Sugar. We love it, crave it and many of us (me) seem to never get enough of it. Its a human vice that crosses cultural economic and national divides. For the love of sugar, europeans enslaved millions of africans. For the love of sugar diabetics are dying and losing limbs. For the love of sugar obesity has torn through society like a plague.
We love sugar so what the hell is the issue, why is this a problem? Well I had no Idea of the detrimental affects of sugar until hearing some things that prompted me to ask the same question. I looked around a little bit and there where many sources just waiting to let me know why I should stop eating my sour patch kids of which I can never have just a few. But here is the crux… this is the nature of my sweet lover. She is as addictive as opiates, literally! Causing the release of some of the same chemicals in the brain.
What I found was actually not too far from obvious once I thought about it. Sugar is fuel to the human body. endogenous processes break down our food into its components and then use the sugar this way anyway. This is why sugar can give one that wired feeling. That feeling is due to the blood sugar spike produced by food and drinks that offer it up as one of the main ingredients. Because our bodies know this ingredient to be fuel we want more. I have seen it blamed on the fact that for much of human existence we didn’t have this grocery store lifestyle that we are use to. We where never sure where the next fuel source was going to come from so when you got some you better make it count. But now its all readily available so we just grow fatter as opposed to living off the extra calories for a while until the next meal.
The addictive quality of sugar coupled with the detrimental affects are what make it such a problem. Sugar can be like food for disease. MANY of the nastiest disease causing organisms are anaerobic meaning they hate oxygen… more than that, it spells death for them. While our healthy cells love oxygen but you don’t need me to tell you that. Simply put, sugar doesn’t promote an oxygen rich internal environment. Proof of this is observable in fermentation the anaerobic process that turns sugar into alcohol. Ok remember what I said about our “healthy cells”? Sugar, has also been linked to cancer which is really just unhealthy cells. In fact I know from experience that when someone gets a cancer diagnosis the doctor forbids sugar. Proving they know this which begs the question why is this information not given to people all the time but thats another topic.
So this all means sugar is evil but I believe everything is made up of both good and evil its our actions that tip things one way or the other. The key is moderation, have 2 or 3 Oreos instead of the whole package. Get the small bag of Sour Patch Kids instead of the honking one in my case. Have a piece of fruit instead, that way the sugar is teamed up with all kinds of nutritious goodness. Cinnamon and tomatoes are just two foods that combat sugar cravings. Honey, succant, agave nectar, and pure cane are all better choices as added sweeteners. Think the less processed/refined the better for you it will be. Speaking of which, white pasta, white rice, white bread and just about any refined grain product turn to sugar almost immediately upon breakdown in the GI tract. Producing the same blood sugar spike as many foods that taste sugary. Instead opt for whole grain versions such as wild rice and whole wheat pasta.