Last night, on Halloween, I watched the documentary Fed Up. Not a smart thing to do with a bowl of candy nearby for trick-or-treaters or my own wandering hand, but an enlightening film nonetheless. For someone who considers himself a nutritional enthusiast, I am intrigued by the way the government and food companies ignore science and the reason, which was clearly relayed throughout the film, particularly by Dr. Robert Lustig, is because they are in the business of selling us food.
So for the month of November, I am going to post factoids about the real enemy – Sugar. Mind you I have had a long contentious history with this seemingly innocuous powdery white substance. Luckily, I was born without the gene that makes people crave sweets, but we all fall prey to sugar because it comes in many different forms like juice, white bread, and chocolate. It causes the body to secrete insulin from the pancreas, which has no other choice other than to convert it into fat.
And for all of you who consume artificial sweeteners you’re not fooling anyone, particularly your brain. Studies show that rats that ate artificially sweetened yogurt gained more weight and body fat.
In 2008, I wrote the Advocate Guide to Gay Men’s Health and Wellness and in it I gave a list of Foods You Should Stay Away From:
1. White Rice
2. White Flour
I stand by that list, and I want to now add that in addition to those food groups, I recommend you avoid fruit juice and carbonated beverages, even the diet variety because in the end it all turns to fat.
I encourage everyone to see Fed Up and take the Fed Up Challenge, which is a “national campaign to break loose from the sugar industry’s powerful grip – with a particular focus on kids and schools! We’re asking individuals, kids, schools, parents and communities to join us in going sugar free for 10 days. Giving up sugar will be tough because sugar is everywhere and we all crave it, but setting that kind of healthy example for your kids is all the inspiration you’ll need to get through.”
Let’s fight the real enemy. That includes all the celebrities that promote soda, Taylor Swift, potato chips, Eva Longoria and pizza, Blake Shelton.