Recently, on my Facebook page, I posted a status message that declared: “Sugar doesn’t harm, the misinformation around it does”. My usually receptive ‘fans’ lashed out at me, each response exposing frustration, anger and even some hope.
Was I amused by the responses? Yes and no. The misinformation around sugar runs so deep that other than funny responses it’s also a sad tale of how this ancient nutrient (yep, I wrote nutrient) is now just looked down upon. We just ‘know’ that it’s harmful for ‘normal’ people and a killer for ‘diabetics’.
Here’s the truth: sugar has been celebrated as panch amrit in our culture along with milk, honey, ghee and curd. The weight-loss industry has brainwashed us to look down upon each of them and it is the reputation of sugar that has taken maximum beating. Sugar is not the white killer. In fact, ancient Egypt used it as a healer on wounds way before antibiotics came into existence. It helped dry the wound through osmosis, leaving the bacteria weak, reducing the throbbing pain.
What’s harmful is the way we are using sugar now—in biscuits, pastries, cakes, chocolates etc where, other than the fact that massive amounts of sugar is used, there is an overload of preservatives, transfats, salts, emulsifiers and lack of essential fiber and minerals. Of course, we choose to overlook this fact and instead attach all harmful effects of these to sugar. Then, all the weight-loss industry does is create another market of ‘diet’ foods. The preservatives, transfats, emulsifiers stay and sugar gets replaced by a sweetener. Yes, you are right, this mixture will make you thin and prevent diabetes and heart disease. Yes, dream on, buddy.