For the past 16 days I've been hyper alert to all the foods I eat with hidden sugar. We all know when we dive into a piece of banana cream pie, we are sugar loading, but have you ever stopped to think about all the things you eat with hidden sugar?
While, I don't want to obsess about every little thing I eat with sugar, I don't want to be blind to it either. These past 16 days, I have eaten less sugar than I have in a long time...at least I think I have.
Why? What's the problem with eating sugar, beside weight gain?
My goal, especially now that I'm about to enter another decade of life...the 60's, is to live better; live a life free of serious illness, many of which are brought on by inflammation in our body.
You've heard of anti-inflammatory medications and anti-inflammatory diets, but do you really know what inflammation is? In short, it's the body's response to outside threats like stress, infection, toxic chemicals, or a high sugar/fat diet.
Most of us know excess sugar in our diets can lead to type 2 diabetes, read more by Dr. Robert Lustig --the anti-sugar man-- sugar and type 2 Diabetes links. Diabetes is only one disease we need to be concerned about.
"Cancer, depression, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's—these seemingly diverse diseases are increasingly thought to have a common denominator: inflammation. While our genetic predisposition for disease can't be changed, we can do something about this other major player," writes, Deborah Kotz, for US News-Health.
You’d have to live in a bubble to avoid all sources of inflammation: saturated fats, sugar, stress, infections, and environmental toxins, but you can create balance by eating a diet rich in foods that fight inflammation-triggering free radicals and toxins.
Here are just a few inflammation fighting foods:
Tart Cherries - Not Sweet
Studies show that these delicious, tart cherries can reduce pain from arthritis and post-exercise soreness. One study showed the fruit has the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food!
Add it: Look for tart dried cherries and tart cherry juice. Add tart cherry juice to breakfast smoothies, or sprinkle dried tart cherries over your morning bowl of oatmeal greek yogurt.
Grapes contain a mix of antioxidants, including flavonoids and resveratrol, which has anti-inflammatory properties and is a potent antioxidant. Resveratrol shows promise in helping to combat a range of maladies, from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, to cancer to aging.
Add it: Freeze grapes and eat them as a snack, use them whole in smoothies or halve and add to salads.
This vegetable contains the flavonoid quercetin, which has been found to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Add it: Caramelized red onions are a wonderful addition to salads, sandwiches, and whole grain dishes. Top your turkey burgers with caramelized onions for a burst of flavor.
Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
Studies show that antioxidants extracted from virgin coconut oil were more effective in reducing the inflammation in arthritis induced in rats, than Indometacin, a popular prescription Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) often prescribed for arthritis. Click link to Study, Polyphenolics isolated from virgin coconut oil inhibits adjuvant induced arthritis.
I don't know about you, but I'm not just looking to coast through the next chapter of life, I want to embrace it, live passionately, and in good health.
The father of a friend of mine, just spent his 80th birthday, bicycling 80 miles! That's what I call living! Do you want to be propped up on a couch watching TV at 80, or kicking up your heels, doing things you love? The choice to eliminate inflammation from our bodies, can improve our odds of living an active life, and living better.