The discussion today is about how sugar affects your immune system. As we enter into the Holiday season, sugar seems to take center stage beginning with Halloween. The temptation to overload on sugar continues through Christmas and really doesn’t subside until Valentine’s day. Have you thought about the impact that sugar has on your immune system? This is something that everyone should consider and this year especially since our immune system will likely have to confront Covid-19. Some suggestions will be presented on how to cut back on sugar.
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Many health food stores and some grocery stores sell probiotic drinks such as Kombucha and Kevita.
● They are an excellent substitute for sodas and (other common) energy drinks. These drinks make a good substitute because they are bubbly drinks (very similar to the carbonation found in sodas.) Yet, they do not contain artificial ingredients, artificial colors, or preservatives. ● The sugar content of Kevita’s water kefir drinks range from 0 to 5 grams of sugar and NO ARTIFICIAL SUGARS! ● Kombucha drinks are tea-based and contain caffeine. ● Kevita drinks do not contain any caffeine. ● They are other many other coconut water-based and fruit-based probiotic drinks available also.
Shonda (00:00): I found one mini clip from the show, the doctors one guest doctor showed a graphic that demonstrated how the increase in sugary sweets at a particular time of the year. We're talking from October, actually through February ending in Valentine's day. These are the cold months, but these are also the time of year when most people over consume sugary sweets, that graphic actually demonstrated how the increase in sugary sweets and the increase in colds and flu coincide with one another year after year, I will definitely put a link to that short clip, it's about two minutes, in the show notes for today's episode.
Shonda and Patryce (00:54): 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 (01:40): In today's podcast. We'll be talking about the upcoming season of festivities beginning with Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas. Of course, this season is where it gets colder. We know that historically more people get colds and flu during the season, but I like to talk about the possibility of why? Is it really just that it's cold. But one thing that I know for sure is that sugar wreaks have it on our immune system. Beginning with Halloween kids, especially overeat sugar, they're already eating too much sugar. And then on top of their normal sugar intake, they're eating tons more of sugar because of this special holiday. I've never been a fan of this holiday because of its spookiness. Anyway, and I just think that it's a bad thing to overload on candy. I realized that sugar had a bad effect on me personally, and that was one of the first things that I gave up... were sweets. Even though I wasn't a big sweet eater, but the few times that I would try to have something sweet, I would just feel miserable and I wanted to feel alive and well and not down and out tired and sleepy and groggy because I had eaten sugar.
Shonda (03:13): Let's talk about how sugar affects your immune system. I don't think it's any secret because we hear these reports in the news and, and even from our doctors probably, likely, but I just think many people don't consider it or they think, well, I can have a little bit of sugar. I'm talking about refined sugar. I'm talking about sugar that is not natural. Sugar that is highly processed, sugar that has no nutrients, sugar that usually coincides alongside of preservatives and colors and things that we know are not good for our bodies. Consuming sugar affects your body's ability to fight off viruses or other infections in the body. Sugar depletes, the white blood cells, uh, known as killer cells. And I'm wondering about that. And when I think about that, you know, no one really talks about how the consumption of sugar. Why is it depleting? The white blood cells?
Shonda (04:16): So white blood cells are there to fight off viruses or these white cells being damaged? One report said that white blood cells are not able to do their job and destroy bad bacteria or viruses as well as when someone does not eat sugar. Another study showed that high sugar affects infection, fighting mechanisms in diabetics. One article that I found talked about in a 1973 study done by Loma Linda University. When you eat 100 grams of sugar, about as much sugar as you find in, uh, one bottle, one liter bottle of soda, your white blood cells are 40% less effective at killing germs. So you can cripple your immune system by up to five hours after eating sugar. Okay. So I was thinking about uh 100 grams. Well, that's a lot, that's like, it's like 25 teaspoons of sugar. Can you imagine that? I mean, can you imagine just sitting there eating 25 spoonfuls of sugar, that same study talked about how sugar impacts your white blood cells by competing for space in those cells with vitamin C (taking the places where vitamin C would normally reside).
