I’ve been thinking a lot lately (don’t worry, it didn’t hurt that much) about…
A new job position.
What do all of these days have in common?
Friends & family.
In my most recent quest to dig deeper into sugar and it’s integration into our lives, I’ve realized something important and very shocking.
Sugar isn’t just something delicious that we have become addicted to. It goes much deeper than that.
Could you imagine a birthday party or a Christmas without that delicious chocolate cake or butter cookies?
Nope, me neither.
First, a brief history of sugar…
Sugarcane domestication began almost 10 thousand years ago in Asia where the local people had discovered the sweet and delightful effects of chewing on sugarcane. Many years later, in India, a new technique was discovered that extracted the sweet juice (sucrose) and turned it into a dry crystal. This discovery changed everything!
As the Europeans began to explore and expand their trade routes, sailors discovered this “sweet salt” and immediately fell in love with it. Naturally, they began bringing it home with them sharing this new discovery with those in their home countries. As a very rare, and very expensive commodity, sugar was only available to the very wealthy Europeans and was only enjoyed in small amounts.
When the Europeans discovered the America’s, they quickly realized that Central American soils and climate were perfect to grow sugarcane. So began the cultivation of sugarcane in Cuba and other surrounding countries. As production increased, prices dropped and demand increased. This increased demand only increased the need for more and more production which lead to the introduction and boom of slavery in many 3rd world countries.
By the end of the 18th century, prices had dropped so much that sugar was now available to almost everyone in any country. In the late 18th century, German scientists discovered the presence of sucrose (sugar) in beets. With the pressure to abolish slavery and produce sugar more locally in Europe, the extraction of sugar from beets was an exciting and celebrated discovery.
Processes developed quickly and it only became easier and easier to make sugar from both sugarcane and sugar beets. Demand grew, prices dropped, and the food industry started creating new and exciting products with this sweet substance. Jam, chocolate, and candy were a few of the recent creations. Since this time, we’ve discovered how to make sugar from a number of other sources such as palm trees, agave, bees, maple trees, and corn.
Our world today…
The world we live in now is riddled with sugar. There are over 80 different names/types of sugar used by food producers in more than 75% of the products you can find at the grocery store. This highly addictive and pleasurable substance has made its way into almost everything we eat on a daily basis.
As food manufacturers began to realize how addictive sugar was, they quickly began taking advantage of human emotion and biology to grow their corporations and increase profits. Advertisements popped up equating sugary treats with happiness and connection. Birthday parties, holidays, and special events quickly became synonymous with sugar.
Sugar = happiness
Sugar = joy
Sugar = friendship
Sugar = love
Sugar = fun
Sugar = connection
As humans, we quickly realized that sugar provided temporary feelings of joy & happiness (dopamine centers are triggered in your brain). Happy occasions were a perfect opportunity to introduce even more “special” feelings and “temporary joy” with sugar.
We also began to use sugar as a way to bring happiness to those who were sad or to show our love and support for someone in need. Think of the last time you lost a job, got dumped by a boyfriend, or visited your mom or grandma. The automatic choice to brighten your day or to show love in each of these situations is sugar.
This current advertisement for a local grocery store in my town is a perfect example.
Celebrate and be happy with sugar.
Really? Are you kidding me!?
We’re only just beginning to uncover and discuss the dangers of our overconsumption of sugar.
Overconsumption of ANYTHING can be dangerous for human health especially if that substance is NOT required for human life!
Take a look at the world around us. Look at the state of our health. There’s no denying that something major needs to shift. A change needs to happen and it has to start with each and every one of us.
We need to take our heads out of the sand, educate ourselves, kick the sugar addiction, and begin to demand a different way of life.
You may be thinking “I don’t have much of a sweet tooth”.
Well, I challenge you to look up the 80+ different names for sugar and then look at the ingredients in all of the things that you DO eat. I guarantee you’ll be shocked at how much sugar you are actually eating even without eating cake every day.
Why is there sugar in my salad dressing, tortilla wraps, chips, and crackers?
My hope today is to spark a thought in your head.
To get you to start thinking about the impact of overconsumption of sugar in your life and in the lives of the loved ones around you.
I challenge you to make one small change this month.
Host a sugar-free celebration, learn to read labels, make your own salad dressing, and begin to tune in and discover if you are in fact addicted to sugar. It’s from this place, that you can begin to make a change.
What small change will you make this month? (I honestly want to know, please comment below!)
Love & Knowledge,
P.S. Are you ready to learn more about sugar? Do you want to build a new relationship of moderation in your life? I’m here to help!
Next month, I’ll be launching a FREE 7-day sugar-free challenge that will help you get back in control of the sugar in your life!
Hit “comment” below and let me know if you want to be on the pre-registration list to make sure you don’t miss out!