Wednesday, June 06, 2012
One big huge deal for me has been to be sugar-free for nearly four months now. I've done this before on occasion and am always astounded at how my appetite changes when my blood sugar straightens out. Yesterday I worked as an election clerk all day and some thoughtful people had filled a table with snacks for us volunteers: assorted donuts, cinnamon buns, candied nuts, cookies, candy, yogurt pretzels, cake, chocolate, big bottles of soda, sweetened juices, and more. All day that stuff sat nearby and I wasn't even tempted. My home-prepared snacks featured sugar snap peas, nuts, grapes, ratatouille, a turkey burger, and a bottle of water. I was quite happy. This was not always the case. Before I got off sugar, I would have been browsing that table all day long and wanting more, more, more.
This morning Mark Bittman wrote a great column in the New York Times called What is Food? It begins with the effort in New York to set a limit on the amount of sweetened soft drinks that vendors can sell, and leads into a discussion about what food is, what is nutritious, and how sugar is essentially a non-food. He says "Added sugar, as will be obvious when we look back in 20 or 50 years, is the tobacco of the 21st century" and adds that sugar is probably the most dangerous part of our current diets. He also talks about the costs that we all bear because of the enormous health impacts of the massive sugar consumption in our country. We as taxpayers bear the brunt of "obesity-related health care costs ... at $147 billion and climbing".
So for today, and I hope for a long time to come, I'm grateful to be sugar-free!