When I was a child, my favourite food was spinach. Many people might be surprised that a kid might like spinach, but it was true … I loved it. In my adult years, I thought I’d track down the recipe that could take me back to my beloved childhood spinach. It was a bit of a revelation to me to discover the reason I enjoyed it so much … sugar. I was surprised to learn how much sugar was in what I used to think of as a healthy food …
More recently, my journey into the world of healthier choices has taught me to read labels and scrutinize what I consume more often. I try to avoid (or at least minimize) artificial colours, msg, nitrates, excessive unhealthy fats, genetically modified ingredients, too much salt and too much sugar. For much of my life I have indulged in consumption without adequate consideration for my health … however, lately I have opened my eyes to the consequences of my dietary choices.
For many years, my favourite condiment was ketchup. I have always loved ketchup and would often add extra ketchup to foods without even thinking about it. No wonder I loved ketchup … the other day I looked at the ingredients on the label – the second one is liquid sugar… (ingredients are listed in order of their proportion in the food, with the most common ingredients listed first)… No more Heinz Ketchup for this cowboy.
No more Heinz Relish either … high in sugar and artificially coloured.
And then there’s pickled beets – yes, again … I can do without all that added sugar.
There’s a reason it’s nickname is “White Death”
Sugar is an addictive carcinogen commonly found in many of the foods we love. Our favourite cereals, condiments and beverages are packed with sugar – and that’s no accident. Huge corporations have done their research, and are quite willing to ensure their profits over our health. They know we love it, despite it’s negative effects on our health. They are more than happy to make sure their foods have plenty of sugar to keep us coming back for more.
Humans do need a certain amount of sugar … but there is way, way too much in the typical North American diet and most of it is white refined sugar or some other less than healthy form of it. Every week, concerns of obesity, cancer, diabetes and other health issues are in the news, and you can bet that sugar consumption is definitely a major part of many the health problems we are facing as a society.
So, as my journey toward a healthier lifestyle continues, I am exploring coconut palm sugar and local organic honey as possible alternatives in my diet. I hope to slowly transition away from traditional sugar and improve my health. I will find healthier alternatives for ketchup and continue to scrutinize labels … the greedy corporations who have been poisoning me for years will no longer get my money.
~ Pete Szekely ~