Are local Sacramento mainstream media recipes possibly contributing their part to the obesity epidemic? Each Wednesday, you see a food section in the Sacramento Bee newspaper, yet most of the baking recipes call for one or two cups of white flour and one or two cups of table sugar--either white or brown sugar in most of the cake, cookie, and brownie recipes instead of a pinch of stevia and whole grain meal, sprouted legumes, or other flour substitutes.
You rarely see recipes that don't include added white or brown sugar, lots of butter, and usually white, all-purpose, or refined flour. Once in a while you see mentioned whole grain flour. But when it comes to breads, whole wheat bread raises your blood glucose levels as much as white bread. If you look at most mainstream media newspaper or magazine recipes, you'll probably see mentioned more times than not, all-purpose flour.
In the Southwest soda pop is a popular sweetener for ground meat as well as used in baking, and this southern favorite has arrived in Sacramento. See, Coca-Cola Recipes: Coca-Cola Cake, Coca-Cola Meatballs, Heritage and, [PDF] Recipe: Cola Cake - The Coca-Cola Company. Not many recipes are appearing in mainstream media here in Sacramento for stevia cake or meatballs. And why do you have to sweeten ground beef when tomato paste has enough sweet taste naturally to sweeten meat balls?
Maybe soda pop cake is not served so much at restaurants, but it's popularity is burgenoning in some homes if the cake was familiar in families that moved here. Also, some restaurants locally do add sugar to carrot raisin salad as if the raisins weren't sweet enough in a salad. And in various restaurants, especially Mediterreanean style cooking, some chefs do add sugar to ground lamb and beef before they shape the meat into balls or oblong shapes.
Rarely do you see recipes calling for no-yeast breads or cakes or use of some of the more healthy sugar substitutes such as a leaf of stevia or a mashed banana to sweeten cakes, cookies, frozen desserts, or other foods. And few recipes call for the use of fruit alone without adding a spoon of sugar over fresh fruit.
People in Sacramento if they follow the mainstream recipes are likely to get addicted to having a sweet taste, much sweeter than foods 'sweetened' by natural fruits alone--such as mango chunks, blueberries, or frozen cherries. You have recipes for sugars and syrups or honey but few warnings not to mix protein and starch or fruit at the same meal, for better digestion. And nothing in most cases is mentioned about what foods are least like to create blood glucose spikes after eating, for example soda pop or sweetened nondairy milk substitutes (compared to the unsweetened ones).
A 2009 California study reported that sugar-sweetened soda pop and other beverages sweetened with sugar is one of the main reasons for the current statewide obesity epidemic. See the article online, " California soda survey gives weight to health concerns ," by Anna Tong published September 17, 2009 in the Sacramento Bee daily newspaper.
If you want to research local statistics on what demographic group is drinking the most soda or consuming the most sugar, one of the best sources of information and tables is the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, California Center for Public Health Advocacy .
According to the Sacbee article, "The study found that 24 percent of adults drink one or more non-diet sodas a day, and these adults are 27 percent more likely to be overweight." For children, the study revealed that sixty-two percent of adolescents ages 12 to 17 and 41 percent of children ages 2 to 11 drink at least one sugar-sweetened drink a day.
If you look at the children's increasing consumption rate of soda and other sugary and syrupy-laded beverage consumption, it transfers to a future of higher medical bills and possible health-care costs, including the possibility of higher insurance premiums.
When you open a can of soda pop sweetened with sugar or sugary syrups, your drinking 17 teaspoons of sugar and about 250 calories per 20-ounce serving. With many beverages you're also getting added caffeine.
Sugar added to beverages and foods is one of the most addictive foods that raise the dopamine levels in your brain so you come back to buy more. The other three most addictive foods are meat, cheese/dairy products, and chocolate.
You could drink sparkling waters, plain water, nonsweetened nut, soy, or grain milks, or make your own beverages from putting whole fruits in a blender with pomegranate juice that hasn't been sweetened with more sugar or syrups.
Parents that give their babies sugar and water, sugary juices, or soda in a bottle are addicting the infants to sugar early in life and setting their teeth up for decay later. Some adults drink eight sodas daily inspite of soda taxes. The best solution is to drink filtered tap water, provided that your tap water doesn't contain too many toxins that you can't filter out. But don't filter out the minerals such as magnesium and calcium.
According to the article, if states tax sodas like they tax cigarettes, the state taxing sodas by only a penny would be enriched by more than a million dollars annually. Better than taxes, though, is health. Instead of drinking so much soda, try clean water. On the other hand, if you tax soda in California, it's not going to be a penny an ounce. It's going to be a huge tax on a six pack of sugary soda. And people will protest the tax.
Water is better for your health. But is the water clean enough to drink? The solution? Don't put processed sugar in your body at such a high rate. Raw sugar cane is different, slower to be absorbed without the high insulin spikes that processed granulated or powdered sugar has. But the outcome is that the sugar habit in soft drinks or some juices increase the chances of children and some adults becoming overweight.
Sugar also washes out the minerals, especially the magnesium from your body, decays the teeth from the inside out, and forces your body to make more insulin to reduce the glucose in your bloodstream. On the other hand, your brain needs glucose to function.
The study shows how soda is fueling an obesity problem. But the beverage industry will protest. The only way to go is drink more water and look at tables showing how soda is consumed by children, adolescents, and adults.
The tables show that adolescents consume the most sugary soda beverages. Figure on top of that, candy consumption as snacks, and desserts made with sugar such as pies, cakes, and cookies. Then add the sugar in fresh and/or dried fruit. We are truly a sugary nation. Is it because we are addicted to sweetness? Or do we need something sweeter in our lives to get up and go?