Vegan Confession: I am Addicted to Overeating

This is my secret…

Being a vegan keeps my addiction of overeating in check. I can’t trust myself with eating animal products. And I shouldn’t.

I’ve overeaten my entire life. Before and since becoming a vegan.

Vegan Confession: I am Addicted to Overeating

As a kid, I got away with it because I had a high metabolism. As a 4th grader, I remember how I would get the Double Whopper combo meal and finish it all.  I would eat at buffets, consuming more food that most adults; and I know this because adults would tell me.

In my mind, if I wasn’t overeating, I wasn’t really eating.

As a teen and young adult, I would be the guy who would eat the most pizza or the most fried chicken at gatherings.

My metabolism finally caught up with me full swing by the time I got married, at age 27. That’s when my health problems came in full swing, as well. Even though my metabolism slowed down, my desire to overeat never did.

Vegan Confession: I am Addicted to Overeating

As you know by now, committing to the vegan lifestyle over 3 years ago has eliminated and kept my former health issues in remission; including eczema (dyshidrosis), constant sinusitis, pet allergies, and sinus pressure.

I’ve realized that one of the many benefits of being a vegan is that, for the most part, I can pretty much each as much as I want of the food I am able to eat.

Now granted, eating oily tater tots and sugary vegan chocolate bars did cause me to gain 7 pounds in the past year while I was “sympathy eating” with my pregnant wife.

But when I stick with my normal regimen of veggies, fruit, grains, beans, nuts, and seeds, I’ve learned that I can get away with “overeating”. Ultimately, I just don’t have to worry about counting calories or portion control.

Vegan Confession: I am Addicted to Overeating

The reason for this is because by sticking with those 6 food groups, I am eating food solely for nutrition, including my daily allowance of protein and good fats; yet with 0% of my daily allowance of cholesterol.

I overeat simply because it’s fun. I openly admit this.

I’m not overeating because of some traumatic event in my life, nor because I feel incomplete in some way. I just simply like eating more food that I need to.

It’s fun.

Vegan Confession: I am Addicted to Overeating

If I ever went back to eating meat, eggs, and dairy, I would go so far the other way with it. I know it. I would be visiting the Wendy’s drive-thru on a daily basis.

Eating food is something I can’t be trusted with. I have no control when it comes to food.

Therefore, I keep myself safe behind the electric fence of veganism.

I am not addicted to alcohol. I have never used drugs.

But when it comes to food, I rely on the strict limitations of veganism in order to keep myself from getting out of control… because I am an addict of overeating.

Vegan Confession: I am Addicted to Overeating

Advertisements

Surviving 2.5 Years as a Vegan: 10 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

It is my goal to be the coolest vegan you know.

Surviving 2.5 Years as a Vegan: 10 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When I first started out as a vegan, back in April 2013, I definitely wasn’t that cool. I was overzealous and a bit of a loaded cannon.

But I learned from my mistakes and matured from the process; which is what should happen for those of us (like you reading this) who are indeed the emotionally intelligent human beings we think we are.

I polished up my craft over the years. These days, I can very efficiently explain my unconventional lifestyle when people approach me on the subject; even when people subconsciously try to stump me.

It is my policy to never announce my vegan lifestyle in a conversation; the other person has to be curious about what I am eating and ask me. (But that happens a lot, actually.)

The obvious question is always, “Where do you get your protein?

I explain: “I have 6 food groups; all of which contain the proper protein and nutrients I need: veggies, fruits, grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.”

Sometimes the person will follow up with, “How could body builders they be that big if they were vegans?

I respond that being a big, buff body builder doesn’t necessarily mean that person is actually healthy. I believe many of them are actually unhealthy.

In my mind, it’s simply unnatural that a person must spend so much time working out and taking supplements; some of which are questionable.

Being abnormally strong does not automatically mean a person is actually healthy; especially for the long term.

Personally, I prefer a more natural approach to being physically fit. I take no less than 2 ten minutes walks a day, plus I ride my mountain bike and run throughout the week as well.

From there, the next question I often get is this: “How do you know you’re healthy?

I explain that just 6 months ago, I had an appointment with Dr. Thomas M. John of Vanderbilt, in Spring Hill, Tennessee. Without even knowing I was a vegan, he confirmed that for my age and height, I am in the ideal weight range and that I am healthier than most 34 year-old men he sees.

