Happy Spring! I played tennis for the first time in months this morning, and while my backhand definitely wasn’t in full swing, my allergic reaction to the pollen certainly was! Combined with bothersome breezes and sore shoulders from yesterday’s workout, my itchy eyes, nose, and throat made my tennis lesson less like Wimbledon and more like Wimpledon! (dumb, but true!) This afternoon I’m joining a few friends at Sonic to play some sand volleyball; maybe not the wisest thing in the world to do given this morning’s attack on my mucus membranes, but I can’t resist!
Speaking of “wise,” today I want to blog a bit about the wisest man in the world’s views on carbohydrates – yes, he had such views, and they may surprise you!
The bread basket at Texas Roadhouse, spaghetti and meatballs, chocolate chip cookies, an ice cold root beer, my mom’s chicken pot pie blackberry cobbler. These are all some of my absolute favorite “bad” foods. One roll from Texas Roadhouse, for example, contains 227 calories composed of 11 grams of fat and 28 grams of carbs. The cinnamon honey butter they’re served with boasts 12 grams of fat and 125 calories per 1 ½ tablespoon- serving! I can easily eat two or three of them before I get my steak and potato!
I needn’t reveal the fat, carb, and sugar content of my other non-Julie Andrews-approved “favorite things” – it’ll just depress me, ha!
When I think of “sugar,” I think of a soft, white powdery substance, but actually, sugar doesn’t look like that in nature; it takes a long and complicated process to get it to yield such a concentrated final product. It’s this process that strips any nutritional benefits away from the original sugar source.
Most of us are aware that excessive consumption of refined sugar poses several major health risks, including tooth decay, obesity, and type II diabetes.
King David’s son, King Solomon, gave speeches on a variety of subjects, ranging from discipline and diligence to gluttony and greed. He even entertained his enraptured audiences with his thoughts on honey:
“If you find honey, eat only what you need…It is not good to eat too much honey…” Proverbs 25:16, 27
Earlier in Proverbs, the honeycomb is compared to pleasant words: “sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24). It’s proven that unprocessed honey helps our health in multiple ways:
- Aids stomach digestion
- Treats allergies
- Heals ulcers and burns
- Has anti-cancer properties
- Moisturizes skin
But there’s a good reason Solomon warned against eating too much. Even though honey is a natural food, it’s still technically “refined” because it contains large amounts of the simple sugars fructose, sucrose, maltose, and glucose.
A daily overdose of refined sugar can cause the following:
- Excess fat
- Fatty organs and tissues
- Abnormal blood pressure
- Decrease of body’s immunizing power
- Negatively affected brain function and memory
- Depletion of body’s B vitamins
- Increased fatigue
- Tooth decay
- Appetite for more sugar!
There’s a time and place for carb-loaded breadbaskets and sugar-filled desserts, but those occasions should be few.
It’s important that we read nutrition labels to make sure our daily sugar intake doesn’t exceed 10% of our calories. A small, 4.2 ounce juice box, for instance, has nearly 15 grams (four teaspoons) of sugar. The sugar may be natural, but your body can’t distinguish it from any other kind of sugar.
Don’t be deceived by sugar’s fancy names. Here are a few of them:
- Sucrose (table sugar)
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Sorbitol, Mannitol, Malitol, Xylitol (sugar alcohols)
Don’t take it from scientists, doctors, or fitness bloggers – take it from God through His servant and, incidentally the wisest man ever, King Solomon: eat carbs, savor sugar, just do so in moderation. I might just splurge and have a Sonic limeade during volleyball tonight! That is, if I can taste anything! 😉
Stay fit, stay faithful ~<3 Di