60 Minutes aired a segment on sugar and it’s evils last night, called Is Sugar Toxic?. I predict that now we will see a slew of ongoing articles detailing how sugar consumption is up and so is diabetes, heart disease and obesity. All true. In addition, 75% of these illnesses are completely man-created and can be prevented by lifestyle choices. Again, believable to me. The studies currently being done will probably end up showing us all how bad sugar is for us and food producers will begin to label their products low-sugar in addition to low-fat, no-transfats, high-fiber, high-protein, probiotic-enhanced you-should-buy-me language. The carbohydrate, fat and probiotic frenzy’s have now waned and we’ll need something new to take their place.
Sugar, in all it’s forms, scientists say, reacts the same way in our bodies whether it’s honey or high-fructose corn syrup. They also say that cancer tumors have now adjusted so that they are fed by glucose (what our bodies turn all sugars into). While the details of how and how much are interesting, this isn’t much of a shock for me. Moderation is a boring mantra, but it seems nature really likes balance and that would include a balanced, plant and grain focused diet.
While sugar and all of the other ingredients mentioned above are probably not the best choices for what one would call a healthy diet of moderation, targeting one or more ingredients still doesn’t get at the heart of the issue. The details of the chemical makeup and individual nutritional labels of our food all dissolve if we ask the questions:
- Did it grow in the ground?
- Did it eat healthy food that grew in the ground?
- Did it have a healthy life?
- Would your grandmother have recognized it as food?
- Is it real? Hint: if it comes in a box, the answer is more than likely, no.
It’s not so much about what the label says that the “food” contains as that it has a label at all. If it was made with your hands, it’s much less likely to have tons of sugar, fat, high fructose corn syrup, transfats and whatever else our scientists are researching for us at the time. If it comes in a box, it’s not real food. If it’s advertised on television, chances are it’s not real food. It’s not that the research isn’t valid, it’s just that whole, healthy, real food creates whole, healthy real bodies.
Off to make my grandmother’s Irish Apple Cake (sugar included)