I should point out too that my wife and I are expected our 2nd child to be born in April 2016. Even without meat, eggs, and dairy, I am indeed healthy enough to help conceive a child. Being a vegan definitely did not prevent that from happening.

My doctor specifically noted that my cholesterol levels are great.

That leads to this question:

“Where do you get your fats from?”

Out of the 6 vegan food groups I mentioned earlier (veggies, fruits, grains, beans, nuts, and seeds), it’s the last two, nuts and seeds, which contain the most fat.

On a daily basis, I consume non-GMO, organic peanut butter in my homemade “vegan protein smoothie.” I also have raw, unsalted sunflower seeds in my salad every night for dinner.

Plus, many the dinners my wife makes contain cashews or avocados in them.

By default, vegans consume 0% of their daily cholesterol allowance. Even plants that are high in fat, like avocados and cashews, still contain less than 1% of the daily cholesterol recommendation.

Try finding a vegan food that ever registers having 1% or higher of the daily cholesterol level on the label. It’s impossible. That doesn’t exist.

Sometimes, people are just sincerely confused on what constitutes as a plant. I have been asked these following questions by several people over the past couple years:

Can you eat bread?

The answer is sometimes; as long as it’s not made with eggs, milk, butter, or cheese.

Can you eat eggs?

No, they come from an animal; and typically just one egg (!) contains at least 58% of your daily cholesterol. Therefore, eggs are very non-vegan.

Can you eat fish?

No, fish is an animal; not a plant. But I can eat potatoes, because they are a plant. (People often ask me that when they ask me about fish; I’m not sure why.)

I heard vegans can’t eat honey; is that true?

Yes, it’s true: Vegans technically can’t eat honey. I’m not trying to be funny or gross, but the best way to explain it is this:

Basically, honey is bee vomit. Look it up.

One of the final frequently asked questions I get is this:

Do you ever just wish you could go back?

My answer is a firm and quick no.

I suffered for 2 decades with constant sinus pressure, sinusitis, pet allergies, eczema (dyshidrosis), headaches, and acne. (Not to mention, I was about 30 pounds heavier in those days.)

Now that’s all gone. I’m not interested in having those health problems again.

The last question I get is this:

Sometimes, don’t you just wish you could have a big, juicy burger?

No, I don’t miss beef at all. What I actually miss tends to gross most people out as soon as I say it:

Captain D’s.

Yes, greasy ole fish. That’s what I psychologically miss sometimes. But still, there is no true temptation to go back because then I’ll simply adopt all those health problems again.

If I ever were to open the door to fish, I would give in and start eating meat again. I know myself too well.

Being a vegan isn’t that weird. It actually makes a lot of sense once you understand how it works. It’s just uncommon compared to mainstream society.

As a self-proclaimed “cool vegan,” I make it my goal to make myself easily accessible to answer people’s questions without sounding judgmental on my end.

Instead, my goal is to encourage people to be healthier by nixing the animal products they think they need to be healthy; but again, only when they ask me first. I’m not a door-to-do evangelist. You have to come to my tent.

And in case you need a reminder, look at me.

I don’t need milk, yogurt, eggs, fish, or meat to be this healthy. I just need veggies, fruit, grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. Feel free to leave a comment and ask me a frequently wondered question of your own.

What I’ve Learned From Being A Vegan For The Past 2 Years

What I’ve Learned From Being A Vegan For The Past 2 Years Nick Shell

It was March 6, 2013 that I accidently decided to become a vegan. Wow, that was a quick 2 years!

In hindsight, I definitely went through a self-imposed, self-advertised, and awkward public transition during the first couple of months that followed. You could say I may have been a little too zealous about my lifestyle change at first; on Facebook, in particular.

Since then, I have grown up; not only in how much more reserved I’ve become on Facebook in general, but also how I communicate regarding stories about my vegan lifestyle.

Over the past 2 years, I’ve learned to become more inviting (and less bold) when it comes to sharing about it all.

It doesn’t help, as I’ve recently learned, that I have a “D” personality; according to the DISC personality test. In other words, I have the most aggressive personality, so I am learning to control how my passion comes across to others.

At first, I was so eager to prove the vegan lifestyle to the entire world.

What I’ve Learned From Being A Vegan For The Past 2 Years

These days, I simply want to be known as the token go-to vegan in everyone’s social circle. I’m not eager to convert anyone. I’m just simply here to offer information to anyone suffering from chronic sinusitis and/or dyshidrosis (eczema); both of which I am cured of now that I discovered this lifestyle.

