Excess sugar in diet

I know I recently complained about sugar in US bread, but this is just the tip of an iceberg. Are we really aware of the effects of all the sugar in Western diets on our children, let alone ourselves? Try some of these adapted quotes from AskDrSears, Huffpost or other similar websites.

  • Excess sugar depresses immunity.
  • Sugar sours behavior, attention, and learning.
  • Sugar promotes sugar highs (High adrenaline levels) or crashes with consequent mood swings, maybe even depression.
  • Some children are sugar junkies.
  • while the neurotransmitters in the brains of normally active children signal the hormones to regulate blood sugar, brains of hyperactive children do not seem to send the same signals
  • (Refined) sugar promotes obesity.
  • Sugar promotes diabetes.
  • Sugar promotes heart disease.
  • Sugar impairs memory and learning skills.
  • Sugar is a risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia.

So now look at the shelves of sugared breakfast cereals in the supermarkets, at the shelves of bottled drinks heavy with sugar, at the shelves of sweets, cookies, chocolates, at the sweets handily stacked by the checkout… At the local Kroger it is actually quite difficult to find non-sugared breakfast cereals.

Parents really do have a big job on to resist all this stuff and get their kids eating healthy food. Not all will go to the lengths of this Swedish mum who went viral, but it does seeem to have worked!

Maybe regulators should really get a bit tougher with those commercial interests whose denial happens to coincide with self interest, profits and their political lobbying.

Featured image shows the oldest remaining business in Texas, a sugar refining complex in Sugarland – By Carol M. Highsmith via Wikimedia Commons.
There is no implication intended on this company specifically.

Sugar in Bread

While staying in Houston I became aware of just how sweet the average US supermarket loaf is – both the white and the nice-looking granary/wholemeal type of loaf. It’s actually a bit like French brioche, but a different texture. Some commenters compare it to cake.

Now, why would you want extra sugar in bread? It is now surely understood that too much sugar in the diet is not good for you. (Of course you need a small amount of sugar or honey in the bread baking process, but that gets used up.)

This all suggests that the average US palate has been educated to like too much sweetness in their diet, just possibly one contribution to the epidemic of obesity that is so apparent there. For confirmation, just try a Hershey ‘chocolate’ bar.

Of course, this is a well known problem, and some bread suppliers are better than others. See eg picturebritain. And the problem is not just sugar, see eg. Food Babe.

Now, where’s the breadmaker… But, will the flour have sugar or other unhealthy ingredients in it? Nightmare.

Featured image of a particularly bad set of ingredients from foodbabe.com