If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
You’ve probably heard it a million times. 15 years ago we were bombarded with ‘low-fat’ this & ‘diet’ that with the promise that eating less fat would help us lose weight. And then obesity became a national epidemic. Whoops.
Turns out we were all duped! When the fat is taken out of a product on the grocery store shelf, something else needs to be added into it in order to make it palatable and thus salable. Sugar is that something.
It’s no breaking story that we all love a taste of something sweet. Any decent restaurant will offer you dessert after your meal, and whether you indulge or not there’s still probably a chocolate, mint or other candy to ‘cleanse your palette’ with on your way out the door. And they do this because they know that you want it. Thousands of years ago there wasn’t a whole lot to be found that tasted sweet. Ripe berries were a decadent treat. Because there was only a small time frame in which they could be found, it’s only natural to eat as many of them as possible. This ingrained behaviour is incredibly self destructive today, where chocolate bars and sugary drinks are available on every corner. There is no longer a need to hoard that much energy.
The foods that we eat are made up of three macronutrients: protein, fats & carbohydrates (and to a much lesser degree, micronutrients: vitamins & minerals). The body primarily gains energy from carbohydrates, which as a rule of thumb are plant based: fruit, vegetables, legumes, grains, herbs and so on. Even sugar comes from the sugarcane plant! The category of carbohydrates is broken into two sub groups: simple & complex carbs. Complex carbohydrates include whole grains, beans & vegetables including the skins and fiber. Simple carbohydrates are the refined versions of these plants: white bread, jam, chips & apple juice.
One of the large differences between the two sub-categories is the amount of fiber present. The fiber in the skin of a peach helps to slow down the rate at which the sugar from the inside of the fruit is released into the blood stream. Rather than the blood sugar spiking high from a rush of sugar into the body, it is a gradual increase moderated by a slow release of insulin. Continual big dumps of insulin to counteract high blood sugar levels is what can lead to type 2 diabetes: another epidemic in our society today.
Unfortunately the negative side effects of sugar consumption doesn’t stop there. Cardiovascular disease, hyperactivity, anxiety, mood swings, candida (bad bacteria overgrowth), hypoglycemia, poor concentration, irritability, osteoporosis & cancer are all related to sugar in the diet.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” -Benjamin Franklin