For example, being a vegan for 2 years has taught me a simple concept: Mucus in, mucus out.

No one wants to think about this, but ultimately, both milk and eggs contain a certain amount of mucus, from a foreign species.

When a human ingests that mucus (which is a product of the endocrine system, which truly is disgusting when you consider what else the endocrine system is responsible for), it can definitely have negative effects; as mucus itself is a defense mechanism the body to uses to fight off foreign substances.

Therefore, roughly 20% of the American population has chronic sinus and allergy issues (like I did for 22 years). According to my theory here, it’s because they are ingesting the foreign-fighting mucus of a foreign species.

This is not the sort of thing I openly talk about on Facebook, like I did at first. Instead, I reserve it for open-minded/curious people who care enough to actually read an entire post like this.

What I’ve Learned From Being A Vegan For The Past 2 Years

In addition to learning to be more reserved in my communication about it, another thing I’ve learned is how my psychology has evolved.

I see now that my relationship with food has transitioned from an emotional relationship to a functional relationship.

Well, obviously I’ve survived the past 2 years without eating any animal products (eggs, dairy, meat, etc.). Granted, I had already been a vegetarian for more than a year before my vegan conversion, and had been kosher (no pork or shellfish, etc.) for several years before that.

While some people have assumed it must take extra discipline to live my life this way, I actually believe the indirect opposite is true:

I don’t have the discipline it takes to only say “yes” in moderation to certain foods. But if the rule is consistent, that I can never have certain things (anything that registers 1% of my daily cholesterol or greater), then it actually takes the temptation away.

In the past 2 years, by default, I’ve learned the importance of getting all my necessary nutrition from 6 things: vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.

I’m happy. I’m never hungry. I eat all the time. It works for me.

If you have any questions, I am happy to answer. I want to be known has the friendliest, least annoying, most helpful vegan you know.

What I’ve Learned From Being A Vegan For The Past 2 Years

You might also enjoy these other vegan-themed posts I’ve done as well:

Dairy And Egg Free Testimonials: Nick Shell- A Year And A Half Later

I Survived A Year Of Being A Vegan, Part 1

I Survived A Year Of Being A Vegan, Part 2

How To Stay Fuller But Eat Healthier This Year (And Still Eat Meat): A Starter Plan

Ask A Vegan Anything: Is Dairy Related To Allergies And Sinus Problems?

Ask A Vegan Anything: “Where Do You Get Your Vitamin B12?”

Ask A Vegan Anything: Here’s Your Chance

How To Have A Vegan, Vegetarian, Kosher Or Plant-Based Christmas

Vegan Friendly Review Of Atlanta, Georgia

Vegan Friendly Review Of Ponte Vedra Inn And Club At Pompano Beach, FL

Vegan Friendly Review Of Squaw Valley, Lake Tahoe

Vegan Review Of The Farm House In Downtown Nashville

Vegan Recipe Review: Quinoa And Pinto Bean Sloppy Joes

Review Of Dandies Vegan Marshmallows By Chicago Vegan Foods

5 Reasons Your Facebook Friends Are Going Vegan

Dairy And Egg Free Testimonials: Ben Wilder, 6 Months Later

Vegan Recipe Review: Quinoa And Pinto Bean Sloppy Joes

Let me introduce myself. I am Nick Shell. I am a daddy blogger who happens to be a vegan. For years I suffered from dyshidrosis (a rare form of eczema which causes painful blisters to form on the palms of the hands) and severe allergy & sinus issues.

Vegan Sloppy Joes Pinto Beans Quinoa But now that I live 100% plant-based (since April 2013), those problems are now a thing of the past. I am not one of those annoying vegans who tries to show you pictures of animals being slaughtered. Nor am I the kind who wants you to become a vegan- what you eat is none of my business. That changes, however, if you end up visiting my website to learn what our family thinks of Quinoa and Pinto Bean Sloppy Joes. In that case, I’m going to have to tell you how awesome these things are! Quinoa and Pinto Bean Sloppy Joes are one of our family’s favorite recipes. Since discovering them, we pretty much have them once a week. And they even make great leftovers. vegan sloppy joes quinoa pinto beans We base our recipe from VegKitchen:

  • 1/2 cup raw quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 15- to 16-ounce can pinto, drained, rinsed, and coarsely mashed (or 1 1/2 cups cooked)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 medium tomato, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro, plus more for topping, optional
  • Shredded baby spinach leaves
  • 6 whole grain English muffins

We add avocados though- I highly recommend doing so. They are the secret ingredient that really puts this recipe over the top. These Quinoa and Pinto Bean Sloppy Joes are so filling! Man, I want some right now- seriously. vegan sloppy joes Nick Shell And again, they are made with all plant-based ingredients; meaning you consume less than 1% of your daily cholesterol. Even aside from the technical 0% cholesterol is the fact that by making the sauce yourself, your not feeding your family GMO high fructose corn syrup that the leading sauce brands are full of. Please take my word for it… this is a good recipe. Not to mention, the prep and clean-up is very minimal. Make them, then, please… tell me what you think. I want to know.

The Cure for Eczema and Hand Dyshidrosis: Replace Processed Sugar by Eating Whole Fruits, Get Rid of Metals, Consume Chlorella, Sweat a Lot, Become a New Person

STOP! WAIT! This blog post is nearly 7 years old. I only keep it online to document my journey in curing dyshidrotic eczema. But I have learned a lot more since I wrote this back in 2010…

I beg you, please, instead, read the much-updated, and much more accurate 2018 version of this article. Just click the link below to find out how to cure dyshidrotic eczema:

How I Cured Dyshidrotic Eczema in 5 Steps and Have Remained Symptom-Free for 5 Years (But No One Cares Since I’m Not a Medical Expert)

It costs nothing but a lifestyle change.

For you to be taking the time to read this article, chances are you or someone who is close to you has suffered for years from the skin condition known as eczema.  Of course, after visiting at least a few doctors and/or skin specialists, the answer was that there is no cure.  Then a topical lotion was prescribed to “help keep things under control”.  But there is a cure that I had to discover the hard way, and thank God for it.

Make note that I am in no way a medical doctor.  And that’s a good thing.  Because the doctors say there is no cure.  But I say there is.  And I’ve been cured of eczema, specifically dyshidrosis.

I will make no money by telling you the cure.  You will not buy a book from me, nor will you subscribe to website that costs you any money.  You will simply read what I have to say and apply it to your life.

My hand a few months before it got really bad.

This is a very cut-and-dry issue.  It works if you do it.  It doesn’t work if you don’t, or if you cheat yourself by not fully committing.

If you are desperate enough to be healed, like I was, you will be willing to change your lifestyle.  And that’s what this will cost you- your lifestyle.  But not your life.

How to Be Cured of Eczema

1)     Completely cut out sugar from your diet, except for fruits in their whole form.  That means no fruit juice.  That means no yogurt (which is loaded with sugar.)  Instead, eat at least three servings of fruit everyday: bananas, oranges, apples, and grapes are the easiest and cheapest way to go.  You need the healthy sugar from the fruit with the fiber from the fruit.

This is the exact cilantro/chlorella extract I used.

2)     Completely cut out unnecessary metals from your body.  If you have metal fillings in your teeth, get them taken out.  (I even had to switch to a ceramic wedding ring.) If you have cartilage piercings, remove them.  Stop eating shellfish (shrimp, scallops, lobster, etc.), which have high levels of heavy metals.

3)     Sweat as much as possible.  If you have access to a sauna, take advantage of it.  If not, do plenty of outdoor exercise.  If nothing else, sunbathe.  Sweat helps remove the toxins from your body that sustain the eczema.

4)     Eat lots of chlorella (seaweed extract) and cilantro.  These both help your body to extract the poisons in your body that feed the eczema. I used a heavy metal detox like this one.

5)     Read these other articles I’ve written which explain more about why the first four steps are so important:

The Shell Diet

healthnutshell: The Unholy Trinity of Food

healthnutshell: A Tablespoon of Sugar or a Cigarette

healthnutshell: No Pork on My Fork

You should start seeing results by the third week.  It took me about seven months for my body to be fully removed of my eczema.  And if you go back to your old lifestyle, (not following my 5 steps) your eczema will return.  You have been chosen to live a different lifestyle; you have to accept it.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns, or stories you have for me.  Remember, I’m not a doctor.  Just someone who’s been where you are and wants this good news of hope to be spread.  There is a cure.

Contact me by email: nickshell1983@hotmail.com

 

healthnutshell: What Exactly is a Doctor, Anyway?

