Sugar Season

Morning, SoulShiners! I've said it before and I'll say it again.....with Halloween just around the corner, the inevitable house full of candy is about to begin. This week marks the beginning of sugar season, in my eyes, and my time to reaffirm my desire to not get completely addicted to the white stuff, fall off the rails, and end up a tired, cranky, and overweight woman on Jan. 1.

Sure, some treats here and there are fine. But just remember that sugar is one of the most toxic and damaging substances we consume. It's also one of the most addictive. Most of today's chronic illnesses could be avoided or significantly improved by reducing sugar in our diets.

The easiest way to start reducing sugar in your diet is to understand how to gauge and regulate the amount of sugar you're eating. The actual amount of sugar in a given food is listed on the nutrition label in grams per serving.

1 teaspoon of sugar is equal to 4 grams of sugar. For example, a Coke contains 30 grams of sugar, which is almost 10 teaspoons! Be aware of hidden super sugary foods such as cereal, spaghetti sauce, and bread.

There are good sugars and bad sugars. Bad sugar = refined white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, refined carbohydrates (white flour), artificial sweeteners (linked to lower IQ, brain tumors, MS, fatigue, fibromyalgia, weight gain, and even Alzheimer's). Good(ish) sugar = natural sugar found in whole foods, date syrup, coconut palm sugar, Stevia, Xylitol, whole cane sugar, maple syrup (the good stuff), agave, and raw honey.