I have history with sugar. My earliest memory was at age 4 while in nursery school. Each afternoon the ice cream man would come by. Kids would pass their money through the fence, and he would hand them the most delicious ice cream pops. Mine was chocolate. And then a few years later Mom got my sister and I an Easy Bake Oven. Sometimes those little cakes actually got baked before we ate them. But quite often we just ate the mix right from the package – the chocolate mix of course.
Mom told me that she ate a lot of chocolate when she was pregnant with me. So perhaps I came into the world with a love of good chocolate. I’m a chocoholic in recovery mode. It used to be on Fridays that I would check and see if there was enough chocolate in the house for the weekend. Now, I can go in and out the supermarket and pick up no chocolate!!!
Back to my history. In 3rd grade [8 years old], while at lunch one day, a classmate asked if she could trade her Devil Dog for my apple. I didn’t know what a Devil Dog was. But looking at those two pieces of chocolate cake with cream filling in between, I figured it had to be good. It was. And I fell in love with them and other snack cakes like Ring Dings, Yodels, and more.
Also in 3rd grade was another classmate who played a role with me and sweet things. She was taller and chubbier than the rest of us – and pushy too. But even at that early age, she showed some budding business skills. Regularly she went down to the candy store and bought bunches of candy. Then she brought them back to school and had us other kids meet her at recess, on the playground, by the brook. There we gave her our coins and she handed us our own little stashes of candy. Did the teachers ever wonder what all us kids were doing down by the brook? Who knows.
Cakes, candy, cookies, cotton candy, Halloween candy, holiday candy and other sugary yummies. I ate a lot of sugar! And since every action has a reaction, there had to be some sure results. There were. I wasn’t over weight – since I ran around, biked, and played a lot. But as one dentist told me early on, “You have more cavities than teeth! Some of you are probably quite horrified at this. They are all filled.
Regardless of how it sounds, our home didn’t have sweet things in it all the time. We usually got something once a week. But ice cream was usually in the freezer. Mom did get a 5 pound bag of white sugar each week or two. Most of that went to making Kool-Aid fruit-flavored drinks. We even had a green pitcher that looked like a Kool-Aid pitcher.
But we all had so much sugar. And except for knowing it could make us fat and give us cavities, I don’t think many people had a clue of the dark and ugly side of this sweetener. Many understand today. We hear and read about it often. There is even discussion that sugar should be labeled as a toxin; that sugar and some other sweeteners are poisons to the human body.
Here are just a few of sugar’s negative effects:
Increases risks for diabetes [avoid this like the Black Plague];
Increased risks for obesity – which brings its own negative side effects;
Increases risks for several cancers [like breast, prostate, and colon]
Increases bad cholesterol [LDL] – inviting clogged arteries;
Increases risks for Fatty Liver Disease – which can lead to Cirrhosis of the liver.
Increases poor nutrition – steals vitamin B-1 needed by the nerves, and calcium needed by bones;
Weakens the immune system’s White Blood Cells from being able to destroy bacteria and other enemies;
Increases inflammation in body;
Ages the skin.
To Be Continued In Part 2 …
Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence