Podcast Episode 7- Sugar – Let’s be more intentional

This is a continuation of the previous podcast concerning sugar. Let’s be more intentional about our sugar intake by reviewing our cravings, the consequences of eating too much sugar, and noticing foods that contain hidden sugars. In this episode, we focus on REFINED sugar. Refined sugar has the ability to boost our cravings for more sugar. It’s important to think past the sugar rush and sugar pleasures in order to help to control our sugar intake. 

This is something that everyone should consider and this year especially since our immune system will likely have to confront Covid-19.

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We invite you to listen and share your perspectives with us too. Send us a recorded message through Speakpipe. We may use your message in an upcoming episode, therefore, please leave your name if you would like it to be noted during the podcast. Leave an email address if you would like a personal response or feel free to use the contact form.

If you missed the previous podcast, listen now: “Sugar – The Holidays and Your Immune System”. The previous podcast page also includes links to desserts that avoid refined sugars and other helpful tips.

RECIPES – Without refined sugars:

Sweet snacks: Homemade Larabars , “Orange” You Happy Smoothie, 3 Ingredient Date Balls

Dressing and Sauces: (Marinaras to Salad Dressings – all without refined sugars)

If you haven’t done so already, download the Delicious “No-Fail” Salads Guide.

Show References: (Salad dressings and sauces that can be purchased.)

Trader Joe’s Carrot Ginger Dressing Review and Ingredient List

Trader Joes’ Carrot Ginger Dressing (Knock-off Recipe)

Haven’s Kitchen Gingery Miso Sauce (Target)

Bragg Organic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing (This one uses honey as a sweetener, yet reasonably low in added fats/oils.)

Primal Kitchen’s Unsweetened Red Pizza Sauce or Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce

Larabars – Vegan and Dairy-Free Food Bars

More Education:

Mayo Clinic Added sugars: Don’t get sabotaged by sweeteners

Healthline: 56 Most Common Names for Sugar (Some are Tricky)

Shonda (00:00): Hi today, Patryce and I will be talking about sugar again, and we'll be focusing on cravings, the consequences, hidden sugar, and possibly some things that we can do to change our habits around sugar.

Shonda and Patryce (00:27): Hi and hello. Welcome to the real food and drinks lifestyle podcast. We're building a community to talk about nutrition, lifestyle choices, and just feeling better. This is Shonda and this is Patryce. Let's just be real. [inaudible] Here's our disclaimer. We do not officially practice in any of the various subjects that we discuss. We are only sharing our personal experiences with you to a healthier lifestyle. Please do your own research before taking part in any of these practices.

Shonda (01:16): Well, hi, Patryce is good to be back and to discuss more about sugar. This week I'd like to get your point of view more about why we are attracted to sugary foods. I have a different take on that. Um, you know, when I eat sugar, I immediately feel bad. So it's not something that I desire. If you don't have that bad reaction, I guess you're not really thinking more about the consequences of it, because immediately there aren't any consequences. So I'll just let you take it over from there and tell us your thoughts.

Patryce (01:56): Great. I think your perspective might differ from some due to how you, your body reacts to sugar and quite immediately, or immediately. Whereas a lot of people, although they know many of the ill effects or consequences that could lead to over consumption of sugar, because they don't have an immediate effect. They simply like the taste. They like the taste and good tastes brings them pleasure. And that's something. Actually, my husband was reminding me of, because I was sharing with him some of my thoughts because he knows that Halloween's not my favorite holiday for me, mainly I'm not into passing out sugar, sugary foods. I was trying to share with him some of the things again about sugary foods. And he's like, well, it's nothing new. It's not like I eat sugar sugary foods because, uh, I, I want my teeth to decay or I want to decrease my health overall, but because it tastes good.

Patryce (02:59): And I thought, wow, that's that simple statement is true for so many people. Uh, they, they like sugar and they eat more of it because it tastes good. And, and often I think people start having a sugar addiction. They may become addicted to sugar. For example, for one thing, sugar is found in almost everything. I mean, seriously, I challenge you to find more than a couple of red pasta sauces without sugar added to them. You'd be surprised there's so many, uh, with the sugar added, but yet if you pick up one without sugar added, which I begun to do for several years now for my family, they don't even notice the difference, put it on the pasta. They haven't complained about the spaghetti and there's sugar. There's no sugar in the sauce. Another example would be apple sauce or those fruit cups, even the jams, like you get a fruit spread or jam, apple sauce to jams, they have additional sugar and we know apple sauce and by itself tastes sweet enough,

Shonda (04:07): Right. It does. And you know what, here at home, uh, I do buy apple sauce. They love apple sauce. They're teens and adults, but they love apple sauce, but I do make sure to get the unsweetened one and they have never complained about it. Surprisingly.

