Most people like the “taste of sweetness”. My featured photo illustrates that for many, sugar has become as addictive as “crack cocaine”. This is why in the coming weeks I plan to blog about the significant negative health consequences of our over consumption of added sugar.
Residents of Blue Zones do not eat sugar by habit or accident. They eat the same amount of natural sugar that North Americans do, but one fifth as much of the added sugar (7 teaspoons). Sugar occurs naturally in fruits, vegetables, and even milk. The problem in the amount of added sugar in the American food supply rose by 25% between 1970 and 2000. This adds up to 22 teaspoons of added sugar each of us consumes each day that are hidden mixed into all of the processed foods we eat!
Sugar spikes insulin levels, which can lead to diabetes and lower fertility. It can make you fat and shorten your life. If you must eat sweets save them for special occasions, ideally as part of a meal. Limit sugar added to tea, coffee, or other foods to no more than four teaspoons per day. Do no purchase any product that lists sugar among its first five ingredients. Consume no more than seven added teaspoons of sugar a
- Make honey your go-to sweeter. It is harder to spoon in and does not dissolve in cold liquids so you ten to consume less.
- Avoid sugar-sweetend sodas, teas, or fruit drinks. Try seltzer instead.
- Limit desserts or treats to 100 calories. Eat one serving a day or less.
- Consider fruit your sweet treat.
- Watch out for processed foods with added sugar, particularly sauces, salad dressings, and ketchup.
- Watch for low-fat products. Some low-fat yogurts contain more sugar per ounce than soft drinks.
Taken from National Geographic’s “The Blue Zones-The Science of Living Longer”
The brownie above is so very delicious. I sometimes even top it with some Talenti Mediterranean Mint Gelato (quite a contrast from a healthy Mediterranean diet) and a little real whipped cream. This is not a dessert I would indulge in on a regular basis. The 8×8 square pan of these brownies has one cup of sugar and eight teaspoons of butter! These brownies are a serious sugar/fat bomb. Limit those sugary desserts you crave for special occasions only!