All Health's Breaking Loose: Sweeter without sugar

Ah, the "olden days," a time when life was simpler, even food was simpler. We ate less processed, sweetened food, and sugar was a rare treat.

Just before the turn of this century, the average American consumed about five pounds of sugar per year. Cut to today, you'll find sugar in cereal, ketchup, bread, crackers, salad dressings, sauces and fast foods — and that five pounds per year has multiplied to 135 pounds consumed each year!

Back in those olden days, there were no Krispy Kreme doughnuts (10 grams of sugar) or vitamin water (33 grams). How did they manage to put more sugar in water than a doughnut? A salad used to mean a few fresh veggies from the garden, tossed together with a little salt and pepper. Compare that to the Thai chicken salad at California Pizza Kitchen, which has 45 grams of sugar. Oscar Mayer (turkey, cheese and crackers) Lunchables has 36 grams of sugar, while a Coca-Cola Classic in a 12-ounce can has 39. So a child's lunch can have almost as much sugar as a soda.

Sugar is a complex bag of tricks. It's everywhere, which explains the staggering statistics of obesity and diabetes that surround us.

As our sugar consumption increased, so did heart disease and cancer — both are at an all-time high. Not to pick on those two diseases, because it doesn't matter what we're talking about. The common cold, arthritis, ADHD, osteoporosis — whatever — the root of disease is at the cellular and molecular level, which makes it a sure bet that insulin is going to be affected.

When the delicate balance of insulin in the blood is raised, it creates a domino effect. The release of growth hormone is suppressed, inflammation creeps in, causing achiness and other troubles, and the immune system bogs down. To say it more plainly: The aging process (which I just described) speeds up.

With all the misinformation out there, let me suggest a couple of simple modifications we can make to offset the sugar we consume. First, start the day without sugar. Boxed cereal is far from a good way to start your day and should be avoided. Try a scrambled or boiled egg, or slice of whole grain toast instead and your blood sugar levels will be stable much longer, getting you through to your next meal comfortably. And second, have a small handful of almonds mid-morning and again late afternoon. Almonds contain leptin, which regulates blood sugar and signals to the satiety centers of the brain that you're satisfied, chasing away food cravings.

I devoted a double-page spread in my book "All Health's Breaking Loose" to provide a comprehensive list of maladies that sugar brings to the body. It promotes fat storage, feeds cancer, promotes emotional outburst, can cause gallstones and appendicitis, contributes to Alzheimer's…I'd better stop there. The rest of the list, two full pages of it, is in chapter six. Achy joints, a nervous, cranky disposition, a tired lined face, and illness knocking at your door — all are good reasons to free yourself from sugar. Just try being sugar-free. You'll feel calmer, more peaceful and content without it. You really have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Life is definitely sweeter without sugar.

Heartfelt thanks to all of you, my readers, for your well wishes and kind words, and for coming to my book signing of "All Health's Breaking Loose" at Flintridge Books. Thank you for celebrating with me; your support was overwhelming. My heart is full, and I am grateful.

I'll see you in two weeks.

Love & health,


Reach Loa at

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