So this article has been circulating amongst my friends lately, and I’ve avoided it until today, because I love me some sugar.
I bake quite a bit–I love the warmth it creates in my tiny apartment, I love the smell of gooey deliciousness in my oven, and I love sharing my creations with friends and family. So to be fair, I’m pretty defensive when I see an article that tells me I Will Stop Eating Sugar After Reading This.
I agree that sugar causes many many health problems, but I’m often skeptical of articles like these that rely on exclamation points and fear mongering to rile up people into the next big dietary boycott.
First fat, then carbs, then gluten, now sugar.
Remember when butter was going to kill you? I mean KILL YOU DEAD! Butter was evil! It was the reason everyone was gaining weight and if you ate butter and didn’t opt for margarine or scientifically created yellowish substances that looked and smelled and tasted like butter but whose ingredients could not be found in nature, then YOU WERE GOING TO DIE.
Guess what? Turns out people are actually more annoyed with that frankenfood margarine than they are with facing down a deliciously butter-coated death.
So I clicked through the slides and found at least one factual error–slide 14 claims the USDA recommends 6 GRAMS a day for women (that would be 1 1/2 tsp).
If you click on the link, it takes you not to the USDA, but to a a news article that cites the American Heart Association recommends 6 tsp a day–which if my 8th grade math is correct–is 24 grams.
Another ridiculous element of the slideshow: slide 13 takes you to a WebMD article about the ways sugar “sneaks” into your diet. While I agree that canned fruits have a rather high sugar content, how much of those grams of sugar are the naturally occurring sugars? But whatever. The “sneaky sugar” products that follow all that evil canned fruit?
Breakfast cereals like FROSTED MINI WHEATS.
SO SNEAKY. I can’t believe all those Ho-Hos I’ve eaten in my life were hiding sugar! I feel so betrayed!
I’ve almost entirely cut out artificial sugars (aspartame, splenda, etc.) and high fructose corn syrup from my diet which I think is much more important. (Pray for me this week as I am once again pitching the diet Coke…)
Here’s the thing. If you eat too much, it’ll kill ya. If you never exercise, it’ll kill ya. If you work all the time, it’ll kill ya.
Here’s the other thing. You could live a physically perfect life, void of fat, carbs, gluten and sugar, work out two hours a day, get 8 solid hours of sleep a night and still have a stroke, heart attack, or cancer. That’s just life.
So tonight, have a cookie.
Just don’t have a whole box of cookies.