Health

Alternatives to the Holiday Sugar Rush

By Aaron Lambert

We’ve all heard it.  We are all aware of it to one degree or another.  Even so, let’s just hear it one more time: We Americans eat too much sugar.  Old, young, male or female, it doesn’t matter.  Sugar is present everywhere in the diets of most people.  Go ahead and read the ingredients of the packaged goods in your house.  It might be listed under the name high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), evaporated cane juice or fruit juice, but it’s still sugar. Sugar is added in one form or another to breads, cereals, soda, canned goods, baked goods, pre-made meals, processed meat, ketchup and sports drinks.  Even if you drink natural fruit juice, you’re drinking pure fructose (a sugar).

The estimates of sugar consumption range from 170 to 220 pounds per person per year.  That is an enormous amount, considering that adults should have only about two teaspoons of sugar in their blood at any one time.  We have all heard the reports about the epidemics of diabetes and obesity.  Children as young as eight years old are now being diagnosed with diabetes type II.  Diabetes II is a dangerous chronic illness that generally results from the over-consumption of sugar.  In effect, the pancreas burns out and the body can no longer produce enough insulin, which is needed to get sugar into your cells.  Obesity, too, is a growing problem.  The consumption of so much sugar provides the body with more calories than it needs, and so it stores the excess as fat.  Both obesity and diabetes II increase the probability of incurring additional chronic health problems such as cardiovascular disease.

Read more: Alternatives to the Holiday Sugar Rush

Reversing Metabolic Syndrome and Its Risks

By Amanda Fey, ND

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together, significantly increasing risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. As obesity reaches epidemic levels in the US, this dangerous condition, also known as Syndrome X, is affecting a growing number of people. According to the American Heart Association, up to 25 percent of the US adult population is thought to suffer from metabolic syndrome. The good news is, if you have metabolic syndrome or any of the components of metabolic syndrome, you have the opportunity to make therapeutic lifestyle changes and reverse your risk of developing these serious diseases.

Read more: Reversing Metabolic Syndrome and Its Risks

 

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  • By Kristie Snyder,
    GreenLeaf Editor

    When Pam Wooster’s daughter came home from school and asked her if she knew that the kids used disposable styrofoam lunch trays, she was appalled. She knew that after their 20-minute useful lifespan was over they would just end up in the trash, so she decided to take action. Two years later, the Ithaca City School District’s (ICSD) Food Service Program has switched to compostable trays and reduced its trash by 73 percent.

    The new trays, made of sugar ca...

    Read more...
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