Nutrition Basics, part 3: Pour Some Sugar On Me (Wait, Don’t)


I really love sugar.  Like, if it were up to me, sugar and I would be getting married tomorrow and then honeymooning all week on the coast of Waikiki.  I think I’ve found the one.

sugar-addiction

Like, is butter a carb??

The itttttty bitt-iest of problems is that sugar, unfortunately, does not love me back.  Talk about rejection.

This past year has been a stressful one, and the more pressure I felt to get straight A’s, the crappier my diet got.  Ironic, for a graduate student studying nutritional science.  In between a heavy load of school work and the demands of an internship and mandatory volunteer hours (plus the whole not getting paid a dime thing…) I somehow became accustomed to skipping dinner and heading straight for dessert.  Oh, fro yo, again?  Well slap my ass and call me sally, I’ll take 14 ounces of Banana Chocolate.  It was only when I started examining my diet closely that I was horrified to discover I was eating like 5x the amount of sugar I am supposed to consume on a daily basis.  Oopsie.  Live and learn, mis amigos, liiiiiive and learn.

Along with contributing to the obvious (weight gain and cavities ya feel?), excess sugar is a major contributor to diabetes and greatly ups your risk for cardiovascular disease. If you’re taking these lightly, don’t.  Check out Harvard Med’s write up About Eating Too Much Added Sugar.

So I’m not saying I am a perfect mortal and have cut it out completely, after all sugar and I are in it for the long haul (le sigh) but since my sudden sugar ah-ha moment…I have successfully eradicated a lot of foods from my day-to-day diet that are high in added sugar.

cake selfie

Selfie from last weekend. I was cocoa-wasted and it was a super glam Friday night.

Cutting it out was something I wrestled with, finally sort of accepted, and have consequently been through the 7 stages of loss and grief over.  But, the problem of trying to escape sugar is that it’s everywhere.  It’s disguised in many foods in sneaky, different ways (i.e. white granulated sugar, cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup…check this out to learn 57 names it hides under).  And if you think you should opt for the fake sugars in diet sodas/sugar free foods (like mannitol, sorbitol, or xylitol to name a few), think again.  These guys hang out in the intestines longer than they should, causing a whole host of digestive issues like bloating and diarrhea.  Not only that, research shows that artificial sweeteners may have negative effects on blood sugar and tell your brain “nah bro, don’t worry, more sugar is on its way” so that craving for a sweet taste lingers longer than your in laws after Thanksgiving dinner.

sugar-content-in-coke

Would you add this much sugar to your morning coffee? If “yes,” you might as well just grab the syringe and go for the hard stuff.

These days most of the sugar I eat comes from natural sources like fruits and of course my wine, because those are grapes. And also, because wine. Bottom line: suga’ suga’ you so fine, but I can no longer hashtag you as my #MCM.

And my stomach has thanked me immensely.

 

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