Cutting back on sugar is sexy

betty ming liu Food, Health 13 Comments

My struggle to live sugar-free made me a no-fun frump. At least, until recently.  I’m starting to see young and sexy millennials waking up to sugar danger. To quote them: Yassss!

Imagine what could happen if America’s largest living generation truly reduces its sugar intake. Finally, our consumer culture might start eating, drinking and partying in healthier ways.

At the moment, sugar still comes across as American as apple pie. Its deliciousness is everywhere. But in reality, the sweet white stuff is taking us down in a wildly destructive romance. It’s the lover that wrecks our bodies, ruins our sex lives and breaks our hearts.

So instead of apple pie, I’m trying to reach more often for apples. Thankfully, there’s plenty of inspiration out there to keep me motivated.


Boba, aka bubble tea, is big trouble

Sugar is so addictive and prevalent that it’s hard to eat clean. I must admit, I’ve fallen off the wagon a million times. And yet, the will to detox persists because I’m haunted by memories of diabetes turning my sugar-loving mother into a pain-wracked invalid.

Which is why a recent news story gave me much-needed encouragement in reflecting on Asian American culture and sugar: Too much boba is bad for you. A proposed change to California’s data law could show who’s most at risk.  The piece is by my friend and fellow blogger, Grace Hwang Lynch. Go, Grace! She says that Gov. Edmund Brown Jr. has until the end of September to sign the bill.

I’m glad to see the spotlight shining on boba, aka bubble tea. Drinking this tasty beverage with a big straw is a risky pleasure. The core ingredients (milk, tea, sugar, pearl tapioca) are customized by the addition of flavored sweet syrups, fruit or even ice cream and booze — more sugar, sugar, sugar. The bane of boba has also led to a “Rethink Your Asian Drink” campaign.

Less sugar = better quality of life

In other news on the sugar detox front, I like Refinery29’s five-minute video: I Went No Sugar For 5 Days And Here Is What Happened. The intrepid reporter Lucie Fink takes fans of this popular fashion/lifestyle website on her first-person journey. She discovers that her life is filled with sugar and that “sugar is not necessary.”

After just two days of less sugar, the 23-year-old Manhattanite slept well. Sacrificing the daily candy boost improved her work energy. She realized that her morning sugary coffee beverage is “like starting your day with a tiny donut.” Once she concludes that  “hangover” is another word for “sugar crash,” she orders a seltzer with lemon juice instead of a cocktail. Nice.

This video does not mention anything about sugar’s impact on our sex lives or disease. But there’s already plenty of research on these important issues.

What we already know about sugar

  • Sugar makes us tired. Sugar also leads to allergies, skin rashes and crappy complexions. Plus, the entire planet is exploding in diseases that can be traced back to sugar: diabetes, high blood pressure, heart conditions, obesity and hypertension.
  • Women, take note — eliminating sugar can solve many vaginal issues, from dryness to yeast infections. Menstrual cramps lessen too. When I was in my 30s, cutting out sugar also shrunk several uterine cysts until they disappeared.
  • And men, if you’re having trouble getting it up and keeping it up, beware. Sugar and treating sugar-related conditions can lead to impotence and erectile dysfunction.

You can find more details about these issues on my blog: 4 reasons to avoid sugar. By the way, did you know that the average American eats 22.7 teaspoons of sugar a day, most of it in the form of hidden ingredients?

Where to go from here

Of course, I’m still human and enjoy sweet treats. But minimalism and moderation are key for me. Here are more blog posts about my adventure:

A Chinese herbal medicine diet that’s good for the health and skin conditions

How Weight Watchers helped me knock off 8.8 pounds in two months

Why Chinese American women gain weight

Is sugar on your radar and how are you dealing with it? Or, not dealing with it? Sometimes, I find that just honestly articulating my situation helps me to move forward. So here’s your chance to comment, let go and, happily move on.  :)

Comments 13

  1. Definitely an insomnia trigger for me. I’m a chocoholic and ice cream fiend so it has taken longer than it should have for me to accept that I can’t have sugar after around 3pm if I want a decent night’s sleep. Pretty much what caffeine does to me.

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    Oh, wow. I’m just getting around to reading today’s NY Times. There’s a story on “The Old Fashioned Way to Treat Diabetes.” We are now at a point in the U.S. where about ONE-THIRD of all adult Americans are obese and two-thirds are overweight. Plus, 29 million people have diabetes while 86 million are pre-diabetic.

    The story is about the most effective, way to treat these alarming numbers: low carb diet. Period. That simple. Getting people to change how they eat and live. A simple, relatively low-cost solution (compared to s $26k surgery) but hard because it means dealing with behavior. Here’s the link to the story:

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      Good for you, Charlotte! I struggle too. Reading labels can be shocking. It can also make me mad at food product manufacturers. Then again, if we’re buying this stuff, they’re just giving us what we want.

  3. 22.7 teaspoons of sugar per day on average indeed!! I can taste it every time I eat a non-home-cooked meal. (Don’t get me wrong, I indulge more often than i should…)

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      Laura, the amount of sugar is shocking. When I recently took a sushi-making class, I was shocked to see that we sweetened the rice, eggs, cooked fish, you name it. Rice wine and sugar seemed to be everywhere. I order sushi much less these days. Like you, I appreciate the ability to eat clean at home.

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      Ivan, this is a GREAT but horrifying story. Thanks for putting it on my radar. How disgusting that, back in the ’60s, the sugar industry paid off three Harvard professors to do “research” that downplayed the connection between sugar and the diseases that plague us today.

  4. On the other hand, here I am at 71, in excellent health and not at all likely to give up my morning danish or occasional chocolate cake – and I’ll have you know my from scratch apple pie has won accolades of rapture. I do compromise however and for many years have never bought anything with high fructose corn syrup in it or any canned fruits or vegetables with sugar listed in the contents and certainly never anything but 100% juice. Still, I won’t surrender
    ice tea or that danish – never! BTW I do admit to putting only half the sugar in that pie the recipe calls for and the pie is way better for it – tastes like apples instead of sugar.

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  5. Ugh Betty! I’m doing the same thing. I am trying to cut sugar too, albeit just since yesterday. But already I’m a real bitch! (and not in a good way bitch, either!) Glad some friends are suffering along with me!

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