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A Healthy Diet: What Can I Eat?

| 1/28/2010 1:05:51 PM

A photo of Lori Dunn with pet squirrelsEat a low fat diet. Reduce your cholesterol. Cut down on your carbs. Watch your sugar. Just what are we supposed to eat? It can all be very confusing. I’m no dietician, but I have become very conscious of what my family and I consume. I have made a new commitment to try and eat as healthy as possible, but what, exactly, is ok? I have spent some time using my favorite resource (the internet) to try and get some answers.

One of the things I found has to do with sugar, and it was actually my husband that stumbled upon it. He accidentally came across a video called “Sugar, The Bitter Truth.” It is by Robert H. Lustig, MD, a UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology (it’s also available on YouTube). It is a bit long, but it was very informative, and I was angry after I watched it! Basically, the doctor explains why sugar, and especially high fructose corn syrup is so bad for us.

I immediately went to my pantry and started reading labels. It is no wonder there is so much type 2 diabetes in this country. Almost everything we consume has had sugar added to it! So how do we get rid of the sugar? It isn’t easy. I don’t think the answer is to just cut sweets from your diet altogether. It would never work, because everyone likes to have a cookie, or cake, or whatever your favorite dessert is. No one can stay away from these goodies forever, so there has to be an alternative, right? I went looking for some.

My first thought for alternative sweeteners of course was the well known brands, Sweet-n-low (saccharin), Equal (aspartame), and Splenda (sucralose).

Sugar, Splenda and Aspartame

Once again, I did some research. I came to the conclusion that none of these are acceptable substitutes, as far as I’m concerned! These sweeteners are chemically produced, not natural, and there are questions about them causing cancer. I am not willing to take that chance! Splenda claims to be natural because it is made from sugar, but what they do to it in the processing is NOT natural. Here is just one link for a video on youtube that explains the origins of Splenda. There is actually quite a lot of info if you look for it. The problem is that we think because these items are approved by the FDA that they are safe. In a perfect system, that might be true, but when big money is involved, our best interests are not the number one priority!

2/1/2010 4:46:37 PM

Vickie, We were never huge soda drinkers, but we drank our fair share. I cut soda out some time ago. I drink water, tea, and coffee. I must confess that I'm not a milk drinker, but I get my share of milk products through cheese. I LOVE CHEESE! I probably drink to much coffee. I have read that some coffee is good for you, but I drink a lot more than "some"! Maybe some day I will cut back on that as well, but for now I'm going to concentrate on the sugar. One thing at a time!

2/1/2010 3:32:12 PM

Lori, Glad I came back to read -I use a lot of Splenda in my iced tea -I'm going to look for this Stevia -maybe I'll find it at a health food store near by. I just recently cut my diet coke consumption (about three weeks ago) down to 2 glasses a day -I'm ashamed to admit how much Diet Coke I was drinking and I've substitued somewhat with tea. Such a good post. vickie

2/1/2010 3:31:05 PM

Andrew, I was able to find stevia at Giant for about $6.00 for 80 packets. I also saw it at Walmart in the vitamin and herbal supplement section, for about $7.00. I don't know the variety of stores you have available to shop at, but you may be able to find it cheaper if you shop around. I'm impressed with your calculations, and I think we may be coming out pretty even too because I'm using so much less sugar! There is a company that makes a stevia product that measures cup for cup like sugar, but I've only found it online, and it was pretty expensive. I'm trying to find some place local that sells it. I would like to have it for baking purposes. If I can find any more info on that, I'll post it here!

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