It’s not an ideological crusade to eradicate sweetness from the civilised world. It’s just a lifestyle of trying to eat well when you can. You can see the reasoning in the Mermaid’s tresses tagline: favourite family recipes: whole food, most of it healthy. Sugar is now in the “sometimes food” category.
It’s not just sugar that’s the problem, but it’s the easiest one to target because so much unhealthy food has sugar in it. So here’s a list of why we avoid sugar and the other baddies of our Western diet.
1. We feel better
If we have a generally healthy diet, we feel better. It’s as simple as that. By healthy, we mean avoiding processed foods. We still eat meat (not when our vegan friends visit), bread (sorry paleo), lentils (sorry carnivores), cake (sorry everybody else), vegetables (sorry kids, but you still have to eat your greens), and chips and cheesels at birthday parties (no apologies there).
In the past six months, we’ve cut our sugar down without much effort at all: even the kids now don’t like some of the very sweet things.
2. Other people feel better
When one of our kids was little, a drink of fanta, the wrong lolly, and our sweet little angel would become a screaming terror. We’d go for a brisk walk and all would be good again. We have other family members who, for most of their childhood, couldn’t tolerate any (refined) sugar at all or a host of other artificial chemicals: a rush, then a crash; sometimes just the crash. It’s not diabetes, but it taught our extended family about the evils of the wrong type of sugar and numbers on food labels.
3. This MRI scan of a fairly trim-looking bloke
Where’s the fat? It’s everything that shows up as solid white in the image.
4. The long-term effects on your brain
Scientists have started to draw a link between Alzheimer disease and a diet high in sugar, fats and other bad stuff. There’s even a move to called the disease type 3 diabetes with the recent discovery that the brain can develop insulin resistance. Just having constantly high blood sugar levels, but not high enough for diabetes, puts people at risk of Alzheimer disease. Don’t believe me? I don’t want to believe me. Here’s just a few recent peer-reviewed articles:
- Above-normal blood sugar linked to dementia (a plain English summary of the original)
- Dietary patterns associated with Alzheimer’s disease: population based study
- High-sugar diets, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease
- Blood-brain barrier disruption: mechanistic links between Western diet consumption and dementia.
4. Fog brain after just a week
5. The risk of weight gain, insulin resistance and diabetes
There’s no history of diabetes in our family, and that’s how I want it to be. Eat a diet high in sugar and fats and other baddies for a long time, make your body pump out the insulin to control your blood sugar levels, and you run the risk of weight gain, insulin resistance, eventually leading to diabetes (type 2) — not necessarily in that order. We have friends who live with that, and it’s not an easy life. If you don’t know someone in that situation, just read through some wordpress articles on diabetes, or just this post. and get a feel for what you’re missing.
6. We’ve known all this for a long time
John Yudkin first identified the potential problems with sugar in 1972, in his landmark book Pure, White And Deadly: How sugar is killing us and what we can do to stop it.
The list of lists
It’s a list, and it fits in well with the WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge. As always, here’s my top picks from other responses to the challenge. Enjoy.
- Sarah Lee Registered Nurse | Love and Hate-a Nurse’s List
- Linda Maye Adams | The Lonely Sounds of War
- The Quirky Life of P | P becomes Listless
- Never Stationary | Letters to old friends about why we’re not friends today
- aNadventures | You know you’re back in Germany after having spent considerable time in Turkey when…
- unlockingwords | List poetry: Jobs I’ve had
- The Secret Weekend (Writer) Warrior | A List of Complimentary Closes
- Of Glass & Paper# | List Lesson
- Shawn’s Open Journal | Train Rides
- Ripples of Truth | The Perfect Man
- Master of Something I’m Yet To Discover | 10 Steps To Where You’re Going
- Life in Poetry | Reasons for not Picking up the Phone
- Dragonfly Gypsy USA | Lists
- loveletterstoaghost | 21 Questions I Never Thought to Ask
- English All You Can | In Solitude
- Hope* the happy hugger | Crazy random thoughts
- pardenme | A List – Summer Fun
- James Clegg | Listless Me
- Overcoming Bloglessness | Cogito Ergo Listo (A Poem of Lists of Stuff I Memorized)
- unlockingwords | Faceless
- The Uncustomary Housewife | 25 Things Kids These Days Will Never Fully Understand: Missing the 90′s
- Toss the Typewriter | Why Follow NWSL?
- Gary Holdaway | The Hands Of Children
- Kate Murray | Orderly Chaos
- Glorious Results Of A Misspent Youth | A Hypocrite’s Oath
- tuckedintoacorner | promises made, promises broken
- How to Play House | Things I would miss about living in England
- Flourish! | Beautiful Imperfections (a list)
- List Lesson | Weekly Writing Challenge
- Living, Learning and Letting Go | An Early Morning Walk
- The Bohemian Rock Star’s “Untitled Project” | Poetry: A list for life
- Living with Post Concussion Syndrome | Ten Things I’ll Never Forget
- Susan’s Loves, Books, and Coffee | Why I Should NOT Go To The Pool
- A Voice of My Own | Lists About Procrastination
- The Silver Leaf Journal | Words Beginning with List