Shonda (05:36): So do we really want to be replacing vitamin C with sugar? That doesn't sound like a good alternative. So while I'm on the subject of sodas or just mentioned sodas, let's talk about some soda substitutes, because there are many things that we could enjoy other than soda. Most sodas are filled with high fructose corn syrup, which is a level above just plain cane sugar. And it will totally wreck your immune system along with all the other additives and preservatives that go along with this sugar. So I want to talk about drinks such as kombucha drinks or Kevita drinks. Um, these are probiotic drinks that are now readily available on grocery store shelves. Some are coconut water base, some are tea based, and these are fermented drinks. But guess what the best part of these fermented drinks is that they are bubbly. If it's the bubbly part, you know, that you really enjoy, you should definitely try some of these soda substitutes.
Shonda (06:46): I've heard that many of these sodas are addictive. So I'm not quite sure what to do about the addiction yet, other than you're just going to have to be determined to make this change. I think your body will thank you for it, but to get addicted to health, let's get addicted to healthy feelings. You know, let's get addicted to energy from our food. I think that's a good way to help us make a change. Let's get addicted to good things. Also, you could try just sparkling water and perhaps with a squeeze of lemon and some Stevia. Um, these are all good things that would make better substitutes to drinking soda for sure. While I'm on the subject of drinks, you know, it's always better to, I want to say, eat your sugar, but I'm wanting to remind you not to overeat your sugar. And we want to talk about eating healthy sugars.
Shonda (07:48): Okay, we're going to talk about that in a bit, but while we're talking about drinks that contain sugar, did you know that three cups of let's say even low fat milk, um, amounts to more than 37 grams of sugar and additionally 14 grams of fat. Okay. I'm going to link the article below to where I found this information, but this milk that many parents may be given to their children three times a day, you know, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you know, we've been programmed to drink your milk. Well, this milk actually has more sugar and more fat than Halloween candies. Okay? So that's something to really consider and to think about soon, we're going to do another episode and we're going to talk about milk because we're going to talk about milk the way it's found today and how it's not natural, none of the milk that, and I'm speaking specifically about cows milk that you find on the grocery store. shelves is not natural for you to drink, so that will be coming soon.
Shonda (08:58): Another thing we got to consider is the bottle juices that we're consuming. Now, if we go for the more fresh bottled juices made with a hundred percent juice and not much more additives, it's 27 grams of sugar. And that's in one serving though. I think that's even more than in a serving of milk and a milk. I think there's about 10 grams. So this is double the amount of sugar. That's about six and a half teaspoons of sugar in a bottle juice. And when I'm talking about bottle juice, I mean, anything that you find, maybe even in the fridge, in the cold section, like bottled orange juices, unless they're naturally fresh pressed bottled orange juices, along with the pulp, orange juice has a lot of sugar and should definitely not be removed from its fiber content .
Shonda (09:54): in the cold section or on the shelves, all of these juices have been pasteurized and pasteurized kills the living enzymes that are in the natural fruit. We want to consume fruit juices, or even for that fact vegetable juices, along with their living enzymes, we do not want pasteurized juices. Okay so there's a difference. I do enjoy fresh pressed juice at home. And whether that is taking an orange and pressing it, or, you know, mostly like I say, fruits, I'd rather put in smoothies because they are sweeteners and they, you need the fiber to help with digestion and fiber actually slows down uptake of the sugar, you know, into your body. But let's talk about other juice, fresh pressed juices that we can have. I highly recommend green, fresh pressed juices. And when I say fresh pressed, either you would have to go to a juice bar to get it freshly pressed, where they grind up the pulp and then they squeeze all the juice out.
Shonda (11:05): Or at home, there are two different types of juicers. There's a centrifugal juicer. And then there is a slow masticating juicer. So those are the two most common types that you can easily find at the store and bring home and, and do. And what I normally do though, when I, I, I usually drink my juice alongside a meal, because remember I said, it contains these living enzymes. It helps with digestion. Okay. And it has so many nutrients, antioxidants and minerals in the juice that's helpful for our diet and for, for building us up and being a healthy addition to our diet. So when we drink these with our meals, we're enhancing the meals and we're getting fiber from our meals, especially if we're eating a plant-based diet. So now let's turn our attention back to sugary foods and some examples of those on Halloween, we eat candy that's full of sugar and fat, especially if we're talking about milk chocolates and all of these things, not to mention how bad this is for your teeth.