Patryce (04:22): Exactly, exactly. And same goes for the fruit cups. So many, it is a convenient thing to pack in a child's lunch. And I won't say it is not, but not only they have the fruit in there, but then they put a syrup and I believe some may even put corn syrup. It's just sugar "ville". [Right]. And, um, yeah, I think you can get them without the added sugar as well... The fruit cups... Or I've known families where even if they accidentally pick up the fruit cup with added sugar, they rinse it. Speaking of labels, not to belabor it. But for example, I don't know if we all realize that common things such as just the ketchup we're buying for pantries and the salad dressings, and then even a bag of bread. Ketchup, so many brands have sugar added where you can get a commercial brand without the sugar. You can get salad dressings without sugar and you can, it's much harder, to find bread without sugar.

Shonda (05:30): Yeah, that's what I'm wondering. I'm wondering how can you, uh, I need those brand names, right?

Patryce (05:35): Well, I definitely can find the Ketchup. I have them in my pantry right now. And many of the vegan based salad dressings at the store do not have sugar added. And if they have sugar, it's more like a date. It's a natural sugar and they're delicious.

Shonda (05:57): Well, yeah, give us those names. Cause you know, I make my own salad dressing, so I really don't buy any in the store anymore. Um, but I would be interested. Yeah. I'd be interested though, but we need to share those things that we're finding, you know, that are good alternatives,

Patryce (06:14): So true. That's true. Oh, and one other thing, I think this is the last thing I what to say about labels. I learned also I think in college or maybe even high school, you know, you can't just look at, okay, does it say sugar? S U G A R. There are other words on those labels, such as fructose and sucrose that translate to a sugar,

Shonda (06:40): A refined sugar, those mean refined sugars. Okay.

Patryce (06:45): Look for words. Um, I can't think of the others right now, but those are, those are the main ones that come to mind. If you see Fructose, sucrose and uh, corn syrup, those are three things I would try to avoid.

Shonda (07:01): Right? All the ones that end in O S E are likely sugars that have been refined,

Patryce (07:09): That's it for labels. Yeah. A lot of people think, wow, it tastes good. And then after awhile, they're addicted to the taste and then they don't remind themselves of why would I not eat sugar? And there's a lot of reasons why you wouldn't eat sugar, for example. And certainly if... Let's start with, maybe you don't eliminate sugar overnight, but reduce it.

Shonda (07:33): I've heard that a lot of people who eat sugar eventually have a crash after that sugar high. Do you think that's true for the majority or is that just something that happens to some?

Patryce (07:47): I think many do have that high and then that low, which is like a crash, like he just described, but I think perhaps they become immune to it. So if you're not listening to your body, you're ignoring it and then you're, you're either ignoring it. And, or just when you crash intaking more sugar, it's a vicious cycle. You've heard about people who drink excessive amounts of coffee. Well, it's not just the caffeine, but what do we add and what do most people add in their coffee? [Sugar] Sugar. Yeah. So I think that whole crash is a good point, but I'm wondering how many people are acknowledging that difference in their body. And instead are just adding to that whole problem by just ignoring it and then getting more sugar. When I was, I had noticed that the Mayo clinic.com notes online notes, they pointed out that most Americans consume close to 22 teaspoons of sugar per day, where really it's recommended to only take in six to 9 teaspoons per day.

Patryce (08:57): So, wow. That's not just double that's over double. And in some instances, triple their recommended intake of sugar per day. And so you might think, well, what's the big deal? But if you look at that per day and you see the compound effect over days, then weeks, then months and years, well, what are some things that can happen? Two things that can happen for sure, are weight gain and tooth decay. Those were two things that I thought about or found interesting because weight gain, wow, we see that in our society in America, there are many people not just gaining weight, but becoming obese, including children. And with obesity comes often diseases like diabetes, and we're seeing diabetes starting in a much younger age group. Getting back to the practical side of that. You know weight gain. What are some of the things that might really be a major factor to that? And one thing that you mentioned in your previous podcast, I'll call it enemy number one might be sugary drinks such as soda,

Shonda (10:08): Right? Yeah. Yeah. It's, I'm sure it's much easier to drink calories. I think many people don't realize, well, not really calories. We're not talking about calories, even though they include a lots of calories, but, um, the sugar, you know, that's, that is being consumed in a, in a drink form.

