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Excuse me, sir. Some coffee with your sugar?

My brother Quentin teased me with that question years ago. We were at home having coffee, and I must have put three or so teaspoons of refined sugar in my cup. I don’t remember exactly how much it was, but Quentin always had a wisecrack ready for any situation, and it was just the opening he needed.

I should have said thank you to him, because it’s now decades later and I still remember those words. We consume a lot of sugar, both unnecessarily and habitually. Some people drink soda or juice with every meal as a matter of course. Eating naturally makes us thirsty, so consuming sugary drinks while we eat makes it easy to take in too much sugar too quickly.

If you’ve got a habit of drinking sugary drinks with every meal, how about making a change? Years ago, I stopped having sweetened drinks with my meals because I realized it was a bad choice for my health. I stick with water or tea now and enjoy them quite much. Only rarely do I have a sweetened drink with a meal now, and I’m conscious about keeping the portion small.

So I’m challenging you to cut back on refined sugars a bit, especially from soft drinks and juice during meals. They’re OK as an occasional treat, but every day all the time has consequences such as unhealthy weight gain, diabetes, inflammation, cancer, and heart disease. It’s a modest step you can take to ward off some chronic health problems and protect the quality of the time you have.

If sugary drinks are the automatic choice for you, ask yourself if you’re really in control. Don’t be mindless. I encourage you to cut back a little and live.

Sayonara until next time.

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