Shonda (12:25): So, um, I just wanted to put that in there. Okay. So we're talking about how these foods lower your immune system. Next comes Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is when we eat what?... Pies, cookies, more pies and pies and pies. I think pies is the big thing, but, you know, I guess, and then there's this cranberry sauce that comes out of a can. I'm definitely sure. I'm not even going to look at that right now, but I'm sure that has sugar added to it. So that's more sugar, uh, candied yams. I'm going to put a link to a sweet potato pie that I made recently. I'm working to come up with some recipes for this episode, but one in particular, I made a sweet potato pie that only used maple syrup as the sweetener, no eggs and no dairy. And the link is below. I want you to check it out.
Shonda (13:23): My daughter who's 19 and her friend both said that it was tasty and that it was good. And, you know, it's something that they could enjoy. So the filling is the most important part. That is the sugary part. This pie was made with an oatmeal crust. Uh, there are a lot of different options that we could use for the crust also, but I want you to focus that that whole sweet potato, I, it was peeled, but it contains fiber. It contains nutrients. I mean the pretty brilliant color of orange signifies that there are anti-oxidants in this food. We can make sweet potatoes into a pie to make it more enjoyable. I guess next, when Christmas gets here, there are some pies, but I think there are more cookies and more, more little finger sugary foods and, and cupcakes. And there are the candy canes. The peppermint candy canes definitely have sugar.
Shonda (14:25): The sugary drinks, the wassail has sugar, cocoa, hot cocoa. Well, at least we know to make hot cocoa using a plant-based milk, right? We can cut down on that sugar, fat and hormones in the milk, which would not be good for our immune system either. So I'll definitely find a better alternative to hot chocolate, hot cocoa. So I guess maybe your main questions are so what do I do? I'm used to eating these foods. One thing that we can do is we can make our own and we can take it to the gatherings. Now due to COVID-19, there may be less gathering. So, hey, we have more time at home to create better alternatives to sugary foods, right? I really, I wanted to get this post out there because we're, we're right at the beginning of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. And then, you know, there's a little break to Valentine's day, but I just wanted to get this out there for you to consider cutting down on the sugary sweets. Find an alternative.
Shonda (15:32): My job will be throughout this season to post alternatives for you. Okay? If we want something sweet, we need to look to fruit and eating fruit as a whole fruit or eating the yams without added sugar. In fact, if we roast a whole sweet potato in the oven, it becomes caramelized within its own skin. No need to add any sugar at all. I will be posting recipes and videos and just encouragement on Instagram. Join our Facebook group and we can encourage one another there. We want to enjoy the remainder of the year. We don't want to lower our immune system. There are things that we can do to help ourselves. It's time that we take control. Okay, this virus is here, we need a healthy, strong immune system. We need to eat our vegetables, especially green vegetables. We need to eat whole foods, fiber, you know, nuts and seeds and healthy fats.
Shonda (16:34): And I just want you to hang in there and we're going to do this together. And if you ever have any questions, you can contact me through the website. Or also there are links to voice your question at speakpipe.com and that's a forward slash real food and drinks (speakpipe.com/realfoordanddrinks). There's a link for that on the website also. I want to hear from you. I want to hear what your thoughts are, what your struggles are, what do you need help with, and then hopefully I can present you with some options and some good alternatives. So that's all I wanted to bring you today. Remember we are at the beginning of this, you can take control now so that you can fare better through this season. Okay? Hang in there. We're going to do this. This is Shonda. Please join me next time. As we continue this discussion concerning sugar. Patryce will be joining us and sharing some pointers and tips about other foods for which we may not be aware of as to how much sugar we are actually consuming.
Shonda (17:43): 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.