You Catch More Humans with Honey than with Vinegar

Jenny and I have a confession to make: we are both sugar addicts.

We know it’s wrong, and we’ve talked about trying to cut back, but we don’t want to stop, and no one around us is quitting either. But now that gestational diabetes has forced Jenny’s hand, we are both revisiting the whole issue of sugar.

I don’t know about you, but I eat sugar throughout the day. For breakfast I drink coffee with flavored, sweetened creamer, orange juice, and fiber cereal coated in sugar. For dinner I might enjoy a meal that seems not to contain much sugar, but I’ll want some cookies or a bowl of ice cream for dessert. If we’re eating out, I love to enjoy a Coke, and not just a 12oz can, either. At work overnight, I drink more coffee with flavored, sweetened creamer, a bagel (not too bad), a banana (fructose, a simple sugar), and yogurt (sounds healthy, but makes the healthy stuff more appealing by adding sugar). If I’m “lucky”, someone will drop off a cake or something in the breakroom for us. When I go too long without sugar, I start craving it and searching for it – maybe a few M&Ms, or a little candy bar, or some chocolate trail mix, or a swig of eggnog.

Jenny is going through sugar withdrawal. She’s handling it well, but it’s surprisingly difficult. Her body is accustomed to running largely on sugar, which provides quick energy. Now she’s making her body run more on other sources, such as protein and complex carbohydrates that take longer to break down. It’s a weird feeling, she says. The only reason I’m not going through withdrawal with her is because I’m trying to eat up most of the sugar in the house myself. To get rid of it, you see. I hate to waste food. Actually, the truth is that I know I’ll have just as much trouble if/when I cut back on the sugar. Sounds like an addiction to me.

If you Google “effects of sugar”, you’ll find tons of information about how harmful sugar can be. I don’t know how much of it is true, but much of it makes sense. Our bodies don’t seem to run as well on sugar as they do on other fuels. Some research suggests that sugar suppresses your immune system, accelerates aging, and contributes to cancer and heart disease, among many others.

I am curious about how I would/will feel if I quit or cut back significantly. I’ve finished off the Dr Pepper. Once I finish the ice cream, maybe I will find out. I suspect that after the initial few days of unpleasantness, I would be in for a pleasant surprise.