When did sugar mean that we were having fun?
Sugar is so important in our culture, it’s absolutely an embedded feature in such a way that we don’t often realise we are having it as often as we are doing. It is used to signify that we are enjoying life, letting our hair down and having a bit of fun. Lollies and ice cream on our summer holidays, oohh lovely, followed by copious amounts of alcohol because that’s our way of treating ourselves, Those afternoon biscuits at the 3 pm lull, a great ginger nut dipped in a cup of tea, going just soggy enough to start to gently fold over whilst we rush to get it into our mouth before it completely breaks. A cheeky digestive in the afternoon as we work towards the final part of the day it can’t be that bad can it?
Who can resist a nice cream cake? My mother certainly couldn’t she loved to go off on a Saturday to get chocolate cream eclairs from Marks and Spencer, or if she was really pushing the boat out a nice rum baba that oozed its contents everywhere on her plate, much to her delight. We weren’t allowed one as kids and to this day I have no idea of what it tastes like. Cream tea anyone? Let’s face it Devon wouldn’t be the same if you didn’t go and enjoy a clotted cream sweet scone with a rather large spoonful of jam, almost dislocating your jaw to take that first delightful bite.
I bet your mouth is watering and you are wondering about something sweet yourself, and I know a lot of you now are cutting out sweet foods more than ever. But of course, sugar knows we are drawn back to it, the force is strong not just with Luke Skywalker but also sweet foods, and the yo-yoing that then ensues is because of sugars addictive nature. Rat’s fed on sugar in their water, even when it was removed for a period of time, would keep trying to find more of it. Little addicts running around looking for a fix. Research has shown that when opioid receptors are blocked people with eating disorders reduced their sugar consumption by half. We know it’s addictive, the rats certainly acted in an addictive nature, why do we think we would be any different?
I remember when I decided years ago in my teen years to give up sugar in tea, let’s face it a great Northern brew was never going to be given up. But whilst at first, the taste buds didn’t like the new tea taste, within a week they had readjusted and it became the norm.
Often people say to me that they are not going to be able to change sweeter parts of their diets. it’s often unpalatable never mind for some unthinkable to cut out sweet foods. The thought already sends the neurotransmitters into a depressed state at what has just become a prison sentence they feel they’ve been handed down. 20 years ma’lud of never eating another packet of Haribo sneakily in the car that the kids have just left there….nooooooo…….tell me that isn’t addiction as they drag the prisoner of the new sugar free world away.
But we can do it, and our taste buds can be retrained from the sweet to the bitter and sour over a period of time. The less you have sugar, the less you will want it, I find when I’m given something sweet to eat, I can no longer eat it all, it tastes too sweet for me, and sickly. Then when I have eaten something sweet, a strange phenomenon then happens where I want another sugar fix the next day…it can easily become the slippery slope and of course in our society that one sweet thing a day is the norm and you are seen as a killjoy or as not having any fun when you say no. What possibly could be so harmful about that one ginger nut…
But it’s not just one ginger nut is it? It started when we decided to feed our children sugared cereals, devitalised food that is aimed rather bizarrely directly at children. We call it children’s food, but it’s not designed to help them optimise their health but instead help destroy it. We start them young with sugar so we all get the taste of it. John Yudkin actually called his book on sugar ‘pure white and deadly’, he didn’t do that because he thought that sugar was creating fun for us. I don’t find it’s that much fun either for a lot of my clients who after being brought up on ‘children’s food’ have sweeter palates that they struggle to change. As adults they are then struggling with a number of health issues, because it causes significant acidity in the body, that is then buffered by not only calcium being drawn out of the bones but also other minerals. It increases the risk of diabetes, elevates insulin levels which also impacts on your hormones, can be a cause of high blood pressure, inflammation and cardiovascular disease. Never mind that we have a massive obesity issue, mood swings and depression which are often made worse with increased sugar intake, but let me get to my main point here, which is the immunity. It weakens your immunity….do I now have your attention. I see people buying ready made meals, sauces, and processed foods and they are high in sugar. Don’t pretend either that your processed ‘health’ bar is fine when it’s also likely high in a number of so called healthier sugars.
We can continue to ignore the fact as a larger community that our diet doesn’t really matter in contagious disease and plough on continually justifying our treats each day, junk cereals and junk sugar riddled meals to our children and ourselves. I wondered if the woman in front of me at the supermarket this week who was let’s call it stocking up on her 9 packets of biscuits understood the impact they would have on her immunity? But we are creating depletion of key nutrients every time we eat them, until we start to consider what we are putting into our bodies creates our bodies health and well-being and therefore our society’s health and well-being, and absolutely make that connection, we are not going to change the direction of our ability to fight off virulent viruses. Our immunity like the rest of our body is built on the nutrients that are within our foods, if we eat nutrient dense foods we get a strong body, when we eat depleted processed sugary foods, we get a depleted body and a depleted immunity unable to fight off disease. I hope I have your attention because we are facing a terrible sudden death rate of the more vulnerable in our society and collectively it’s about doing the right thing and isn’t that not only following the guidelines we’ve currently been given but also building our collective immunity for a stronger future.
I’m not saying sugar is the only reason, I’m not that stupid, and neither should you think that’s only the case, there are so many factors that I’ve written about over the years that are whittling away our overall health and well being this is just one slice of the pie. But I think it’s not one to be ignored. because over the last few years I’ve said numerous times that people are getting iller, more frequently, and are getting harder to get well. Yet more people are eating highly processed foods which contain sugar and which give them a drip-feed of this pure, white and deadly food across the day. We are masters of our ship, I suggest if you haven’t already that you set sail in the direction of health.