Yesterday I finally got the chance to read National Geographic’ “Sugar Love” article (ironically while on break at my job at a chocolate shop). I am so glad I finally did! It was a great article. I highly recommend you all read it. Click here to read it on their website.
It touched on some really interesting topics. It talked about the dangers of eating too much sugar, the history of sugar’s popularization, and, what I found most interesting, an explanation of how the love for sugar evolved in humans.
After reading the article, I began to browse around instagram and noticed a trend that disturbed me a little bit. So many of the “fitstagramers” and users that promote themselves as heath and fitness gurus (including myself) post many if not predominantly pictures of fruit smoothies, vegan-paleo-gluten-free cookies, large quantities of fruit, homemade granola bars and other foods that may have many important nutrients, but are also high in sugar.
I think it is possible that some of these people who try so hard not to eat the “standard american diet” are just as addicted to sugar as the standard American.
As more knowledge is gained about the dangers of cane sugar and HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), a lot of people are being tricked into thinking that they are eating a healthier diet than they are because the cookies they eat every day are sweetened with honey and date sugar…. which must be healthier, right? Honestly, I don’t think this is true. sugar is sugar, no matter where it comes from. Even if some sources also come with some vitamins and minerals, any sugar eaten in excess, whether from candy or fruit, is going to be bad for you.
Now, I am not saying that these health and fitness enthusiasts on instagram are ONLY eating these high sugar foods. It might very well be that they eat these foods on occasion, and just happen to not post pictures of other food on the internet. However, I think because we are human, and humans like sugar, it can be very easy for us to convince ourselves that “alternative” sweeteners to can sugar are better for our health, when they really aren’t.
As unfortunate as it may sound, even the vegan-paleo-gluten-free desserts should be saved for just that: dessert. Just because the sugar is organic, doesn’t mean it is good for you. And eating all fruit, all the time is probably not the healthiest way to eat.
As a community that is dedicated to living healthy lives, we need to stop fooling ourselves. We need to stop our futile search to try to find “healthy” sugars so that we can continue to eat the way we are used to. In order to truly live the healthiest lives possible, we need to simply get used to eating diets that are a little bit less sweet.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you think that cutting out HFCS and can sugar is enough to adequately improve one’s diet, or do more steps need to be taken to reduce intake of all sugars?