Tuesday Tartlet: Sugar Crash
How my love for dessert survived the slanderous campaign against sugar.
Sugar is evil. Did you know?
I hope you take the news better than I did. Maybe it just caught me at a bad time.
Sugar is evil? I mean, I’d always known sugar was not good for me. I’m sure that I even held the general opinion that it was indeed bad for me. Lots of things are bad for you, but they’re okay in moderation, right? Even if sugar is nothing more than cavity causing empty calories, it can’t be evil. I found myself researching further. Not only do we consume too much sugar, we are sugar addicts! Sugar is making us age faster. Sugar is killing us.
The particular sticking point with me was this business about aging faster. I don’t really know when a woman’s biological clock starts ticking, but I feel like we all just wake up one day to find that our friendly inner monologue had been hijacked and replaced by a sinister voice that follows us around all day posing questions like, “Is that a spider vein? What is that crease on your forehead? or Who are you kidding ordering that dress size?” This menace points out to us just exactly how far along we are on the road to becoming old crows.
Fueled by some crazed determination to turn back time, I began researching healthier lifestyle choices. What does Demi eat? What does Cindy smear on her face? How did Ellen give up sugar? Are there really hundreds of negative effects from sugar? Scattered all around me were countless articles detailing the risks and benefits of refined sugar vs. high fructose corn syrup vs. raw sugar vs. honey vs. artificial sweeteners vs. stevia leaf extracts. My abandoned computer screen filled with open windows: blogs of doctors, websites of natural health organizations, and some website designed to convince women that the only dignified way to turn forty is to look thirty-five at the time. Why is turning forty such a big deal? Well the mean little voice inside my head had plenty of things to say about it. So there I sat, in front of the mirror, eyes glued to a “wrinkle” on my forehead, calculating how many doughnuts I should have not eaten to prevent the demise of my youthful skin; ruminating on the sorry state of my internal organs, probably being ravaged by disease because of my careless consumption of massive amounts of sugar. And as all of this is buzzing about in my head, increasing in volume, and eventually just becoming white noise, all I can think is, “Damn I want a doughnut.”
So I had one. Boston Crème.
And contained in that, dare I say, magical doughnut was my enlightenment. My panic passed and I said to myself, “Listen, self, even if you do not eat another molecule of sugar for the next five-thousand-six-hundred-two days and eight hours (in a temporary lapse of sanity, I had counted….) you will still turn forty.”
After a second doughnut, and a return to my research, I was sane enough to realize that the key with sugar, as with EVERYTHING (I used to know that, when did I forget that?) is moderation. Duh. There are definite benefits to giving up sugar, but my motto has always been, “While there is life, let us enjoy living.” I don’t think I could enjoy the rest of my life without Boston Crème doughnuts. Who cares if sugar causes wrinkles? I smile too much to make it through life without wrinkles anyhow.
There is a lot of important information out there about the overconsumption of sugar. It really is essential to be conscious of what one eats. I have made definite strides to maintain a balanced diet, and this does involve eliminating sugar, but it does not mean eliminating dessert! Even just a few things, like replacing refined sugar in dessert recipes, avoiding simple sugars in foods that aren’t sweet, and eating enough proteins and whole grains make a huge difference. That’s what helps me splurge on dessert, guilt free. (Which will help next week, since Halloween is right around the corner, and that means…. CANDY!)
If you want more information, here are a couple of my favorite articles on the subject:
From Men’s Health Online, “The Truth About Sugar”
Nutritional Wellness Online wants to help you kick the sugar habit
More.com asks “Is Sugar Aging You?”
Until next Tuesday, have a sweet week!
Eva is a Polish, a ginger, and also our Team Dessert Hooker and author of the “Tuesday Tarlet” right here at Eat.Drink.Repeat.