Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year Challenges

A new year sometimes means a new diet. let's face it, After a season of feasting and excess maybe it's time to pare down the diet. There's a new sugar challenge out there where people cut out products that contain any type of sweetener  from honey to refined sugar. The theory can also be applied to cutting salt and fat.

The sugar challenge was the topic of an opinion piece in yesterday's New York Sunday Times. David Leonhardt, a Pulitzer prize winner and Times columnist penned  "A Month Without Sugar" after he did the challenge himself. It's not just giving up soda and doughnuts. Almost every food, he writes, save for pita bread and Triscuits have some kind of sugar in them.Our salad dressings, our breads, even our fruit juices and granola bars are loaded with unhealthy sugars. Going sugarless means enjoying more fresh veggies and scratch also means appreciating fruits and enjoying their natural sweet flavor, heightened by the lack of the processed stuff. Home chefs have to be diligent. Eschewing sugar means carefully reading ingredients and switching one brand for one that's healthier. Mr.Leonhardt  has found it to be helpful in a variety of ways, He lost his taste for sugar and all that goes with it as well as developing a keen appreciation of any kind of fruit's natural sweetness. It was hard at first but itsoonn became acceptable and then a part of his life.

Can salt and fat be given up for a month? It is possible. People have done such for both, Devin Ellsworth wrote about his seven day  foray on his vegan blog Plantiful. It's actually more healthful because a salty diet brings  about headaches, fatigue and's also a crucial component in retaining water and bloating. Those disappear when the sodium intake goes down. He felt lighter and more clear-headed. Going saltless is good but there is a caveat. It's almost impossible to eat out. Mr. Ellsworth went to Chipotle, perfect for satisfying his vegetarian diet , however imperfect for finding salt free foods. The only fast food item that has almost trace amount of salt is a plain baked potato from Wendy's It only has twenty-five milligrams of salt and has to be eaten plain. The extras' such as sour cream and chives add on fifty milligrams. Fat is about the easiest to give up.If anything it's eating more fruits and vegetables and giving up dairy and sweets.Carbs can also be cut out too and more lean protein can be added in to for satiety.

Challenges can be a good thing, Doing ones that bring about a better life is definitely worth it. See if can be done , week at first, then a month  without sugar, salt and fat.

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