Stupid question, but doctors should outlive their patients, right?


One of my favorite movies of all time is actually a documentary, Super Size Me.  As Morgan Spurlock goes on a 30 day fast food binge, he checks in with the three separate doctors to monitor his health.  But something I always thought about in the back of my mind when I saw one of the doctors in particular was “that doctor needs to go on a diet himself”.

Isn’t there something a bit off about that?  An unhealthy doctor?  A doctor who is in danger of a heart attack?  In my mind, a doctor is an expert on health.  Therefore, he should live out what he knows.

Consider a pastor of a church.  His career is over if he gets caught cheating on his wife (unlike certain celebrities who may lose their marriage over it, but not their careers…).  A pastor is held at a higher standard because of his profession.  Why aren’t doctors live by a higher standard as well?

Just like no one can take seriously a man under the age of 40 with a mustache, I can’t take seriously an unhealthy doctor.

I should find out what exactly a doctor is, according to Wikipedia:

A physician — also known as medical practitioner, doctor of medicine, medical doctor, or simply doctor — practices the ancient profession of medicine, which is concerned with maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease or injury.

What’s interesting in this definition is the lack of the word “prevention”.  So it’s a doctor’s job to maintain or restore human health, but not prevent a healthy person from becoming unhealthy.

According to the Wikipedia definition of a doctor and America’s general concept of them, doctors are there to help fix what is broken.  With medicine.

It’s no secret that doctors make money off of people sitting at home watching commercials targeted at unhealthy people who go to the doctor to buy the legal drugs they saw advertised.  I can remember a time, pre-1995, when I didn’t use to see commercials advertising for prescription drugs.  Doctors sell drugs, legally.  To people who, for the most part, were simply uneducated on how to live healthy in the first place.

If I break my nose, have strep throat, get a pregnant wife, or need to get “snipped”, I will go to the doctor.  If not, I do everything I can to avoid that place.  I definitely won’t go there to buy their new product.  I eat an apple a day, literally.

After suffering for years from a rare case of eczema, I did some research on Wikipedia to find out how to be relieved of the disease.  While no known medical cure exists, I followed the advice on Wikipedia and drastically changed my diet, and now, thank God, my skin cleared up on my hands.  Cost me no money and required no doctor’s visit.  Despite many people urging me to go for a visit.  I saved myself time and money.

Doctors are good.  They do their thing.  I do mine.  We already learned that a doctor’s job, according to Wikipedia, does not involve preventing the problem.  So I take it upon myself to do just that: prevent the problem.  So what do you call a person who does that?  I need a clever word for that.  Whatever it is, I am one.  And anyone can be one.

"Dr. H" from The Biggest Loser

As if looming Diabetes and heart disease weren’t enough of a reason to live a life of prevention, consider a new study done on doctors in India, which is said to be true in America as well.  Their average lifespan is around 58 years old for doctors, while the general population lives to be closer to 70 yeas old:

“Stress, a sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise were the main causes of death in these cases. [Doctors] tend to become obese and are under great stress… Most of them are hypertensive and diabetic. These conditions reduce their chances of living longer.”

Read the full article:

http://www.mumbaimirror.com/index.aspx?page=article&sectid=3&contentid=201002092010020901523931154144cbf

Typically, medical doctors have stressful jobs that keep them from spending much time with their families.  They don’t make time for exercise or plan healthy meals.  Doctors have easy access to antibiotics and other medical quick fixes.  And of course it’s not uncommon for a doctor to smoke.  Not that any of those traits are unique to just doctors; they actually all sound pretty familiar.

And that’s another reason why I choose to live like a nutritionist, not a doctor.  My role models?  Jillian Michaels, Bob Harper, and Dr. Huizenga (“Dr. H.” from The Biggest Loser.  Seventh Day Adventists.  Kosher diet abiding Jews.  My dad.

They are my doctors, with or without the M.D.

healthnutshell: A Tablespoon of Sugar or a Cigarette?

A new way to view the worth of the happiness that sugar brings us.



I have never understood the addiction a person encounters who is dependant on alcohol or nicotine. Half-jokingly I have even said that I should take up smoking to prove that I have the will-power to stop. And while my body knows no enticement to the addictive qualities of alcohol or nicotine, I have been fighting a physical addiction my own life.

In high school, when I was “using” the most, I quickly became aware that I had symptoms of an unhealthy person. I had a lot of difficulty breathing, to the point it took hours to fall asleep at night. Not to mention my abundant allergies. So what was my addiction? Refined Sugar. (Sugar that is added to a food or processed in any way.)

Back in those days I ate a king size Little Debbie fudge round for breakfast every morning and another for an afternoon snack. And that was just the tip of the iceberg lettuce.

Evidently, men aren’t supposed to admit to loving sugary things. But I openly acknowledge my love and addiction. Chocolate. Ice cream. Cookies. Milk shakes. Peanut butter brittle. Candy. Sweet tea. Dr. Pepper.

Since childhood, I could never finish a meal without having some kind of sweets. My worst vice was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I even overdosed on them one time back in 2003, eating 36 of them in a 16 hour period. From that day I developed a rash that lasted 6 years. Six years, not days.

In October 2008, I “hit rock candy bottom” after my hand eczema (dyshidrosis) got “out of hand”. Take a look at the pictures on this Wikipedia entry to see what I was suffering from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyshidrosis.

I stopped eating shellfish and realized that it helped tremendously, because I learned by wearing my metal wedding ring that my hand eczema is triggered half by contact with heavy metals, which shellfish are full of. The other 50% is the consumption of refined sugar.

It has taken me since October 2008 to get to the point where I am now.  Which is basically a 0% tolerance policy on refined sugar. I couldn’t quit cold turkey. I needed my sugar too much.  Like any threatening drug, I was addicted.  Mentally and physically.

It’s been a long process. The only sugar I eat now comes from 100% fruit juice, fruit, and whole grain bread. Sweets are out of my life.

Aside from the hell that resided on both of my hands for most of last decade, something else helped inspired me to stop my sugar addiction. A realization. A new mindset:

Consuming a tablespoon of sugar is equal to smoking one cigarette.


That may seem like a broad claim since I am not a doctor nor has there ever been a clinical study to prove it. All we really have to go on is the following research I have done, along with the fact my hand eczema is currently 95% cured (thank God).

But consider this: It wasn’t until people began adding sugar into their diets that they began getting cavities. Toothbrushes and toothpaste came about because people starting eating sugar.

Even today, people from tribes in the world that do not have access to Coca-Cola and do not have a concept of adding sugar to their diet coincidently do not suffer from tooth decay. Nor do they suffer from the rate of cancers and diseases that the rest of us do.

I’m not the first to say it: There is a definite link between the health of a person’s teeth and how prone they are to developing health problems in the rest of their body:
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/pubs/oral-bucco/2009-smile-sourire/index-eng.php

No one needs to be told of all the horrific things smoking does to the human body. Just in case, here’s an overview:
http://quitsmoking.about.com/od/tobaccorelateddiseases/a/smokingrisks.htm

However, most of us truly don’t realize that arguably, the presence of sugar in our diets causes all kinds of cancers and diseases as well.  Most notably, the consumption of refined sugar leads to diabetes, obesity, and tooth decay.  Plus:
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060818171925AA5czDQ
http://www.rheumatic.org/sugar.htm

This isn’t to say that consumption of refined sugar causes lung cancer and the same exact health problems that tobacco causes. But eating foods that are processed with refined sugar leads to just as many health problems.

I am confident that a person who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day (20 cigarettes), compared to a person who consumes 20 tablespoons of sugar a day, will be just as affected with an unhealthy body. Whether it’s for 5 years or 30 years.

The more sugar in a person’s daily diet now, the unhealthier they will be later in life. Like cigarettes, the damage isn’t instantly obvious. It can take decades before the person’s body begins to scream for help, like mine did.

To find out how much sugar is in a product, take a look at the nutrition facts. Look under “Total Carbohydrate”. Then scroll down to “sugars”. Divide that number by 12. That is how many tablespoons (not teaspoons) of sugar is in one serving of that product.

The average can of soda contains around 3 ½ to 4 tablespoons of sugar, or according to my analogy, has the same health dangers as smoking 3 ½ to 4 cigarettes.

Therefore, a person who drinks a 2 liter of soda (or the sugar equivalent of it through other sweets) a day will have the comparable health risks of a person who smokes one pack of cigarettes a day.

(For some great visuals, click here: http://www.sugarstacks.com/ )

But as we know, it doesn’t take smoking an entire pack of cigarettes day for a person’s health to be affected by it. So it’s important to check out those forgettable smaller amounts of sugars we consume as well.

