Sugar……..Are you drowning in it?
When I was at college, I knew a little guy who was into bodybuilding. He was the sort of guy who would be interested in numbers- quantifying how many reps (or whatever they are called) that he had done in a day and how many kilometres he had run. I, on the other hand, didn’t care about quantifying anything in particular. So one day I was eating a Mars bar and this guy said: “Do you know how much sugar is in that?” I looked at him and said “No”, with the implication and body language that said ‘I don’t particularly care either’.
Fast forward to being married a while, and suddenly being pretty tubby. I kind of care now, and I’ve been doing some thinking. Do you know how much sugar you eat? It’s a genuine question.
The Omnipresence of Sugar
We started doing GAPS recently, which means the amount of sugar we eat has been quite drastically reduced, and so maybe with that decreased amount of sugar, came an increase in the awareness of sugar! In any case, just last week I went into a petrol station in my local area to pay for some petrol, and wherever I looked there were tasty things to eat with truckloads of sugar. At the front counter, there were chocolates- to my right, bags of treats. Along the aisles were bags of chips, and at the left and back of the store were mainly sugar laden soft drinks, iced coffee, energy drinks and flavoured water. All of this of course means nothing to most people who tune it out, because it’s just the ‘white noise’ of life for our culture. Aside from the petrol station that sells sweets, there are supermarkets, with shelves bulging with the sugar laden treats we! Where we live for example, at the very least before you get vegetables, you have to go past white bread, donuts, biscuits, cake and the smell of baked goods. What about the grocery shop? Nope. There’s increasingly custards, chocolates, sweet drinks there too. Even in a lot of retail shops that are not directly food shops, there are treats at the front you can buy. Life is sometimes less helpful for those on GAPS.
The Acceptance of Sugar
It’s an unwritten truth that everyone seems to accept, that sugar will always be on the menu. How many times a year do you go visit someone? Do you have biscuits? How many sugars go in your tea or coffee? What about when your children have a fundraise? Chocolates! So then, how about when go to work. Suppose ‘Janice’ is on long service leave and there’s a farewell party, and they put on a spread with white bread and sweets, or when a special guest comes to your office and there is a welcome, or another farewell. Maybe there are business dinners you take with your supervisor. How much sugar are in those dinners? Perhaps you work alone and grab something already prepared sometimes. How many times? How much sugar is in the bolognaise or sauce? How much sugar is in the noodles themselves? Now think about children’s birthdays, social events, family events, cultural events, Christmas, Easter… SPECIAL TREATS!
The Amount of Sugar
All of this sounds pretty bleak, right? Well it is and it also isn’t, depending on your perspective. If you behave about sugar are like me when I was younger, It’s bleak. If you just ignore sugar and eat whatever you want, there might be consequences. If, on the other hand you can at least be aware of how much sugar you are eating in many and varied ways (without being paranoid), then you can step into a future that dignifies your health a little more, and makes room for you to be the person you’d rather be. For us, that means GAPS.
By the way, in a 62 gram mars bar, there are 11 teaspoons of sugar. You’re welcome!
Written by Ben Mathewson a family counsellor, you can find out more about him at www.benmathewson.com. Please leave me a comment and tell me what you think of this post and share with your friends.