Putting sugar in perspective
“By this time the [sugar] had begun to work. Eyes shone, cheeks were flushed, the inner light of universal benevolence broke out on every face in happy, friendly smiles.” (brackets mine) -Brave New World
This sounds an awful lot like Halloween. Candy, sweets, and lots and lots of sugar. If you are familiar with Huxley’s Brave New World, the parallels between Soma and sugar are funny and disturbing (at the same time). When he wrote the novel in the 1930s, sugar was somewhat of a luxury. Now, it’s not only commonplace in most diets, it’s the staple. Unfortunately, even people who try to avoid sugar by eating healthy often get it wrong.
Just consider, what comes to mind when you think about avoiding sugar? Soda, donuts, candy, cookies, etc. This is the answer a majority of people would give. But this doesn’t even begin to approach what you must avoid if you want to avoid sugar. Sugar is totally ubiquitous, as it is a main ingredient in:
- Sports drinks
- Health bars (i.e., CLIF bars, etc.)
- Low fat dairy milk
- Hemp/soy/almond/oat milk
- Commercial smoothies
- Flavored coffees
- Dried fruit
- Commercial sauces
- Commercial breads
- Ketchup, mustards, etc.
The list goes on and on and on (more on it later). Unfortunately, large quanities of sugar are smothered into what is generally considered “health food,” and is disguised under exotic and beneficial sounding names (discussed in next article).
An important number you need chisel into your skull for the rest of your life is that 4g of sugar = 1 teaspoon. If your silverware set has two sized spoons, a teaspoon is exactly the same size as the smaller spoon. In future trips to the grocery store, don't understand a product as having X grams of sugar, but rather X spoonfulls of sugar. It suddenly makes everything look a whole lot sweeter, and not in a good way.
Becoming literate on what sugar is, the presence of sugar in the modern diet, and the dangers of sugar involves becoming a minor-scholar. The mechanisms of sugar are complex, and the dangerous effects of sugar are numerous. Putting sugar in perspective simply means understanding how much you are putting in your body, and realizing that if you consume too much it will kill you. Literally.
If you don’t become literate, you are putting yourself at the mercy of the corporate food slug. So ditch the Soma- I mean sugar, sit back, be horrified, and enter the world of the dangerous effects of sugar in our brave new world.
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