It’s not me, it’s you – a break up letter (with sugar)
By Lisa Fuchs
Today the average person consumes 17 times more added sugar than we used to in the early 19th century. My kids' friends think that limiting soda intake means only being allowed one can per day. When is enough going to be enough? And when will we realise it’s already too much?
Dr Robert Lustig is a professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of California, specialising in child obesity. He is probably best known for his YouTube speech called “Sugar: The bitter truth”. The video, in which he repeatedly calls sugar “toxic” and “a poison”, has been viewed close to 5 million times. Dr Lustig is also known for comparing sugar to tobacco, alcohol and even cocaine. He doesn’t want bans – but stricter regulation.
And there are good reasons behind his war on sugar. The link between tobacco and cancer are preached regularly in schools. And so are the affects of alcohol and drugs. That too much alcohol can give you fatty liver is common knowledge these days. But did you know sugar has the same effect? Sugar, it turns out, is not just bad for your teeth.
The over consumption of sugar today has been strongly linked to Obesity, Diabetes and Cancer. But what is really “over consumption”? In 2014, the World Health Organisation suggested lowering their recommended total sugar intake per day to about six teaspoons for adult males. That is about the amount you’ll find in one scoop of ice cream, or half a can of soda. Anything above this is over consumption.
This information is out there and still we keep rewarding kids at school by handing out sugar in the form of candy when they behaved well or basically on any occasion we find.
It’s clear we need to drastically cut down on sugar consumption and I’d like to challenge you to give it a try. The first step would be to not let sugar into your home. Stop buying products containing sugar and stop bringing them into your household. Let your kitchen be a sugar-free zone.
I know it’s hard at first. Break-ups always tend to be. So, to help – I've written you a break-up letter. Print it, frame it, hang it up in the kitchen and make a clean break. Who knows – maybe you’ll find life without sugar isn’t so bad after all and expand the challenge, outside of your four walls too.
Sugar – it’s time for us to break up. It’s not me; it’s you!
You are not good for me. To be honest – you make me sick!
I don’t feel good when I’m with you and I feel awful afterwards.
You somehow make me bad tempered and I just can’t control myself when you are around.
And Sugar – this is the difficult thing…. You seem to always be around! Wherever I look – there you are.
It’s time. I tell you I am serious this time. You are not welcome into my home anymore. I’m breaking up with you today and I will need some time to adjust. Please leave me alone for a while to give me a chance to get over you.
Yours – no more,
Today's recipe is a simple one. Head over to the farmers' market and stock up on vegetables and fruit. Try to find as many different colours as you can. Arrange them nicely on one or several big plate(s) and let everyone in the family eat as much as they want to. Concentrate on all the good food you can find out there that makes you healthy and fit, and the break-up from sugar will be a lot easier.
Lisa Fuchs is the author of “Delicious grain free baking” available on amazon. She also writes about healthy and creative baking, under the name Liesel on her blog: lieselathome.com
You will never find sugar or gluten in any of her recipes and most of them are also lactose free.
► Read more of Lisa's articles from the monthly Food for thought feature.
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