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Article - Tips on how to kick the sugar habit

Thursday, August 30, 2007

HealthyMadison sent me a good article on how to kick the sugar habit - and I have to agree with the points on using honey and on using Stevia. The only thing they don't mention is really avoiding High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), but she may be referring to it obliquely in tip #1 - know all the names of sugar, the sneaky names!! Sucrose, fructose (which is a good sugar but still need to be aware of it), corn syrup, etc etc. lotsa names!

I am copying it here:

Sugar Addiction
Tips on how to kick the sugar habit.

Samantha Rufle

May 6, 2007
Buy honey local to your area., Samantha Rufle
Some experts believe kicking sugar is harder than kicking cigarettes or even heroine!

Sugar is every where. It is advertised on television, at parties, in drinks, and hidden in many foods. So, to get the sugar out of your diet, where do you start? The tips below will get you started.

1. Know all the sneaky names for sugar. Read food labels and get rid of condiments, sauces, and dressings with sugar in them. Learn to make condiments and dressings with out the sugar.
2. Eat fruit. Fruit is a great way to eat something sweet, and control calories. Just stay away from dried fruit or sweetened fruit.
3. Avoid artificial sweeteners. These are just a crutch. They keep you from learning to enjoy the natural sweetness of real food. There are also studies that show that they can make you crave sugar, not to mention the studies that show other dangerous health effects like cancer.
4. Eliminate the white stuff. White flour, white rice, and white potatoes. These have the same affect on blood sugar as sugar, and this will make sugar harder to kick. These foods keep you on the insulin- low blood sugar cycle.
5. Avoid juice. Even 100% juice is sugar water in disguise. Drink water, and if you must, only a splash of juice for flavor.
6. Try stevia. Stevia is an herb that is very sweet and has a slight licorice flavor. While it is a stretch to make a whole dessert with stevia, it is great in coffee and on cereal. It may take some getting used to, but it is way better than loading your food with sugar or known toxic chemicals.Tip: Look for stevia in the dietary supplement section. It will not be with the sweeteners.
7. Learn to use honey. If you really need a sugar fix, eat some honey. Learn to cook with it. Learn how to drizzle it in thin steams. It is very high in sugar but, has other benefits that sugar does not and it is all natural.Tip: Buy honey local to your area. The local pollens the bees use to make the honey could help prevent some seasonal allergies.
8. Limit alcohol. Alcohol is made from sugar. It acts like sugar in the body. Especially when you first are trying to kick sugar stay away from any alcoholic beverages.
9. Bring a low sugar dessert to share. Temptations are everywhere. Show others how delicious a low sugar life style can be.
10. Keep it out of the house. Do not temp yourself with your child's pop tarts or your husband's ice cream. Tell your family what you are doing and then put your foot down. It is hard enough with out sweets calling your name all day long.
11. Eat sweet potatoes, red potatoes, and brown rice with meals. These are the foods to replace the white foods with. Sweet potatoes make a yummy dessert with a little yogurt. Steam small red potatoes or some brown rice to eat with dinner. If time is an issue, cook these items ahead of time.
12. If you must eat sweets, eat them after meals. After meals sugar has less of an effect on blood sugar. You will be less likely to crash and crave more later.

Sugar is a hard habit to kick. Cravings will lessen with time. The longer sugar is out of your diet the easier it gets.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

*~*MICHELLE*~* 8/30/2007 10:17AM

    Im glad you liked that article. She probably doesnt mention HFCS because I think everyone should know by now that HFCS is just bad for EVERYONE no matter if you have a sugar addiction or not.

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Yoga Websites...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I used to do Yoga, and I miss it. I want to get thin enough to be able to do the Plow pose again - I used to do it so easily!

Can I come back to this blog and add to it, as I find more entries?? Will have to test it and see...

YEA! I went back to the page and at the bottom left is a tiny little "edit" click button. Question is Answered. Now it is "safe" for me to leave the computer for awhile and do exercise or housework and not feel like I have to get it ALL TYPED IN RIGHT THIS MINUTE!



Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I've read a variety of websites and books discussing High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and made the decision for myself to AVOID this stuff like the plague! It's bad enough I eat white sugar, and that's a different topic (see the "Radiant Recovery" team), but in any case, I can tell you that several months now of actively reading labels and not buying the stuff, I seem to be craving sugary stuff less and less often.

So as I find interesting websites, I'm going to post them here and maybe even copy in some of the actual website itself (saves your hand from all that mousing over to a new window or tab, etc.).

This is one of many I've read and I'm trying to go back and find others that also provided information on this substance that was helpful to me.
In the Kitchen with Mother Linda
The Murky World of High-Fructose Corn Syrup

By Linda Joyce Forristal, CCP, MTA

Think of sugar and you think of sugar cane or beets. Extraction of sugar from sugar cane spurred the colonization of the New World. Extraction of sugar from beets was developed during the time of Napoleon so that the French could have sugar in spite of the English trading blockade.

Nobody thinks of sugar when they see a field of corn. Most of us would be surprised to learn that the larger percentage of sweeteners used in processed food comes from corn, not sugar cane or beets.

The process for making the sweetener high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) out of corn was developed in the 1970s. Use of HFCS grew rapidly, from less than three million short tons in 1980 to almost 8 million short tons in 1995. During the late 1990s, use of sugar actually declined as it was eclipsed by HFCS. Today Americans consume more HFCS than sugar.

High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is produced by processing corn starch to yield glucose, and then processing the glucose to produce a high percentage of fructose. It all sounds rather simple--white cornstarch is turned into crystal clear syrup. However, the process is actually very complicated. Three different enzymes are needed to break down cornstarch, which is composed of chains of glucose molecules of almost infinite length, into the simple sugars glucose and fructose.

First, cornstarch is treated with alpha-amylase to produce shorter chains of sugars called polysaccharides. Alpha-amylase is industrially produced by a bacterium, usually Bacillus sp. It is purified and then shipped to HFCS manufacturers.

Next, an enzyme called glucoamylase breaks the sugar chains down even further to yield the simple sugar glucose. Unlike alpha-amylase, glucoamylase is produced by Aspergillus, a fungus, in a fermentation vat where one would likely see little balls of Aspergillus floating on the top.

The third enzyme, glucose-isomerase, is very expensive. It converts glucose to a mixture of about 42 percent fructose and 50-52 percent glucose with some other sugars mixed in. While alpha-amylase and glucoamylase are added directly to the slurry, pricey glucose-isomerase is packed into columns and the sugar mixture is then passed over it. Inexpensive alpha-amylase and glucoamylase are used only once, glucose-isomerase is reused until it loses most of its activity.

There are two more steps involved. First is a liquid chromatography step that takes the mixture to 90 percent fructose. Finally, this is back-blended with the original mixture to yield a final concentration of about 55 percent fructose--what the industry calls high fructose corn syrup.

HFCS has the exact same sweetness and taste as an equal amount of sucrose from cane or beet sugar but it is obviously much more complicated to make, involving vats of murky fermenting liquid, fungus and chemical tweaking, all of which take place in one of 16 chemical plants located in the Corn Belt. Yet in spite of all the special enzymes required, HFCS is actually cheaper than sugar. It is also very easy to transport--it's just piped into tanker trucks. This translates into lower costs and higher profits for food producers.

The development of the HFCS process came at an opportune time for corn growers. Refinements of the partial hydrogenation process had made it possible to get better shortenings and margarines out of soybeans than corn. HFCS took up the slack as demand for corn oil margarine declined. Lysine, an amino acid, can be produced from the corn residue after the glucose is removed. This is the modus operandi of the food conglomerates--break down commodities into their basic components and then put them back together again as processed food.

Today HFCS is used to sweeten jams, condiments like ketchup, and soft drinks. It is also a favorite ingredient in many so-called health foods. Four companies control 85 percent of the $2.6 billion business--Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, Staley Manufacturing Co. and CPC International. In the mid-1990s, ADM was the object of an FBI probe into price fixing of three products--HFCS, citric acid and lysine--and consumers got a glimpse of the murky world of corporate manipulation.

