Let's Chat about Sugar
I can think of countless songs that use sugar as a compliment. ”Sugar” by Maroon 5…“Sweet Carolina” etc. etc.
For so long, when we heard the word “sugar” it was a positive connotation. However, now, it seems that we constantly hear fear-mongering and negative connotations with the word “sugar”. But, should it REALLY be feared? And why is everyone avoiding it?
I was curious so decided to do some digging.
Disclaimer: I am NOT a Registered Dietitian. Rather, I am a gal pursuing intuitive eating and a peaceful, loving relationship with food, exercise, and my body. From that perspective, this is what I found.
I have been working at a smoothie shop this past summer which has been a nice, relaxing, and fun way to meet so many people! I thought I would hear more diet culture comments, but it hasn’t been as often as I thought I might hear. That being said, I think the greatest concern I hear (when I do hear concerns haha) is the sugar content. People are worrying and stressing over the sugar. Just recently, someone asked me if I had any smoothies that don’t have sugar. To that, I said, “Well, we don’t add any sugar to anything. We just blend up fruit etc.” Even CRAZIER is that sugar in fruit has been made out to be feared by culture. Fruit is something our bodies NEED. I think we know that.
I went to Dr. the other day and in the waiting room they were playing a documentary that was essentially blaming everything on weight, sugar, and carbs. DUMB! However, I hear this so often. Our culture likes to blame being “overweight” on countless things and this docu was no different. It was blaming literally everything on sugar and I just couldn’t believe it. There are so many aspects to life and health and privileges that were not being taken into account during the documentary.
As someone who has been on an intuitive eating journey, I KNOW that sugar is not going to kill me or make me suffer health consequences. Furthermore, I know that someone who might be deemed “overweight” does not equate to an unhealthy person. Often, someone who is “overweight” is perfectly healthy! We can’t judge someone’s health by their body size.
I’ve noticed this CRAZE of “no added sugar” and especially certain kinds of sugars are demonized. So, I decided to do some digging and I literally searched “What is sugar and why is everyone afraid of it” into my google search.
When I did my search, I found this article by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that literally said NUMEROUS times, “HIGH-FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP IS NOT PREDICTIVE OF OBESITY” (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition). Research backs up Intuitive Eating and All Foods Fit mentality. There’s this book called “Health at Every Size” that goes into the research and science behind why this works. Behind why shame, guilt, and fear do NOT aid health (even though our culture loves to profit off of our fear).
A comment that I often hear when I mention my belief with Intuitive Eating and listening to what my body wants is, “Isn’t that unhealthy?” or “I can’t do that lol. Maybe you can, but for me it’s different.” or “That isn’t healthy.” Whew, I have so much to say in response to that, but I think The Real Life RD’s article here is the best response: https://www.thereallife-rd.com/2018/08/haes-is-not-anti-health/
I PROMISE you that pursuing a life of freedom where food is not labeled “healthy” or “unhealthy” but rather looked at neutrally will not cause you to eat only foods you deem “unhealthy”. I PROMISE. Take it from me, a former anorexic and orthorexic pursuing gal who now pursues a free, peaceful relationship with food, her body, and exercise. What makes you uncertain or excited about intuitive eating? Let me know in the comments! :)