, Atkins and gluten-free…
- In the 2010’s, it’s Paleo, raw, and local.
Despite this obsessive focus on what to eat, Americans are fatter and in many ways, unhealthier than ever before. In 2016, two-thirds of the adult population were considered overweight or obese, according to a U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services study. This health epidemic spans ethnic and cultural boundaries, and is affecting more adults and children every year.
One factor that is contributing to America’s growing problem with weight is our obsession with sugar. You probably don’t need to see the results of a clinical study to believe that the more sugary calories you consume, the greater your risks of obesity. What you may not know is that what passes for sugar these days is actually a hyper-sweetened extract of one of the cheapest, most heavily-sprayed, GMO-pervasive crops on the planet.
Why Sugar Isn’t Sugar Anymore
Despite a marked decrease in consumption of refined cane and beet sugars over the last generation, we are taking in more dietary sugar overall, thanks to the prevalence of corn-based sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup, in nearly everything on grocery store shelves.
Switching to corn-based sweeteners is a case of jumping from the funnel cake grease into the fire! Corn syrup has become the go-to sweetening agent for processed foods due to its low cost and high concentration (at least 1.5 times that of cane sugar). Thanks to government subsidies, corn is alluringly cheap for food and beverage companies that need a steady supply of sweetness.
Corn is also a top GMO crop with at least 92% of the nation’s corn supply being genetically modified to withstand large doses of herbicides. Setting aside the shocking effects of GMO consumption, this intense concentration of simple sugar is wreaking havoc on the collective metabolism. Studies abound correlating intake of high-fructose sweeteners to increased risks of obesity, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, fatty liver disease, diabetes, and more.
What About Zero-Calorie Sweeteners?
Aspartame, Equal, sucralose, Splenda, saccharin: they go by many names but do any of them sound truly sweet? Not when you read the nearly 100 scientific abstracts Greenmedinfo has collected on the perils of artificial sweeteners. Chemical fascimiles of sugar, these unnatural compounds can be far worse than the real thing.
Linked to increased risks of kidney disease, metabolic dysfunction, diabetes, and obesity, these calorie-free sugar substitutes trick consumers into thinking that previously unhealthy foods can get “a sugar-free pass.” But fake sugars are far from harmless. Studies show consuming synthetic sweeteners generates excessive cravings for the sweet taste, leading to weight gain and other negative effects linked to excessive sugar consumption.
While it might be tempting to think that these sugar imposters can help you bypass the weight and still eat the treats, if you value your health, steer clear of these dietary destroyers!
Nature Has the Solutions
Wondering what options this leaves you when only something sweet will do? Fortunately, nature has got you covered. Here are four solutions for satisfying your sweet tooth that won’t rot your teeth, create blood sugar imbalance, or cause weight gain. In fact, these natural wonders pack some amazing health benefits!