An item in the newsletter a few weeks ago talked about the most nutritious foods (according to a group of scientists who looked into it). In case you missed it, number 1 on the most nutritious foods was almonds.
This time we talk about what might be the least nutritious food we consume: sugar.
Is sugar the least nutritious?
No one that I know of has made that argument in those specific terms, but the evidence and awareness of sugar’s potentially harmful effects seem to be growing. There is sugar all around us — in foods where we don’t need it, want it, or realize it’s there.
How can we avoid it?
David Leonhardt, opinion page editor of the New York Times, has written a great guide to cutting out a lot of sugar in our diets. It begins with this:
If you’re like most Americans, you eat more sugar than is good for you. But it’s entirely possible to eat less sugar without sacrificing much — if any — of the pleasures of eating. Surprising as it may sound, many people who have cut back on sugar say they find their new eating habits more pleasurable than their old ones. This guide will walk you through why sugar matters, how you can make smart food choices to reduce sugar consumption, and how you can keep your life sweet, even without so many sweets. Click here for source: How to Stop Eating Sugar – Smarter living Guides – The New York Times
My personal experience echoes what Leonhardt has written.
A year ago, I was in the doctor’s office for a routine examination. The doctor entered and asked me how I felt.
“I feel great.” I always feel great. Well, most of the time.
He looked a little puzzled and proceeded to tell me that the numbers on my chart would indicate that I should not be feeling so great. I was, at that point, a borderline diabetic. There was more, but that was enough.
I drove straight home and told my wife Sally, the greatest person in the world. Sally is a disciplined eater who has kept me on the straight-and-narrow for four decades. But this would be a new level of discipline. We decided to cut out all of the sugar that we could from our diets.
I’ll skip the details.
Five months later, my sugar numbers had dropped dramatically, and the doctor was amazed. Sally and I increased our walking from three to nearly five miles a day. I had lost nearly 20 pounds — pounds, I had become convinced, I could never lose.
And, as Leonhardt says, I like my new diet more than my old one.
Also, I feel great.
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