In my latest readings about health and food and diet (you know the lot), I have come across an article published on grubstreet.com. It makes for an interesting, fairly light read, and I like that it has a very down-to-earth attitude. And it comes with a general rule of thumb that I totally agree with: Choose real over processed. Basically, it encourages us to look not at the chemical composition of our food, but at the overall types of food we are eating. This is not to say that you shouldn’t be careful about added sugar, salt, oil, preservatives, etc. No. This means that if you are careful to eat primarily vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, legumes, it doesn’t matter so much what their chemical composition is, you will probably get a balanced, healthy diet. You should not worry so much about the nutrient of the month, as presented by the media. If it’s a good one for you, and you eat natural food, you are probably already getting enough of it anyway.
Now for the most interesting part (for me): sugar. I feel like they had a somewhat light take on it, even though they were not saying it is good for us. They warn that added sugar triggers insulin release, which in turn causes weight gain, especially in the waist area, so that limiting added sugar is important for weight management. They do say that a proper diet (as above) “leaves room for a bit of sugar when something sweet is a treat” (emphasis mine). But “don’t eat foods with added sugar unless they are a dessert” does not exactly scream don’t eat dessert often. Shouldn’t there be more of an emphasis on spacing out these treats? I can, after all, have a treat every day. That would not be good for me, would it?
Yes, sugar is my number 1 enemy and the reason why I created this blog. Yes, I care more about this than about all the other bad stuff we put into our bodies. Not saying the others are not important, but we all have our interests. So yes, I would like to see more people taking a stand against sugar. And I would also like to see that more of them say that we should not just replace our sweet fix with another one (the trendiest sweetener, or whatever), but that we should simply not consume sweet foods or drinks so often, unless we’re eating fruit. Plain and simple. Even if the sweetener of our choice is not bad for us, we still keep telling our mind that sweets are ok. It is much more effective to consider sweets as rare occasions, even when they are not full of sugar. That way, it is easier to say no to some, or to simply stop eating at some point (no, we don’t have to lick the plate clean, no matter how rude it may be to leave food on our plate). Just space it out.