Let’s a take a look at a classy favorite, Starbucks. Just a tall (the smallest size) Caramel Frappaccino has 53 grams of sugar, which is 4 ½ tablespoons of sugar, or 4 ½ cigarettes. A tall iced white mocha has 41 grams of sugar, which is 3 ½ tablespoons of sugar, or 3 ½ cigarettes. http://www.starbucks.com/retail/nutrition_info.asp

A Snickers bar has 28 grams, or nearly 2 ½ tablespoons of sugar, or cigarettes.

Ten years ago, the Atkins diet surged with popularity, and suddenly everyone was avoiding carbs. But we need carbs. It’s the sugar in them that’s bad.

Whole grain bread is an important part of our diet, since it contains a good amount of fiber that we need to our food to push through our intestines. But even whole grain, whole wheat fiber has some sugar in it. It’s a matter of finding bread with the most fiber and the least sugar. And dividing that sugar content by 12 to find out how many tablespoons of sugar it contains in a serving.

From all my research, it’s difficult to find a nutritionist who will give a solid number for the amount added sugar we are allowed in a day. Because many that I talked to said ideally, none. But for the ones would give me an answer: 37.5 grams of added sugar per day. About 3 tablespoons.

In other words, a king size Snickers bar or a Starbucks tall iced white mocha will meet this limit 100%. (Though a can of soda would be over the limit.) So we have a fun snack like that and think we’re okay. But, what about the rest of the added sugar we are going to eat that day too?

Like bread? Fruit juice? Whole grain cereal? Yogurt? Milk?

By simply eating the healthy foods we should be eating already, we are naturally going to get close to that those 37.5 grams (or 3 tablespoons) of sugar. So it leaves out room for any sugary snacks.

Because even if we eat completely healthy balanced meals, once we add a bag of M&M’s, we exceeding our daily allowance. And keeping in my unproven theory that a tablespoon of sugar is equal to a cigarette, just one sugary snack on top of an already healthy diet would be like smoking a few cigarettes.

But the truth is this: Most people don’t already eat healthy, balanced meals. So that’s even more “cigarettes” in a day.

The good new is, we don’t have to count all sugars against our 37.5 gram allowance:  Like whole foods such as bananas or blueberries. Or really any food that has not all been processed and has had some kind of sugar added to it.

Because even healthy bread and yogurt have added sugar, even if its organic evaporated cane juice. For example, I just finished a serving of Stonyfield strawberry yogurt which contained 34 grams of sugar. They added organic sugar and strawberry juice to sweeten the yogurt. That’s my full allowance of added sugar, and that was an attempt to be healthy. Not to mention the grape juice I drank earlier today. Lesson learned. Next time I’ll go with cottage cheese and strawberries I slice myself.

And even 100% fruit juice is processed- juice is only a part of the whole fruit. So it must count against the 37.5 gram allowance.

But somehow if the fruit is eaten whole, with the fruit flesh, it counteracts the negative elements of the sugar it contains.

And of course, there’s no cheating the system. Artificial sweeteners are not a safe alternative, with links to potential cancer risks, negative effects on the liver, kidneys, and other organs, gastrointestinal problems, developmental problems in children and fetuses and headaches, to name a few:
http://www.truthaboutabs.com/artificial-sweeteners-natural-stevia.html

I think the most motivating element for me in all this is not so much a fear of getting cancer, but more about getting diabetes. Multiple sources continue to report that 1 out of 3 American children will become diabetics as adults if their current lifestyle continues:
http://www.truthaboutabs.com/artificial-sweeteners-natural-stevia.html

I have lived the first 28 years of my life in favor of becoming a diabetic. After seeing a few photographs of people who had to have their legs removed because of the disease, I decided that I don’t mind getting old, but I do mind getting old and unhealthy and account of my carefree lifestyle in my young adulthood.

So which is worse? A tablespoon of sugar or a cigarette?

At best, they’re the same. They both have enough potential to give us cancer and diseases. I’m not willing to risk my life for either one. I want to be the next Juice Man. Out of control eybrows and all.

Related posts by the same author:

Barley into Beer  http://wp.me/pxqBU-2L

1.2 Billion People Can’t Be Wrong  http://wp.me/pxqBU-43

 Beauty and Self-Worth aren’t the Real Issues  http://wp.me/pxqBU-2c