Patryce (10:29): Very interesting. And speaking of calories, I don't know how this really has to do with what we're talking, but I did notice, uh, regarding the weight gain that, uh, I read somewhere that one teaspoon of sugar, and remember Americans consume closer to the 22 teaspoons of sugar. And so we're talking about...

Shonda (10:49): So unbelievable! I'm thinking 22 teaspoons of sugar per day, [per day] as an average. Okay. Yeah. Probably through soda.

Patryce (10:59): Yeah, because it says that just one teaspoon of sugar contains 15 calories. If you're eating 15 calories, times 22, that's a lot of calories from just a drink with no nutritional value. If you're drinking soda.

Shonda (11:22): That's like 300 or so, or is that a meal... From sugar?

Patryce (11:28): So that's just mind boggling if you think about it. And that helps to better understand why over time people are gaining so much weight, that's unhealthy and can lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes. This may be just a theory. I haven't done a lot of scientific research on the part that when you're eating more sugary foods than not that it leads to overeating ... to stimulating of your, your appetite and unhealthy weight.

Shonda (12:00): Yes. Because, well, we need to note there... Unhealthy eating... Because guess what your body is really craving? It's craving nutrients. It's looking for vitamins and minerals and things that it knows that it needs, but you know, the sugar is just empty calories. There's no nutrition in there and your body's like crying out. Please feed me, please feed me. I need these nutrients.

Patryce (12:28): We need to watch out for that. That was very mind boggling as well as the fact that, you know, we're, again, going back to Halloween, which happens to not be my favorite holiday, uh, tooth decay is another big, big, big deal. When it comes to over consumption of sugary foods,

Shonda (12:50): It's been presented in many research claim and I will find this in, post it for everyone, but that eating sugar and certain foods turn our body into a more of an acidic state. And our body tries to stay balanced, you know, between acidity and alkaline. And so when we're eating lots of sugar, where in an acidic state, our body steals calcium from our bones, from our teeth and bones to try and balance out our body to try and make that balance. So if we are overeating sugar, that is part of the tooth decay or the bone loss that we will experience.

Patryce (13:33): Wow. I did not make a correlation to bone loss and, um, believe it or not, people don't really go around talking about it, but, and just conversations with different people. I think it, it's more of an issue than we would know. I'd like to elaborate more about tooth decay because, um, one thing I had noticed over the years are the pictures I've seen or the commercials I've seen of individuals from third world countries and their beautiful smiles and their pearly whites or their beautiful teeth. Okay. This is, these are third world countries where dentistry is not like it is in America. Where we're not only going once a year, but we're asked, we're encouraged, depending all your insurance coverage, to go quarterly. Yet, so many Americans, when you look at their teeth, versus some of the individuals I've seen in other countries, uh, there's a big difference. [Right.]

Patryce (14:31): They don't look as good. They don't look as healthy. And I, I just, I pondered this so much in the past and I really do think it boils down to, not our dentistry -t o have dentistry - to not, but it's having to do with our diets and to, to now bring up also what you were just saying. The foods we eat matter and foods like whole grain, fruits and vegetables are nutrient dense and supply vitamins and minerals that are essential to our teeth and gum health. It's essential. So in these other countries where we're like, oh, well, they can't afford this and that, you know what, to some degree, and I'm not talking about extreme poverty or anything like that, I'm simply pointing out the difference in our overall diets and the lack of refined carbs and refined sugars in their diet, I think reflect their better teeth, teeth and health... Gum health, um, and just appearance... Looking better because I don't think there's an overabundance of sugary processed foods. [Right.]

Shonda (15:38): That's a good observation. I, I mean, I've gone for two years at a time without going to the dentist, just because my dentist is so far away and I have a specific dentist and time just goes, but you know, when I go back the hygienist, she would say, "Oh, you must take really good care of your teeth. It's been that long", you know, "because your teeth are in good condition". And I want to say, you know, I brush my teeth minimum twice a day and I try to floss every night. And that's just the basic, you know, sometimes I might get an extra brushing in there, but often not. But I want to say that it must be due to the diet or lack of sugar that I'm eating.

