I would like to talk about a slow and sweet poison in our lives. One, we freely consume daily. Any guesses? It’s sugar.
My dad has diabetes. My 44 year old boss has diabetes. And I am afraid that I too might get it one day.
Two years back I read a Facebook article about a book called “A Year of no sugar”. The author of this book Eve Schuab tells us that sugar causes several chronic ailments like heart disease, hypertension, Kidney Failure and Cancer. Yes Cancer also.
Eve tells us that sugar acts like a toxin in our body. While our body can easily handle small quantities of refined sugar, when consumed in excess, it plays havoc with our hormones. She says that most companies are using more and more sugar in their products not just to improve the taste but to hide the bad taste of their products. If these products din’t have sugar, we would never buy them. Products like bread, biscuits, cereals, ketchup, sauces, fruit juices contain too much refined sugar to mask their bad tastes.
And since sugar acts as a preservative, all the more reason to add more sugar to increase the shelf life of the product. And since sugar is a carbohydrate not fat, all these products are advertised as healthy or fat free.
So she embarks on an experiment to cut out all refined sugars from her family’s diet for one full year and has shared her hilarious experience in the book ‘A Year of No Sugar’.
So Inspired by the article I decided to cut out sugar from my diet. However I am not as brave as Eve. Being faint hearted, I decided that I would like to start small. I was sure that I couldn’t give up sugar completely. So I tried to give up refined sugar consumed in liquid form. So I cut out tea, coffee, and colas from my daily life.
But it was not as easy as it sounds. Yes my friends, let me tell you about my two year long experiment. My two years of no tea and colas.
Imagine your daily afternoon tea break with your office collegues. They are enjoying their tea. And you sit there sipping a glass of warm water. Yes. That is exactly what I did for a few months.
Leaving tea, cold turkey was a little difficult. My mind craved a hot beverage after my afternoon meal. So I replaced my tea with warm water.
But Tea time is not just about getting your fix of caffeine. It’s also about getting your daily dose of office gossip. So instead of skipping the tea break, I used the time to sip on warm water. I felt exactly like a vegetarian Jain going out for lunch with a group of non vegetarian friends.
But the experiment proved to be very fruitful. I managed to successfully cut out tea and colas for last two years from my diet. While I can’t comment about the long term health benefits like avoiding diabetes, heart attacks or cancer. I did experience some short term benefit. For all the engineers and mathematicians out here, Let me share the math behind it. A teaspoon of sugar contains at least 5 gms of sugar. I used to consume around 3 cups a day. A year has 365 days.So over 2 years that comes to 5 gms a cup × 3 cups × 365 days × 2 years. That’s approx 11 kgs of sugar or 44000 empty calories eliminated in 2 years. Not bad huh! . And I am not even counting the numerous cans of coke which contain 10 tea spoons or roughly 50 gms of sugar per can.
Initially I did get pangs for my daily fix of tea and liquid sugar. But now I don’t feel sleepy in the afternoon. I don’t need tea or coffee to keep me awake. But the best part, I lost 19 kgs in just 2 years.
So next time you grab you cup of tea or coffee or a can of coke , Imagine a warning sign on it like the one on a pack of cigarettes. Sugar consumption is injurious to health.