Sugar Is a Toxin for Everyone, Not Just Me

I have seen the light. I have been redeemed. I actually arrived here before I knew where I was, but it took three different videos to help me figure it out, and the beauty is, you can watch them all too. What they will tell you?

  • The Western diet is seriously fucked, and it’s sugar’s fault.
  • Sugar is not only making you fat, it’s giving you heart disease and diabetes and cancer and all sorts of crap you had no idea it was doing.
  • Your brain sees sugar and cocaine pretty much in the same way, and sends you after sugar the same way an addict goes after a hit.
  • You need to stop consuming fructose outside of eating whole fruit NOW or as soon as possible.

I’m not going to rehash everything in all these videos. I recommend you start with the original 60 Minutes story, move to the Overtime, and if you’re ready for a deep cut, book an hour and a half to watch Sugar: The Bitter Truth and have your mind blown so badly you’ll need a bucket to catch it. Basically between these three shows you can learn about how incredibly awful sugar is. Don’t even ask why the government isn’t telling you. You’re not stupid. You can figure that out easily enough.

What you can take home right now without watching the videos is that every scientist who’s worked on this sugar thing has drastically reduced their own intake of sugar and that of their children because the data and science is that hard and that moving. I’ve seen it shake my husband the pharmacist to his core, and he’s walking around reading labels and cursing and starting the food-mourning process. Basically doing what I’ve been doing the last month.

It’s weird to basically have shown up for this party before I knew it was a party. All of a sudden in our house I’ve become the lighthouse instead of the lone reed. When Dan looks at me in despair asking, “How am I supposed to do this?” I just shrug and say, “Really, it’s not bad at all once you get your bearings.” In fact, it’s even fun. But it’s weird, very weird, to watch these shows and go, “Oh, hey. I’m already there.”

Now, the weird thing is I’ll tell you that I do drink fruit juice, which is part of the problem they’re saying. But I”ll also tell you my consumption has gone way, way down as time has gone on to the point where one eight ounce glass a day is more than enough, and I cannot stomach orange juice. Way too sweet. I prefer Naked juice which makes me full and feels like a meal. Mostly I drink juice in the morning first thing with my fish oil. (I know. Try not to think about it.) My coffee has gone down too, because I feel more like tea. I have coffee but not nearly as often, and it’s more for pleasure than because it is the substance which allows me to participate in life.

I’ll tell you what I’ve told my family. If you choose to cut down/out fructose, you want to do this gradually. Given that it really is about the same as quitting crack and that you’ll be seeing it EVERYWHERE all the time while you do, this is not easy or fun. Be kind to yourself. Also, during the detox? Fruit juice is your friend. Try to do mostly fruit, but if you’re needing that dopamine hit, grab juice. Thick juice with good stuff in it. It will give you the hit but not be as bad as a can of pop, and you can keep working toward cutting down. For me it has taken its own journey. If I want sweet I have pomegranate green tea or my fruit-juice sweetened bread or cereal. In both cases I’m getting a little fiber and some glucose, which is what you actually need.

Anyway. You seriously do want to watch those videos. And you really, really, REALLY want to look into drastically reducing your sugar too. I’ve got the people I need covered. Dan is already working on it, and Anna announced that she wants SOME easter candy, but if the bunny put pistachios in her hunt-and-find eggs, she’d be pretty damn happy. “We’re going to be the heathliest family on the block!” she announced at dinner.

Damn straight.


10 Comments on “Sugar Is a Toxin for Everyone, Not Just Me

  1. I’ve considered giving up sugar before. I tried. I think I made it three days before I couldn’t take it anymore and gave in. I know it’s addicting as hell and horrible for you, but holy hell, the thought of trying to give it up actually makes me kind of sick. Like crack, indeed.

  2. I’m right there with you. We made some big changes about a month ago as well, including a pretty massive reduction in sugar. I’ve found now that lots of things taste sweet that didn’t before – dried apricots for example. Never liked them before because I thought they were too tart and now they’re a sweet little fruity bit. Working on the kids too, and have had pretty good luck, so long as I actually explain to them WHY they can’t eat the stuff their classmates eat.

  3. I’ve been cutting back on my sugar too, though not completely. But I rarely ever drank soda, and I’m not that fond of most juices, so I guess I have a head start. Once I went GF, a lot of stuff that never tasted good really started to, so I’m finding I need the sugar less and less.

    (I do have a small square of chocolate every day, I must admit. But it’s really dark, so that helps, right? :))

  4. My husbandish-kind-of-person never ate much sugar anyway, but then this addict moved in with him. Sigh. I’ve learned. I haven’t cut it out, but where a cake or cookie (I bake one dessert a week) recipe calls for a cup of sugar, it’s cut at least in half. I’m not there yet, but I will be.

    Fresh squeezed orange juice is nothing at all like commercially produced juice, it’s lighter, tangier, and not as sweet. [Says the Californian.] I have a juicer (used from Craig’s List) and make carrot/apple/orange/celery juice — sometimes a beet, too. The celery really cuts the sweet of the carrots and apples. The orange peel adds a bit of bitter to complete it.

  5. Been there for years. When I cut myself off carbs and sugar – cold turkey, after a lifetime Pepsi habit for starters – I shed a ton of weight. But what most astonished me was about a week later emerging from the low-level depression ‘fog’ that had descended upon my life. Sorta took the edge off everything, like I was viewing life through a grey filter. I was walking home, the sun was shining and I realized, with a considerable shock, I felt good. Happy and vibrant and ALIVE like I hadn’t felt in years. I’ve been fine ever since.

    I don’t miss sugar one damned bit!

  6. I haven’t eaten any sugar (except apples, pears & strawberries) since Feb 28 of this year, because I’m doing the low-carb, get-your-blood-sugar-under-control, lose-some-weight thing. I had goat-breath one afternoon and, without thinking, popped some tic-tacs in my mouth. Holy effing crap, were they ever sweet! Your tastebuds do change a LOT when you give up the white stuff.

  7. Yes, I’ve known this since I had ME, which was cured with a no-sugar diet. For me, I found it easier just to cut out sugar entirely all at once and accept you’re going to have at least a week of gruesome withdrawal migraines. By a fortnight in, you will feel lots better *and* the sugar-addiction cravings will be mostly gone. I don’t have the willpower to do it gradually. But the good news is that if you keep it up you do eventually stop even wanting the high sugar stuff, and not particularly enjoying it if you do slip.

    Having said that, I’m now sufficiently in control that I can have the occasional ice-cream or brownie – as a once a week treat – and not want more than that. (Often I end up not bothering because I don’t particularly want to, but it’s nice to have the option, if -for example- you’re at a birthday party and it would upset people if you didn’t have cake.)

  8. I have an enormous sweet tooth, but I’ve been trying to cut back this year, too. I have been supplementing with stevia, but I don’t care for the taste overmuch, so hopefully I’ll be able to wean myself off that, too.

    I do like the fruits, too, though I’ve stopped mainlining fruit juice. Whole fruit or nothing.

    I have definitely noticed that my mood swings are way worse when I’m eating a lot of sugar. The chronic head/neck pain is worse, too. That in and of itself should be enough to motivate me to cut back, but hey. Baby steps.

  9. Pingback: Is Sugar Toxic? « virtuousgracious

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