I just love this graphic (and the article that goes with it) and had to share it. But that’s the literal-thinker in me. I just can’t help myself sometimes!
I woke up this morning with a burning desire to share… Is sugar ‘evil’? Of course not. It’s an object. A substance. Evil comes with maliciously causing harm. (More on this later…) So why, now, do we hear about so much about sugar being evil, and how diabetes and heart disease – all related to sugar consumption are at epidemic levels? Sugar has been refined since 642 AD, and in “the 11th Century AD. Crusaders returning home talked of this “new spice” and how pleasant it was.” 642 AD. That’s a looooong time ago! So, what has changed?
(Image: Stephan Guyenet)
Quantity has changed, that’s for sure. Some by choice, some not-so-much. We used to have a small amount of homemade confection on the rare occasion, a holiday perhaps, because as we’ve all learned: “food is love.” And when we are fed food that makes us feel good it must mean we are loved more, right? With increasing technology and science, sweeteners became more physically and financially available to more and more people.
As the technology has advanced, and the processing increases, not only is it more affordable, it is often the cheapest “food” source. The only available option for many where quality foods are not available at grocery stores are the highly processed foods often high in sugar.
As if that’s not enough, the food products industry has learned to use our predilection for sweets (our bodies’ own survival instinct) against us. “Even the common “sweet tooth” may be rooted in survival instinct, he suggested. Carbohydrates, typically sweet, are a vital energy source to a wild animal continuously on the go. The evolved ability to associate sweetness with energy may lie behind our present-day preferences for ice cream and candy bars, Pritchard speculates.” This is why, in addition to insidious advertising, our food products are laced with sugar and salt and chemical concoctions to keep us coming back for more. And the ‘evil’ encroaches!
So, what is one to do? It’s a hard call. I am all about balance, moderation, and variety. I think it is very important not to deprive ourselves because deprivation causes us to feel bad, lacking, angry… and it can cause us to binge. If you can occasionally have a ‘sweet treat’, then by all means enjoy it. Preferably homemade and less processed…
As I learned from Potatoes Not Prozac, I work best when coming from a mindset of abundance, not deprivation. By changing my diet and slowly cutting back the ‘sweets and treats’ and increasing the different ‘real foods’ I was eating, not only did I begin to feel and look better, now I am able to eat so much more than before. And since I LOOOOVE to eat, this is a definite win-win for me!
Balance. Moderation. Variety. Have that very occasional dessert if you are so inclined, if you can. That doesn’t work for me. If I have some, I want more. The addictive component of sweeteners is too strong for me. I choose to stay away completely. It’s a personal choice. Choose what works best for you, your body, your heath and well-being. And enjoy your life!