Just One Thing To Do This Week: Reduce Sugar

By MARY BETH MAASSEN
Los Alamos

I have exciting news to start off 2017 on a good note! I finally won the Powerball!  Of course I had been hoping to win the $54 million jackpot, and I only won $6, but it is a start. I had prayed to win, but I guess I was not specific enough, so my bad. It looks like once again the responsibility for my happiness lies within me and not with winning the Powerball. I am not surprised.

I am approaching 2017 with great anticipation of fresh starts and new successes to be had. But somehow I find myself once again championing the same New Year resolutions that I have every year for NEARLY 40 YEARS. 40 YEARS! How can that be?!? I resolve to eat more wisely, to exercise more, to meditate longer, to be more organized, to spend more quality time with family and friends, to work for a healthier earth and more peace on our planet…does any of this sound familiar?Just thinking about all the improvements to be made is overwhelming, trying to do something about it is nearly incapacitating.

Although I have long been a dedicated multi-tasker(note: dedicated is not the same assuccessful), I still continue to have lists with more to be done that gets done. It doesn’t take me forever to catch on—apparently just forty short years—so this year as I seek small successes I am going to do it differently.

Every week I am going to take ONE ACTION that will improve my life and the life of those around me. Just one action. I know many are familiar with “one day at a time” and along those same lines I am advocating “one thing at a time”. If there is only one thing on your list it must feel pretty good to cross it off, right? I will let you know when I find out.

What is my one thing for week one? Instead of immersing myself on a whole new “diet”, I am only committing to one thing: eating much less sugar.

You can find nutrition experts to advocate any and every fad diet, and I have tried them all, usually with some limited success. But the one thing all nutrition experts agree on is whether it is sucrose, fructose, glucose or any of those other “oses” that Americans eat way too much sugar.

I tried cutting back on sugar before and it was very hard, I am quite certain I am addicted and it is nearly impossible to avoid it all together because it is in nearly every food product. The folks at www.sugarscience.org tell us that a reasonable amount of sugar for American men to consume would be about nine teaspoons per day and for women about six teaspoons per day.

The average American consumes about 19 teaspoons per day, and because I am an above average American, I would not be surprised if mine is double that. There are 11 teaspoons of sugar in one 12-ounce can of cola. I have also decided to avoid artificial sweeteners as well because they are just a bunch a nasty chemicals that mess with your metabolism – and my metabolism is messy enough.

So this next week I am committed to starting a habit of consuming less sugar. This means I will be reading labels, shopping smarter, and apparently doing lots of math because of the grams versus ounces conversion.This is one thing I can do to improve my health and overall wellbeing.

Anyone interested in joining me? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Editor’s note: Readers can comment on this column posted on the Los Alamos Daily Post FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LADailyPost/

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