Patryce (16:26): I'm embarrased to say. But there was a time when I went without seeing a dentist for six to eight years. Okay. I don't remember exactly how long, but it was a long time. And I do not recommend anyone to do that, especially if you are paying or have dental insurance. But for me, it was something where I got to the dentist, they did a procedure, I was fine with the procedure, but I was not fine with how they handled the whole insurance. Okay? The funny money handling. So in ignorance, I thought, wow, well, I'm just not going to go back to the dentist, but we eventually moved outside of not just the state, but the country for a short while. And so I thought, Oh, wow, I've got to go to the dentist before I leave. And getting back to your point, I went to the dentist. I didn't know what to expect, but praise the Lord. Or I had no cavities. I had no cavities. And similar to you. I, I, you know, hey, I was doing the, doing the brushing at least twice a day. Sometimes I, I will brush after every meal or even a snack, especially if it's a stickier snack or a specific snack. But, and I had incorporated pulling. I had, I had to put that plug in. I did incorporate pooling, but I hadn't been doing the flossing. Um, maybe not every day, but I did floss...

Shonda (17:46): Okay. You're going to have to explain oil-pulling because you mentioned it and you know, some may not know what that is.

Patryce (17:53): True. It's a, a habit of in the morning when you first wake up before you brush your teeth, before you drink anything or eat anything, you can use some not-processed or non-refined coconut oil, the best coconut oil. Uh, I have heard you can use olive oil too, but I made it a practice to use just the unrefined cold pressed coconut oil. Take about a little over a teaspoon between a teaspoon I take about tablespoon, honestly, but I think you could do half a tablespoon and put it in your mouth. Just swish. It's not gargling, but just swish swish it in your mouth. I do it up to 20 minutes. Whereas some people might be 15, work up to 20 minutes without swallowing or anything like that, 20 minutes, and then dispose of it, not in my sink or toilet, but in a trash or somewhere. So it doesn't clog up your plumbing. And then after disposing of it, you brush your teeth and tongue. It cuts down on the bacteria in your mouth, and we know bacteria can lead to breaking down your teeth.

Shonda (19:03): I was like, so that may, that may be something to do even after you eat that sugar. Just a thought. [Oh yea, I hadn't though about that. That may be something to look into.]

Shonda (19:12): Yeah. Well. While you're making your transition to lessen the amount of sugar, let's make sure that we are protecting our teeth.

Patryce (19:20): True. Definitely. So I feel like my teeth were protected from just some good hygiene steps, but mainly I looked back and I think it was my diet. My diet played a big role because I had really consciously, um, taken sugary foods out of my diet. Um, overall, uh, not to say I never had it, but, you know, I reduced it greatly. And I think it was the time I had also started to eliminate dairy products. And, um, I just don't think I was eating some of those are refined carbs, definitely no white rice. Um, I can't think of some of the other... I may even had switch to brown rice pasta by that time. I don't remember all the changes, I guess I just was, I had started to eat, uh, overall more plant-based and uh, healthier diet overall. And um, so I think all those things, um, lended itself to me having a good, a good report.

Shonda (20:19): Report after so many years. Yeah.

Shonda (20:25): So let's talk about what we can do. This is what I feel is a possible solution for many. Um, I find that eating more green vegetables. Let's think about it. It's, it's filling in that nutrient requirement, you know, the nutrients and the minerals and (things) vitamins that my body is craving. So in return, I'm not craving the other empty calories... Craving sugar. Because, okay, so when we're lacking in those vitamins and minerals and all those nutrients, our body wants a quick fix and a quick fix is really a carbohydrate. Many people don't go for that whole baked potato as their quick fix, or, you know, maybe even a sweet potato, that sweeter would be a good option. They go for the quick refined foods or the quick sugar for a pick me up. Because that's what the brain needs to wake up is the carbohydrate to get in the blood system to revive them. Let's say, I don't know. What do you think about that?

Patryce (21:33): I agree, but I just went to from different perspective, point out, I'm all for going for that sweet potato for a quick fix, because it's delicious and it's more nutritious, but honestly I have to prepare them. So I have to, you know, plan and have some cooked on hand because if I just like want a potato, I can't just go and eat it. I have to have baked it. So I think part of what we have to do is change our whole approach to consumption of food and be more intentional. And that includes planning. And if you do find that because you're a single parent or because you aren't just doing, you're just busy and you find yourself wanting these quick fixes, then make sure you make a habit of reading labels. It's imperative to read labels so that if you're going to pick up foods that you can eat on the go or having that car for that quick fix, like a, a LARABAR, maybe that's not the best example. I don't know. But, um, that you've read the labels thoroughly because that's what just opened a whole world to me back in college, just starting the practice to read labels. So that I can at least avoid, if I'm getting something that's packaged or quick fix, it doesn't have the corn syrup on top of the sugar. And it doesn't, you know, I can see fewer ingredients for one... Listed on those labels.

