Last April, 60 Minutes aired a segment about sugar consumption. Here’s the link to the segment. It’s about 14 minutes long.
If you don’t feel like watching it (although I recommend you should because it’s interesting), let me sum it up for you. Dr. Robert Lustig has been crusading against sugar for years. He believes sugar is a toxic substance – both table sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup – and has come to the conclusion, after numerous studies, that sugar consumption is linked to a number of health issues, from heart disease to cancer. In the 70s, it was dietary fat that had the bad rap, and doctors urged the general public to reduce fat consumption for their health. When you take the fat out a food, it isn’t going to taste good. So food manufacturers replaced fat with sugar or High Fructose Corn Syrup. While sugar consumption has decreased since the 70s, HFCS consumption has made up the difference. And guess what? Heart Disease is still the leading cause of death in the United States. More studies have found that sugar can be just as addictive as drugs or alcohol. I’m sure 30 years down the road, scientists will come up with something else that can be blamed for obesity, heart disease, cancer; but for now, watch the segment, and just think about it.
I haven’t eliminated much from my diet with the exception of sugar and processed food. Sugar and HFCS are empty calories. They provide no nutritional value. On top of that, if I have something with sugar, like cookies or cake, I can’t stop at one serving. This past Christmas, I ate about 4 or 5 dozen cookies in 4 days. I know I’m addicted to sugar, and I avoid it when I can. I already don’t drink soda or juice so I never had to worry about that. I’ve eliminated most added and all artificial sweeteners from my diet, but if I have a plate of cookies in front of me, I know I’ll go crazy. I made peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies last week, and I averaged about 4 per day. It doesn’t sound THAT BAD but I’m all about portion control and moderation, and I have a hard time sticking to my own rules. It’s something that I’m working on.
By the way, my posts have been lacking this week, and I apologize. Between the concert on Tuesday (WHICH WAS MIND-BLOWINGLY AMAZING AND I STILL CAN’T GET OVER HOW WONDERFUL IT WAS) and getting sick and job interviews (I finally found a job, yay!), I’ve been a little distracted this week. But I’ve been writing up drafts and editing when I can, so I hope to have more posts coming soon!