There's a couple of other murky things that consumers should know about HFCS. According to a food technology expert, two of the enzymes used, alpha-amylase and glucose-isomerase, are genetically modified to make them more stable. Enzymes are actually very large proteins and through genetic modification specific amino acids in the enzymes are changed or replaced so the enzyme's "backbone" won't break down or unfold. This allows the industry to get the enzymes to higher temperatures before they become unstable.

Consumers trying to avoid genetically modified foods should avoid HFCS. It is almost certainly made from genetically modified corn and then it is processed with genetically modified enzymes. I've seen some estimates claiming that virtually everything--almost 80 percent--of what we eat today has been genetically modified at some point. Since the use of HFCS is so prevalent in processed foods, those figures may be right.

But there's another reason to avoid HFCS. Consumers may think that because it contains fructose--which they associate with fruit, which is a natural food--that it is healthier than sugar. A team of investigators at the USDA, led by Dr. Meira Field, has discovered that this just ain't so.

Sucrose is composed of glucose and fructose. When sugar is given to rats in high amounts, the rats develop multiple health problems, especially when the rats were deficient in certain nutrients, such as copper. The researchers wanted to know whether it was the fructose or the glucose moiety that was causing the problems. So they repeated their studies with two groups of rats, one given high amounts of glucose and one given high amounts of fructose. The glucose group was unaffected but the fructose group had disastrous results. The male rats did not reach adulthood. They had anemia, high cholesterol and heart hypertrophy--that means that their hearts enlarged until they exploded. They also had delayed testicular development. Dr. Field explains that fructose in combination with copper deficiency in the growing animal interferes with collagen production. (Copper deficiency, by the way, is widespread in America.) In a nutshell, the little bodies of the rats just fell apart. The females were not so affected, but they were unable to produce live young.

"The medical profession thinks fructose is better for diabetics than sugar," says Dr. Field, "but every cell in the body can metabolize glucose. However, all fructose must be metabolized in the liver. The livers of the rats on the high fructose diet looked like the livers of alcoholics, plugged with fat and cirrhotic."

HFCS contains more fructose than sugar and this fructose is more immediately available because it is not bound up in sucrose. Since the effects of fructose are most severe in the growing organism, we need to think carefully about what kind of sweeteners we give to our children. Fruit juices should be strictly avoided--they are very high in fructose--but so should anything with HFCS.

Interestingly, although HFCS is used in many products aimed at children, it is not used in baby formula, even though it would probably save the manufactueres a few pennies for each can. Do the formula makers know something they aren't telling us? Pretty murky!

About the author

Linda Forristal, CCP, MTA is the author of Ode to Sucanat (1993) and Bulgarian Rhapsody (1998). Visit her website at

This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts,
the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Fall 2001

This page was posted on 12/03/03

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Awesome. I agree about the HFCS and have been trying to avoid it, too - although I fail when I binge. But I'm getting there, one step at a time. I'll keep checking in to see what other articles you find!

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I found this on a different website, can't remember which one. There was no author ascribed to it, so I casually assume it is an "anonymous" writing. I just now googled and found it on Dr. Phil's website but I had never seen that website before.

In any case... it seemed to speak to me... Maybe it will be of help to you. In any case, it is something for me to think about before I go stuffing my face because I am not really hungry, but instead, lonely or bored or upset or angry or lost or confused or any other feeling that I am not owning for that moment!

Hope it helps you, too.


I overate for joy - and became miserable.
I overate to be outgoing - and became self-centered.
I overate to be sociable - and became argumentative and lonely.
I overate for friendship - and made enemies.
I overate to soften sorrow - and awakened without rest.

I overate for strength - and felt weak.
I overate for relaxation - and became more tense.
I overate for assurance - and became doubtful.
I overate for warmth - and lost my cool.
I overate to feel Heavenly - and found Hell.
I overate to forget - and became haunted by my excess fat.
I overate for freedom - and became a slave to food.

I overate for power - and became powerless.
I overate to erase problems - and saw them multiply.
I overate to cope with life - and invited an earlier death.

I overate because I had the RIGHT - and everything turned out wrong.


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