At 3 p.m. a monster comes out.
It sinks its big claws into either side of you brain and screams for that chocolate bar in your desk drawer, so loudly that you almost type “chocolate” into the email you’re writing.
I let this beast live happily inside my mind for quite some time, content in his little hut of tinfoil and brightly-colored wrappers. But I knew our relationship would soon have to come to an end.
You see, the more I appeased him, the more he wanted. The more sugar he was fed, in a frenzy of simply keeping him at bay, the next day he would yell for the same and more.
So I cut him off.
And boy did that feel great.
It wasn’t easy at first, but after the addiction cooled off, that little monster packed up and went elsewhere.
Here’s why I did it:
1. It’s “scientifically” proven that it’s addictive.
In a study, rats preferred sugar over cocaine… Check it out.
2. It makes you age faster.
Sugar in the blood (which is where most sugar goes if you are eating it unbound to its natural fibers in fruits) binds to collagen cells in your skin and weighs your skin down, causing wrinkles. This process occurs naturally in the body, we produce less collagen as we get older which holds our skin in that tight useful glow. Sugar essentially speeds up the aging process.
3. It manipulates your taste buds.
Our tongue can taste five different tastes: sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami (the taste of miso soup, meat, or mushrooms, a full-warming taste). Sugar masks all other tastes on your tongue so your taste buds can only taste sweetness.
If you added enough sugar to dog poop it would taste good.
4. Increases your risk of getting sick.
When we eat sugar, the body produces more insulin to balance out the sugar influx. Excess insulin inhibits the immune system. Hello, spring flu!
5. It manipulates your hormones.
We lack a hormone that tells us when we’ve had enough sugar, we have one for protein and fat. Since primal humans only were exposed to sugar when it was connected to fiber in fruit, they never needed a hormone for it because their body would tell them when they were too full on fiber. Thats why once we start eating sugar we can’t stop, like most bags of chips (most chips have sugar in them).
6. It elevates your cholesterol.
The body burns sugar as a quick and easy form of energy, but when we have too much they are stored in the liver as triglycerides, which forms plaque around your blood cells and decreases your good cholesterol levels.
7. Sugar is bad for your heart health
Sugars in the blood go to the liver to get detoxified, the liver gets overloaded and converts some of the sugar into fat. The fat then goes into the blood stream and helps generate bad cholesterol which lodges in your blood vessels and leads to heart attacks.
8. Oh and just a little something:
The body can’t metabolize most sugars.
But every now and then a little natural sugar never hurt anyone. Our bodies can handle fruit sugars because they are attached to fibers, which slow the digestion process and make the sugars more easily assimilated. So when the sweet tooth calls, I like to bite into a nice raw treat, like this raw vegan raspberry and chocolate cheesecake that doesn’t have any added sugars (just a few natural ones).
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Jen Weddle/Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Flickr/Jeanny Schmidt