Is sugar really a poison?
Is sugar really a poison?
Is it possible that we have become so used to sugar being a normal part of life that it seems crazy, despite the extensive evidence, to even think, let alone entertain the question, “Is sugar really a poison?”
A billion dollar food industry depends on sugar being something we willingly consume in large quantities to reward and relieve, stimulate and soothe ourselves on a daily basis, and to celebrate or treat ourselves with on birthdays, special occasions or no occasion at all. Australians consume an average of 14 teaspoons of white sugar per day,[i] (for example, 600ml of soft drink has 16 teaspoons of sugar),[ii] when the recommended amount by WHO[iii] is less than 6 teaspoons per day.
A little label reading can go a long way to show just how much sugar has become entrenched in what we sip, suck, chew, lick, nibble and crunch our way through – together and alone – every day.
Until the current global surge in obesity and diabetes, sugar has had free reign since becoming mass-produced in the 18th century.[iv] Sugar has been endorsed by health authorities for use in moderation as part of a healthy diet, however growing evidence is painting a not so sweet picture:
Sugar has no nutritional value and acts like a poison to the body and its intricate functioning
It makes us ripe for illness and disease, induces highs and lows of being tired, racy, foggy, overstimulated, lethargic and, like any drug, leaves us craving or looking forward to the next hit of a substance more addictive than cocaine.[v] The presence of sugar in our lives has grown enormously over the past 200 years. Before then if we wanted something sweet it meant growing a fruit tree or living near beehives.
Today sugar is extensively and profitably commercialised. It is easy to blame our dependence on sugar on the food industry but commercial responsibility lies equally with us as consumers... we buy what we like and food products and drinks containing sugar are high on the list of daily intake for billions of people.
What is it about our lives that makes the possibility of not having sugar in our diet so uncomfortable to entertain?
My husband decided to go cold turkey for a month and not eat anything containing sugar of any kind (including, stevia and xylitol, synthetic ‘not-sugar-but-taste-like-sugar-substances’ like aspartame, etc, and ‘healthy’ sugars like coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup and dried fruit). He later lamented that the month he chose was April with all those chocolate eggs and hot cross buns at every turn, but sugar-free he remained. It was interesting to watch the effect of the absence of sugar on his moods (cranky and irritable) and energy levels (tired and lethargic), but the most surprising thing of all was the comment that came after the first two sugar free weeks had passed: “I feel like there is nothing to look forward to anymore.”
"If we can say that we are seekers of rewards, then what is it about me that needs to convert food which is sustenance of life into a reward? Why does food have to be a reward when it is really just a way of getting the body to be? Ponder on this"Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings and Revelations
The absence of sugar left him feeling disappointed and unsettled when the end of the day didn’t feature a sweet hit to look forward to. For many of us this sweet hit may not be a chocolate bar, but sugar in the form of alcohol or even having tomato sauce with fries or caramelised onions at dinner – not just the obviously sweet foods.
How would we feel without sugar?
Does sugar ‘sweeten’ our lives but in the process keep us from having an honest relationship with ourselves and with life? Sugar is a childhood institution used to pacify, reward and treat us from ever-younger ages in ever growing quantities [vi]. Could it be that sugar has become the global drug of choice in our time, readily accessible and used to:
- Help us ‘do life’ – to cope with the stress, irritations, tiredness, exhaustion, disappointments and worries of day-to-day life
- Reward ourselves for things well done, achievements made, even just surviving the day, a well earned treat we deserve
- Keep us feeling a particular way: ‘up’, satisfied, stimulated, soothed, energised, excited and relieved?
- Celebrate with our loved ones – birthdays, holidays, special occasions, treats
- Keep us happy, to have ‘fun’ together sharing something sweet, indulging or treating ourselves with a simple sweet pleasure?
Using that little sugar hit as a reward
Do we eat to sustain ourselves or to reward ourselves because we do not feel we are enough?
My husband’s sugar-free month has continued on to become a permanent way of life for him. He likes who he is without sugar and even though the craving for something sweet after dinner still remains, the quality of his body and his state of being continues to change with every sugar-free month. He is much more even in his mood, sleeps better, has lost weight, his skin is more alive, his eyes are clearer and he has started to find his taste for food is changing – more vegetables, less of other foods, preferring simple, less intense tastes, with an increased awareness of how food leaves him feeling – and he looks at what might be going on for him – tired, thirsty, upset, sad, empty, hungry – if he finds himself craving a sweet fix.
He notices how much sugar is on offer everywhere: in the workplace, at the petrol station, the movies, cafes and in the food we prepare and share with each other. There are constant offerings of sugar in some form or another (juice, sauce, cake, biscuit, health bar, sweets) to excite or relieve us. Our world is saturated with sugar – it is so easy and affordable we do not stop to question or assess how much we are consuming or why. Great for profits, but poison for us.
From the ongoing results of this simple experiment perhaps ‘Is sugar really a poison?’ is a question best investigated not by our intellect or what we know about sugar, but, as my husband and many others have started to discover, by the quality of our bodies, our state of being and our lives when they are left free and clear of poison... oops, sugar.