Confessions of a Sugarholic – Part One
First off, I am only partially joking when I say that I’m addicted to sugar. Need proof? A couple of years ago my wife talked me into a 30-day no sugar diet (Candida Cleanse). And by no sugar, I mean no candy, no cookies, no cakes, none of my beloved Costco chocolate almonds, no processed foods, no eating out, no sauces, no dips, no fruit, and no vegetables that contain sugar. Zip, zero, zilch. Basically, anything that tasted good was off-limits. This is the point in the story where I’m supposed to tell you that it cured me of any and all sugar cravings and I could miraculously dunk a basketball. The truth is, that blasted diet made me crankier than a mosquito in a mannequin factory. Not being allowed to consume sugar turned me into a voracious scavenger of all things sweet (all signs of a serious addiction). If you’re curious, I did make it all 30 days sans sugar, and no, my wife did not divorce me during my unsavoriness (pun intended).
A few life experiences along with this torture “cleanse” raised a lot of questions related to sugar. Many of which I’ll try to answer in a multi-part feature. This is part one.
Is Sugar Good or Bad?
How can something that tastes so good be so bad? The truth is that our bodies need, and crave, energy-rich foods. The energy that comes from what we consume is what gives our body life…everything from a beating heart, to legs that carry us, to our secret candy stash. It all takes energy. All forms of sugar, despite the havoc they can wreak on the body, are the most readily available sources of energy or fuel for our bodies. We gulp it by the gallon, shovel it in by the wheelbarrow full, and we’d inject it right into our veins if we could. By some miracle, our bodies immediately convert it into energy or energy stores (which lead to fat storage), and then release “pleasure” chemicals that reward us for the sugar we consume. We literally get a sugar “rush.” We are addicts.
The question isn’t whether sugar is good or bad for you, the question really is, “how much sugar is good for you and at what point does sugar become bad for you”. Like anything, I believe that moderation is the key. Just as eliminating all sugar for a month isn’t sustainable, neither is sitting on the couch and polishing off a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream every night. So what is the right balance?
Honey is Good. Real Good
If there were such a thing as SA (Sugarholics Anonymous), we would be pleased to find out that we are all hardwired to crave sugary delights. I’d be the one that would have to stand and confess that I have snorted Smarties powder to see if I could get my sugar “high” a little quicker. I’d confess that I’ve never been sick from eating too much candy. Never. Not even after eating a half of a pillow case full of Halloween candy in 2 days. But I wouldn’t be alone in my extreme sugar behaviors. Take for example, an indigenous family who lives a very simple life in a rainforest. Their husband and father, Tete, is their hero. Why? Watch this video. His wife gloats that he “is the best,” because his “kids don’t fear him” and he “always brings me honey.” She said “honey is good…real good.” Little did I know that honey is the way to a woman’s heart? And, little did I know that as different as our living circumstances are, Tete is just like you and I. He wants his sugar. He rewards his family with sugar just like we do (think ice cream for good grades).
The difference between Tete and you and me is that he has to climb a 120-foot tree and get stung by a swarm of bees just to get to something sweet. I’m pretty sure that he would eat a lot more sugar if he could get a honey latte at the local rain forest drive-thru or have Amazon drop a 5 pound bag of Bit-o-Honeys to the front porch of his hut. Our challenge isn’t in finding enough sugar to eat. Our challenge is that sugar is too readily available. In fact, it is “strategically” added to nearly everything we eat so that we associate the eating of that item with pleasure. Sugar is big business. It is simple math—food + sugar = increased sales of a food product.
A Knife at a Gun Fight
In the New York Times bestselling book, Salt, Sugar, Fat—How the Food Giants Hooked Us, Michael Moss exposes how the food industry is very scientific and deliberate in how they get us addicted to the foods they sell. The food giants are like the shady drug dealer that tricks kids into “using” so that they become addicts for life; however, they deal in salt, sugar, and fat. I can attest that Double Stuf Oreos act as a gateway drug/food.
The food giants are behemoths. They are the enemy. They know our weaknesses. They not only target us as adults, but they have waged an all-out war on our children. They even figured out how to crack Peter Griscom, our fierce Product Warrior. I have seen him eat a pack of Fruit Gushers before. Yes, even the mighty Peter craves sugar at times. We are all doomed.
The Sky Isn’t Falling
Yes, it does feel like we are small. The odds are stacked against us. Our bodies crave sugar, the mad scientists in the food industry trick us with every bite we take, and living without some sugar is bad on our marriages. So what do we do?
I emphatically declare that we rise up and reduce our sugar intake. We stick it to the food giants. We educate ourselves on the myriad of health and mental benefits from reducing sugar. We choose a better life. We eat clean. We join the powerful Xyngular movement. We follow the programs and use Xyngular’s products that are designed to help us, among many things, to live a life with less sugar. A healthier life. A life where our happiness is unleashed.
In Part 2 of this feature, we will examine how Xyngular’s products, programs, and “strategically” chosen ingredients (yes, food giants, we can use your strategy, but for the betterment of people’s lives) help us overcome our sugar cravings and live a happier life. Until then my friends, eat sugar in moderation.