Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Today I baked a 'Glazed Lemon Loaf' cake. I found the recipe in a book I found at Barns and Noble, but due to my sincere dedication to make the healthiest and still tasty dishes possible, I made a few of my own modifications to the recipe. I substituted the 1/4 c. canola oil for 1/4 c. unsweetened, no preservatives added apple sauce and about a tbsp of olive oil. I also used 3/4 c. whole wheat flour, 1/4 c. vital wheat gluten-which adds an additional 23 grams of protien, and a 1/2 c. of white flour instead of 1 1/2 c. of white flour. And I felt like being a bit radical and reduced the sugar from 3/4 c. to 1/4c. It turned out pretty good, but as you might assume, it's not a sweet cake which in turn reduces the yummy flavor. But none the less its good for a quick breakfast. And if I were to make this again I would add walnuts for extra flavor and texture.

So getting back to my original point, it got me talking to my mom about sugar when she asked why I was eliminating such a large quantity of it. And I explained how it is unhealthy. We all know the basics, sugar raises your insulin level very quickly which leads our body to 'crash' shortly after. However, there are many, many more reasons to give sugar the cold shoulder. While I am a firm believer that a little bit of everything in moderation is okay, I was also the girl who would consume a tub of ice cream in 2 maybe 3 days, and eat cake, candy, chocolate, or cookies on pretty much a daily basis when I was younger. Enough said. Sugar is addictive, I know that better than anyone. And my secret that keeps me from falling victim to the cravings, I have to stay away from it completely. It is self control, but more importantly 'out of sight, out of mind.'

So why is it bad?

Refined Sugar is bad for you because it raises the insulin level in your blood.

Raised blood insulin levels depress the immune system. If your immune system is depressed then your ability to fight disease is weakened.

Raised blood insulin levels can cause weight gain. Insulin promotes the storage of fat; so, when you eat foods high in refined sugar, you increase fat storage. Obviously, the result is rapid weight gain.

Refined Sugar contains no vitamins or minerals so in order for sugar to be metabolized it must draw on the body’s reserve of vitamins and minerals. When these reserves are depleted, metabolization of cholesterol and fatty acid is impeded, contributing to higher blood serum triglycerides, cholesterol, promoting obesity due to higher fatty acid storage around organs.

• Sugar can contribute to hyperactivity, anxiety, depression, concentration difficulties, and crankiness in children.
• Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.
• Sugar contributes to a weakened defense against bacterial infection.
• Sugar can cause kidney damage.
• Sugar may lead to chromium deficiency.
• Sugar can cause copper deficiency.
• Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.
• Sugar can increase fasting levels of blood glucose.
• Sugar can speed the aging process, causing wrinkles and grey hair.
• Sugar can contribute to diabetes.
• Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.
• Sugar can cause depression.
• Sugar can increase the body's fluid retention.
• Sugar can cause hormonal imbalance.
• Sugar can cause hypertension.
• Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.
• Sugar can cause an increase in delat, alpha and theta brain waves, which can alter the mind's ability to think clearly.
And the list goes on and on.

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