Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Healthy Sugar – Roger Ingalls

Yesterday I engaged in a food experiment completely by accident and ended up learning something. My wife left me a can of caramelized roasted cashews on the kitchen counter to take to work. Around 2:30 in the afternoon I decided to try some of these nuts. They were quite tasty and I found myself going back to the can over and over again. All of a sudden my stomach felt a little queasy and my brain said you better quit eating those sweet things before you make yourself sick.

I was puzzled by the ill feeling. Why is it that I can eat normal nuts all day but not ones with baked on candy and why can I drink sweet soda by the Gulp without issue? After reading the can it was apparent that these were high-end naturally flavored nuts that used real ingredients including natural sugar. Then it hit me; my body was recognizing what I was eating.

picture form motherjones.com

picture form motherjones.com

The body is a chemical machine that has evolved over a couple of million years and the brain detects, through receptors, enzymes as a result of foods breaking down (approximate definition of the body’s process). The body recognizes natural foods that have evolved with us but doesn’t chemically comprehend man-made foods. This is why I felt a little ill from eating too many cashews coated with naturally sugar but can drink a gallon of cola without feeling sick. High fructose corn syrup has been used in sodas since the 1980s and this man-made substance is slightly different (chemically) than real sugar so the body doesn’t know when enough is enough. If we still used real sugar in food, obesity and diabetes would probably be less prevalent in society today because our bodies would tell our brains to quit consuming so much.

For my next study, I think a comparison of Mexican Coke made with real sugar vs USA Coke made with corn syrup would make a good experiment. Supposedly, Mexican Coke is an extremely satisfying drink when a small quantity is consumed. If true, it makes a big statement for natural foods and ingredients.

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