Sugar! Oh, sweet, lovely sugar! How we love thee, let us count the ways… Love on our love handles, love it on our butts, love it in our bellies, love it like we love all the things that are designed to get us hooked!
How does that sound to you? Does it sound appealing, or is it somewhat offensive?
Let’s talk a little bit about sugar, genetics, our evolution, and why we react to sugar the way that we do.
Over the course of human evolution, sugar has been an integral part of our survival. Back in the nomadic days, sweet flavors (such as sweet fruits) indicated safe foods. Comparatively, bitter tastes indicated toxic, dangerous foods. Sugar in all of its amazing and delicious glory had a very particular purpose, and that was to tell us that the food we were eating would ideally not kill us.
However, things have turned out in a bitter twist of irony when it comes to modern-day sugar consumption. As it were, sugar is actually killing us now. The top three killers in the United States are all related to preventive diseases, and sugar feeds each and every single one of these maladies.
The food companies are well aware of the fact that we are designed to both recognize sugar as an important nutritional requirement, and the immense, overpowering satisfaction that we experience when we eat sugar.
Let’s also take a look at how sugar affects the brain.
Food companies are also keen to the fact that sugar substitutes can be manufactured by processing and mixing with chemicals. This results in inexpensive, high profit, highly sweet and addictive chemically derived substitutes for sugar (like corn syrup). Instead of using real sugar, food companies are now making it because it is super cheap.
Don’t you deserve more than something that is cheap, highly addictive, and is designed to get you hooked? There’s so much hatred out there for drug addiction, drugs and drug dealers, and yet whenever we walk up and down the aisles of a grocery store (instead of the edges, where the actual food resides), we are behaving similarly to a drug addict walking the streets seeking a fix. It is the same exact concept.
Modern day food is designed and engineered with a specific intention: remove the highly nutritious components, and pump the food with low nutrient, high-calorie, high satiety ingredients. This comes at a low cost to the food companies, results in high profits, and ends up costing us dearly in our waistlines and our medical bills.
The most popular answers on the nutrition survey in the column where I asked what would you like to eliminate from your life were drama/stress, sugar, and junk food. We have previously covered stress management, and I will definitely continue to elaborate on that because it is one of the fundamental reasons why we keep resorting to our sugar impulses. We are so stretched out, overworked, and overwhelmed. We do not pick food that is highly nutritious and healthy. We resort to things that taste, look, and temporarily feel good. We keep seeking short-term solutions for a deeper issue.
Imagine what it could be like if we could actually resolve those issues, and make smart nutritional choices at the same time?
If you would like to eliminate crappy sugar from your life – and I mean the highly processed types of sugars, we definitely still need to consume real sugar in the form of fruits, vegetables, and even the trace amounts of sugar in our proteins – then stick with me.
Nutrition is definitely very important, and the actions that cause us to eat crappy food are all a result of influence, conditioning, and choices that are the byproducts of habits. I really wish I could wave a magic wand and just get you to stop eating sugar. However, my life coach expressed it perfectly when she told me about a client who asked her what she was going to do to make him complete his assignments. Her response was she’s not going to make him do anything, she’s not his damn mother!
Here is your action step for today: get that crap out of your house now. Do you want to stop eating processed, refined sugars? Do you want to quit your addiction? Then start NOW. *power pose*
See, Sugarpie? You don’t need any of that fabricated bullshit sugar. You are sweet enough as you are 🙂
If the sugar fix is too compelling, enjoy one or two pieces of fruit. It’s better to have two pieces of fruit than to snark down a giant candy bar…or several.
We’ll be covering sugar this week, and I’ll elaborate on great swaps/substitutes, suggestions and I may even throw some recipes your way! So, if you have any requests – like how to make a healthier version of a sugary food you LOVE – please let me know! I missed the hell out of my all-time favorite ice cream (Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey) when I quit sugar over two years ago, and I make a bad ass swap that is drool-worthy! Drool, I tell you – DROOL!
Wishing you sweet dreams and freedom from addiction in your days ahead,