Tuesday, 28 March 2023
Written by Cynthia Ross
If you are focusing on a healthy diet, it is hard not to think about sugar. You do not have to cut out sugar altogether. The key to a healthy sugar intake is to know the difference between natural and refined sugar.
Natural sugar is sugar that occurs in a food source without additives. Naturally recurring sugar is found in food such as dairy products, fruit or carbohydrates. When we think of sugar our first thought includes fruit, but natural sugar occurs in starchy vegetables, brown rice, whole grain pasta and cheese.
Refined or processed sugar should be limited. It includes sugar-enhanced products such as candy, cookies, sodas and smoothies.
According to dietary sources, the daily consumption amount of sugar for a 2,000-calorie diet is 37 grams for men and 25 grams for women. This translates into six teaspoons for women and eight for men.
Added sugar is not in food naturally and is added in products that include soda, yogurt, smoothies, candies and cakes. The problem with added sugar is the increased calories without nutritional benefits. Almost half of the added sugar in the daily diet comes from sweetened beverages, sodas and fruit drinks. Added sugar can also be found in the ingredients on food labels and some of them include brown sugar, corn syrup, sugar, syrup and molasses. Foods with added sugar should be eaten in moderation.
While sugar is not considered to be carcinogenic (cancer-causing), over-consumption of sugar and processed added sugar can add additional caloric intake which contributes to obesity. Obesity is considered a primary risk factor for cancer. There is no evidence that sugar makes cancer cells grow faster. Sugar stimulates the production of fatty acids in the liver. With digestion, fatty acids can contribute to compounds that trigger inflammation. There can be occurrences that cause inflammation such as fatigue, weight gain and body pain to name a few.
The overabundance of sugar can have long-term effects on the body which can include obesity, tooth decay and diabetes. Tooth decay is frequently caused by sugar because bacteria that cause cavities use sugar as a catalyst. Drinking sugary drinks adds a lot of calories but does not result in feeling full. Candy, cookies, cakes, other processed sweets, and sodas can contain approximately 30 grams of added sugar which is over the recommendation for daily consumption.
Artificial sweeteners may seem healthier because they do not contain sugar but they are more likely to make you hungrier and eat more throughout the day. The worst artificial sweeteners are sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin because the sugar substitutes are manufactured in a lab. Other sweeteners to avoid include high fructose corn syrup, brown rice syrup and agave.
The best alternative sweeteners are honey, coconut sugar and maple syrup. Honey is a healthy alternative because the liquid is made from bees visiting flowering plants.
Raw unpasteurized honey contains trace amounts of B vitamin and the minerals, iron, manganese and potassium.
Another benefit is that the taste is sweeter with a lesser addition to satisfy the taste buds.
Maple syrup comes from the sap of maple trees and adds antioxidants of trace amounts of manganese and zinc. Coconut sugar is made by boiling down and dehydrating the sap of coconut palm flowers.
Drinks containing high volumes of sugar are Mountain Dew (20 ounces or 18 and one-half teaspoons of sugar), Icee (74 grams), Coke (65 grams), sweet tea (42 grams).
Live, love life and enjoy sugar in moderation.
Tuesday, 28 March 2023
Written by Jordan Stein, Courtesy of Carolina Journal
One of the most discriminatory laws on North Carolina’s books is the pistol purchase permit system, which was first implemented in 1919.
To summarize, before purchasing a handgun in the Tar Heel state, one must first obtain permission from the local sheriff in the form of a pistol purchase permit. Frustratingly, the many who don’t go through this process fail to realize this requirement is entirely redundant and prone to abuse, which is supported by both historical evidence and modern examples.
Many who oppose the repeal of this permit program no doubt fail to recognize that the background check performed by state sheriffs is completely duplicative, a pro-forma exercise. Even after someone acquires a pistol purchase permit, gun dealers can still perform a background check every single time a transaction is initiated.
Even more damning, the current permitting law was contrived during one of the most divisive periods in our state, not to mention, the entire South’s history — that being the Jim Crow era. Yes, the permitting system was originally devised to restrict those whom the government did not want to acquire handguns. We even have historical state newspaper clippings from the early 20th century that confirm the overwhelmingly disproportionate number of white to Black applicants who were granted these permits.
Unfortunately, the purchase permit system is still having a “Jim Crow effect” to this day. According to UNC School of Law’s North Carolina Law Review, Black citizens in one of North Carolina’s largest counties are still denied purchase permits three times more often than white citizens.
Furthermore, the COVID shutdowns gave anti-gun sheriffs an excuse that made obtaining purchase permits nearly impossible. The delays due to concerns about “stopping the spread” and minimizing large gatherings caused massive backlogs and waits, prompting lawsuits from Gun Owners of America and Grass Roots North Carolina.
Thankfully, due to the efforts of Tar Heel gun owners and lawmakers dedicated to restoring the rights of their citizens, an end to this duplicative and discriminatory policy is on the horizon.
With bipartisan support, both chambers of the General Assembly have passed legislation (SB 41) to not only repeal the pistol purchase permit system, but also close a “loophole” for church carry.
While no law prohibits firearms in houses of worship in North Carolina, many churches also have established private schools on their property. Due to the presence of the school, the entire property is statutorily classified as a “gun-free” zone. SB 41 will close this loophole and restore the right to carry firearms in churches when school is not in session.
Personally, I am a graduate of a private Christian school, a firearms instructor, and a volunteer church security team member. Keeping churches and schools safe is near and dear to my heart. My experience shows that removing this “defense free” prohibition from churches will make would-be mass shooters think twice before attacking, considering they could meet an armed resistance.
Ironically, Gov. Roy Cooper, a man who claims to be committed to ending racial discrimination and the remnants of the state’s racist past, is expected to veto S.B. 41, just as he vetoed similar legislation two years ago. Instead of regurgitating the partisan talking points and arguments unsupported by logic and fact, he should save himself more embarrassment and allow S.B. 41 to become law, with or without his signature.
Regardless of the governor’s final move, lawmakers and activists are confident that the General Assembly is prepared and capable to override a veto on this legislation, and yes, in a bipartisan fashion.
North Carolina doesn’t need a century-old Jim Crow law still on the books. It’s time for it to go.
Editor’s note: Jordan Stein is the Southeast Region Director for Gun Owners of America and a certified firearms instructor.