Dear Sugar, we’re breaking up

Photo by Sam Lion from Pexels

Dear Sugar,

You’re sweet. (So, so sweet). And I love being around you — a bit too much, actually.

In fact, I love being around you so much that I never stopped to think whether you were actually good for me. I might have even been a bit addicted to your presence in my life.

But it’s time to be honest. I don’t think you’re doing me any favours when it comes to my health.

And, as much as I love you, I am going to have to put strict boundaries in place when it comes to you and I.

I can see you, but only very infrequently now. Because I’ve realised that I’m actually healthier without you.

What does this mean?

Sorry Sugar, it means we are breaking up.

I’ll miss you, this will be so hard, but I need to do it for myself. xx

If I could write a letter to Sugar, it would be something like this.

I recently saw this post on my Pinterest about sugar that made me laugh:

Why the vitriol against sugar, I hear you ask?

Well, for a number of reasons, really. Sugar has absolutely no nutritional value, and yet wreaks havoc on the body. Consuming a lot of sugar is your best route to an early grave, essentially.

Hidden in plain sight

The thing about sugar is that it is so delicately woven into the modern Western diet that extricating yourself from it is pretty challenging.

Take our love of coffee shops, for example. Coffee is a great aid for the liver, but these shops are also like crack dens for sugar lovers.

It’s easy to be oblivious to exactly how much sugar goes into just one latte.

“The “venti” (a pint) Starbucks Signature Caramel Hot Chocolate made with oat milk but topped with whipped cream had the most.

It contains 23 teaspoons (93.7g) of sugar and 758 calories, which Action on Sugar says is as much as three cans of Coca-Cola or four white chocolate and strawberry muffins.”

Okay, so maybe this particular syrupy offender is pretty obvious.

But the thing I find astonishing is that when you go round your local supermarket, you’d be hard pressed to find products that aren’t loaded with sugar.

Even things that you think wouldn’t be sugary, or wouldn’t need sugar, have some added sugar in them.

Because the sweeter the food is, the more it sells.

“in 1800, an average American would have lived and died never having encountered a single manufactured candy, let alone the array of sugar-sweetened yogurts, snacks, sauces, dressings, cereals, and drinks that now line supermarket shelves. Today, that average American ingests more than nineteen teaspoons of added sugar every day” — New Yorker

It’s addictive

The insidious nature of sugar is that once you’ve had it for a while, you start to crave it.

Check out this Ted talk, Sugar is not a Treat.

What does processed sugar do to the body?

Well, a lot actually. Whilst I’m not here to become an anti-sugar evangelist, there’s ample studies to suggest that too much sugar can contribute to:

  • poor liver health
  • diabetes
  • low mood
  • poor energy levels
  • insulin resistance
  • poor gut health
  • inflammatory conditions
  • acne
  • weight gain

If you take just one of these conditions listed above, we are talking millions of people whose symptoms may improve through reduced intake of sugar.

Loading our body with sugar is like putting diesel in a petrol car — our bodies are just not made for it.

I’ve never been massively healthy until recent years. I was brought up on frozen foods and ready meals, and my family always have a stash of sugary treats somewhere in their house. I remember when my nan was ill once, she had a stash of cake bars by her sick bed for sustenance(!) as I gently tried to encourage her to replace them with fruit.

As with all these kinds of health topics, the proof is in the (sugar-free) pudding. Gradually reducing your intake and swopping to healthy alternatives (think cinnamon on top of porridge instead of honey), will help your body to transition.

One thing I’ve noticed is that when you start to consume less sugar, you notice more when things are really sweet — your palette can change as you gradually become accustomed to eating healthier (choosing an organic tomato soup, for example, instead of a tinned one with added sugar).

So Sugar, it’s time we created some serious distance between us — I’m afraid you do more harm than good.

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Freelance Copywriter | Experiments in #lifestyledesign, #productivity and #flow. Occasional #poet. Get in touch: www.kerryneeds.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store