I have been gathering articles lately related to SUGAR and it’s perils…I have listed a few articles here worth taking a look at. It is a great discussion to get into!
- From the NY Times: Mark Bittman’s How to Make Oatmeal . . . Wrong (this one not strictly about added sugar but a GREAT article!)
- UCLA This is your brain on sugar: UCLA study shows high-fructose diet sabotages learning, memory
- LA Times Sounding The Sugar Alarms
- Found on TODAY’s website Sweet and toxic: Is sugar really ‘poison’?
- Found on Yahoo News Sugar can make you dumb, US scientists warn
- Dr. Robert Lustig’s ‘Sugar: The Bitter Truth’ YouTube lecture stirs up the low-carb community (includes a link to his video)
Banning or regulating Sugar? Seems about as good as banning alcohol, read about that experiment? That went well right? Because we live in a free society and people have the right to choose poorly if we want to, EDUCATION is the answer! I BELIEVE in Freedom of Choice. I am pro educated choices! The more I read about SUGAR and the problems associated with it the more I think it is best to avoid it. If we choose to indulge once in a while we should do it with full knowledge that it is a TREAT (possible health detriment/toxin even?), not something to have often.
Here is a Huffington Post Article about regulating sugar called Toxic Sugar: Should We Regulate It Like Alcohol?
MY HIGHLIGHT from the article:
“Now, in this new position paper Lustig and his colleagues, Laura A. Schmidt and Claire D. Brindis, take the argument a bit further. They apply criteria used to justify the control of alcohol (pervasiveness, toxicity, potential for abuse and negative impact on society) to sugar. Not only is sugar toxic in high doses, they argue, high doses are unavoidable in modern society. They write: Evolutionarily, sugar as fruit was available to our ancestors for only a few months a year (at harvest time), or as honey, which was guarded by bees. But in recent years, sugar has been added to virtually every processed food, limiting consumer choice. Nature made sugar hard to get; man made it easy. In many parts of the world, people are consuming an average of more than 500 calories per day from added sugar alone.”
EDUCATION AND INFORMATION TO ALL! THE ARTICLE SAID high doses are unavoidable in modern society THIS IS NOT AN ABSOLUTE, PEOPLE WON’T AVOID IT, IF THEY DON’T KNOW ITS BAD FOR THEM, AND PEOPLE WON’T AVOID IT, IF THEY DON’T REALIZE THAT IT IS IN PRACTICALLY EVERY PROCESSED FOOD. ONCE THEY DO KNOW, IF THEY CARE, PEOPLE CAN TAKE STEPS TO CUT IT OUT ALTOGETHER OR PARTIALLY. NO ONE MAKES US GO TO THE STORE AND BUY CEREALS / SAUCES / BOXES / BOTTLES and WRAPPED GOODS WITH SUGAR IN THEM. AND IF THE WRITERS THINK SUGAR IS AN ACTUAL POISEN – AND THEY MAY BE RIGHT – THEY STILL WON’T GET IT OFF THE SHELVES, LOOK AT CIGARETTES! LOOK AT THE PESTICIDES ON MOST OF OUR PRODUCE! NOT GOOD FOR US AND ITS PROVEN. AND YET? THEY ARE STILL OUT THERE. THE BEST WE CAN DO IS EDUCATE OURSELVES AND MAKE CHOICES. OUR CHOICES AS CONSUMERS WILL INFORM PRODUCERS WHAT WE WANT. VOTE WITH YOUR FORK! VOTE WITH OUR WALLETS! THINK WITH YOUR HEAD!
I LOVE THE ARTICLE’S EXAMPLE THAT SOME CONCENTRATED SWEETS IN NATURE WERE ONLY AVAILABLE MINIMALLY THROUGHOUT THE YEAR AND NOW THAT WE CAN HAVE IT ANY TIME WE WANT, THEY ARE EASILY ABUSED. MUCH THE SAME WITH NUTS, THINK ABOUT THE WORK THAT WOULD GO INTO GATHERING AND SHELLING SEEDS AND NUTS LONG AGO (one little nut and seed at a time!), AND NOW WE CAN GET THEM BY REACHING OVER AT THE CHECK OUT COUNTER AND EAT THEM BY THE HANDFUL, NO HUNTING AND GATHERING OR SHELLING (calorie expenditure) INVOLVED.
Here is an article on Why Banning Sugar Will Not Solve Obesity
“5) Finally, it is not clear to me why the authors would chose to simply focus their attention on sugar – it would have made as much sense to include all refined carbs, as it takes very little for our digestive systems to turn a slice of Wonder Bread or pizza into glucose. Will all refined carbs (and what exactly is the definition of ‘refined’ in this context? Do we include polished rice?) be next on the list of toxic substances that require a permit? And what about other natural sources of sugar – are we going to tax cane sugar, beets, honey, or perhaps even Maple syrup? Let us also not forget that biologically there is little difference (if any) between the ample sugar in fruit juice and the sugar I add to my cup of tea.
But in the end, my main criticism would be that, as so often, the authors have chosen to focus on the ‘what’ (eating to much sugar) rather than on the far more complex issue of the ‘why’ (why is this happening?). That of course would have been a very different paper requiring some very uncomfortable and complex analyses of the very core of how industrialized societies operate.
While the article is no doubt well intended, I sincerely fear that these rather simplistic and superficial ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions to the obesity epidemic based on principles of shame, blame, tax, and ban, merely distract us from having a value-driven and non-judgemental discussion about the true drivers of the societal (e.g. industrialization and centralization of food production), psychological (e.g. stress, lack of sleep, emotional deprivation) and biological (e.g. fetal imprinting, endocrine disrupters) changes that have led to this epidemic, we will fail to even remotely begin to reverse this problem.”
I don’t personally treat sugar as poison, but I do try to avoid its prevalence in our Standard American Diet (SAD). I know that most desserts make me feel tired and a little hungover, so, good to avoid! And I notice salad dressing or any sauce with much sweetener (sugar, corn syrup) in it gives me heartburn, again, good to avoid! A great way to avoid the prevalence of sugar and added high fructose corn syrup is to read labels or better yet, to make your own (A good CHEAP option – Google ‘simple vinaigrette’ for some basic recipes – I make one with just oil (3:1 ration is super) vinegar and mustard! So many easy variations/additions to try!). Newman’s Salad dressings has a few kinds with out added sugar (I think its the Balsamic and the Olive Oil Vinaigrette?). Classico Spaghetti Suace has a few sauces with out added sugar ( I think the Marinara is the one i tried?).
There are MANY things out in the world that are not good for us. Eat at your own risk? Moderation? We have to make informed choices for ourselves and it’s not easy with all the varying information that’s out in the world and on the web. Some things hold true it seems through out, the more whole foods the better, the less ingredients added the better (if you can’t pronounce the ingredient and/or have no idea what it is, probably not a very ‘whole’ ingredient).
This kind of food dissecting makes me tired and weary sometimes and not sure what to eat. Going to the kitchen now, I think I’ll make Salmon with Dill Butter Sauce, Roasted Brussels Sprouts… and a small Dark Chocolate Almond candy for dessert…Hugs to All :)