Shonda (23:06): Okay. So we're talking about the quick fix things that we can pick as a package, but we don't want to be relying on those packaged foods either. Now they are good when we're in a bind, but every Sunday, you know, just rinse off some sweet potatoes, put them in the oven and let them bake.

Patryce (23:28): Be intentional, be intentional, be encouraged that just a little planning goes a far, far away. [Right.] Going back to sugary food consumption and weight gain... As a way to avoid weight gain. Many people will start buying low fat foods. They get into that whole, okay, well, I'm trying to look at controlling my weight, so I want to get low fat foods, but I would say I would suggest being aware of low fat foods ...as as they usually have additional sugar added to them. So maybe they reduced the fat, but instead they've added the sugar. Is that any better?

Shonda (24:12): Yeah, exactly. No, no, it's not.

Shonda (24:17): What is that pleasure sensation? What is that thing that keeps them going back? But, you know, I mean, I can understand sweetness. I mean, I, I [under...], I appreciate sweetness in my smoothie in the morning, you know, um, but you know, it's balanced out with, you know, some spinach and parsley and things like that, but I understand that. Um, I think I understand that.

Patryce (24:41): Well, Shonda, now that you brought that up or you've repeated that question about understanding it. I think it really goes back to a couple of things, but one being addiction and you obviously don't have an addiction to refined and processed sugar. Thank goodness. But also it goes to the point that perhaps you retrained your taste buds, even unbeknownst to you from an earlier age, an earlier time. And I, although I may not have been a huge sugar fan, I remember as a child wanting to taste that, that doughnut, but similar to you for donuts, I don't know what it is about a doughnut. I could not eat a doughnut on an empty stomach stomach, even as a child, without any ill effects, feeling lightheaded or what have you. But, um, pass the donuts. I did have cravings for sugary foods. Um, more so as a younger person, but I remember making that conscious effort maybe in college after doing a first detox, but just eating more of those vegetables. And, and when I ate the fruits, not always going to the ones with the more sugary taste or content, but, um, making sure... I love salads. And so with salads you have less sugary foods. You have more of the greens. You have more than neutral things like even carrots, which are sugar, more sugar than greens, but they're not refined and processed sugar. So we can retrain our taste buds. So I think you've done that more naturally.

Shonda (26:13): Yeah. We need to retrain our taste buds, we need to think past the moment. You know, for me, I knew it was coming soon, but for someone else who may be struggling with weight gain, maybe they'll think, you know, this is adding to my weight. You know, my, my last dentist appointment wasn't too well. I want to improve that. You know, I think there just need to be some friendly reminders that we, um, have in our brain that we program in there somehow as a reminder. Okay, I'm about to take this... why am I taking this? I'm not sure how many people that will work for, but hopefully someone out there will say, Hey, you know, that's, that's a good idea. I'm going to try that.

Patryce (26:56): Exactly. And, and I guess I keep coming back to the word intentional and being intentional, maybe a new habit that we need to form, but we can do it. You can form new habits. And one of those being the fact that we can strive towards becoming more intentional about what we eat and how we live.

Shonda (27:19): Yeah. So, um, yeah, I'm, I mean, it's possible. I mean, I've seen so many testimonies of people who have just turned their life around and it's just so possible. It's about making the decision to do it. It's about taking control. You know, how we often say it's about being empowered. It feels great to take control of your health. So, um, yeah. I want to challenge those of you out there listening to start taking control of your health by, um, you know, paying more attention to the foods that we're putting into our bodies. And this week we're going to focus on sugar, lowering our refined sugar intake.

Shonda (28:05): For sure. Thanks for listening. We hope you enjoyed today's podcast. Remember you can catch show notes and additional details at realfoodanddrinks.com under the podcast menu. Also subscribe to our podcast if you aren't already a member of our community. And if listening through Anchor, please send us a message of topics you would like to hear us have conversations about until next time. Let's just be real.

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