Disease Prevention and ReversalNutritionPlant-based Living

Kicking the Sugar Habit-#1

According to the Candy Warehouse, one of the most popular types of candies in America is the Jelly Bean. Jelly Bellys stand out because of the huge variety of flavors that they come in.

Here are some little known jelly bean facts:

-President Ronald Reagan liked them so much he persuaded the Jelly Belly Candy Company to come up with a blueberry flavor so he could have red, white, and blue Jelly beans on his desk for visitors.

-15 billion jelly beans are consumed every Easter – yup, that’s billion with a B.

Like many other candies, jelly beans are just about pure, simple sugar with a tad of flavor and coloring added. Did you know that:

  • Each Jelly Belly has 1 gram of sugar
  • 4 Jelly Bellys contain 1 teaspoon of sugar (4 grams)
  • A serving size is considered to be 25 beans, which will give you  about 6 teaspoons (tsp) of sugar.

But, you might ask, what difference does this make?  Sugar intake actually has a direct effect on your immune system, the system in your body responsible for keeping you well. White blood cells (WBCs) are a major part of your immune system and are responsible for destroying disease-causing bacteria before they can multiply and overwhelm your body’s defenses. If the WBCs can’t do that fast enough, you will get sick. Bacteria reproduce very quickly and often can double in 20-30 minutes. So a few bacteria that you are exposed to can multiply and become millions in a matter of hours. This is why the number of bacteria a single WBC can destroy in an hour becomes critical.

This is how it works – When you are fasting, each WBC can destroy 14 bacteria in an hour. You have thousands of white blood cells, which make that an efficient way to deactivate the bacteria that can cause you an infection.

  • But just one serving of Jelly Bellys (6 tsp of sugar) and the number of bacteria destroyed in an hour drops to 10.
  • If you consume a 12-oz sugar sweetened soft drink (12 tsp of sugar/48 grams) then only 5.5 bacteria are destroyed in an hour.
  • Indulge in a Dairy Queen banana split (18+ tsp of sugar) and that number is only 2 bacteria per hour. 
  • Slurp down a McDonald’s vanilla milk shake (24 tsp of sugar) and your WBC disease fighting potential has almost disappeared at 1 bacteria per hour killed.
  • It’s no wonder there is such an increase in illnesses around holidays like Christmas, when people are more likely to increase their sugar intake!

So what does Sugar have to offer you?

  • It will rob your body of vitamins and minerals
  • It will destabilize your blood sugar levels leading to foggy brain and decreased productivity
  • It promotes cravings for junk food and can even be an addiction
  • It decreases your ability to fight infections and even chronic lifestyle diseases

What a Deal, right?…

So are you ready to give sugar the boot? As in, boot it right off your plate?It’s actually not that hard, but it does involve resetting your taste buds – I call it a Palate Reset. As it turns out, your perception of flavor can be modified rather easily. Just ask anyone who has gone salt free for 3 weeks. Ordinary popcorn and potato chips become  nauseatingly salty quite quickly!

You can do something similar with sweets – By cutting out refined and processed sugars for a period of time,  you can regain the ability to enjoy natural foods and natural levels of sweetness – you know, like what you find in plain fruit or well chewed starchy foods like crackers and toast! In fact, just two weeks can really make a difference.

So try it – focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, have some beans every day, and some whole grains several times a week. Avoid ANYTHING with added sugars (read your labels) for two full weeks. Then you can CLICK HERE to send me a little email letting me know what you experienced. If you want more support in moving to healthier eating, let me know that too!



Proof Positive, Dr. Neil Nedley

USDA Nutrition Facts

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