I already told you some months ago that my own childhood was on the whole sugarfree. The funny thing is, whenever I tell anyone, people ask me whether I now eat more sugar to recompense. Well, I don’t.
My childhood didn’t feel restricted. And I guess that is what made it feel so good and easy not to eat sugar. Our mother didn’t forbid us to eat sugar, but explained quite a deal about how sugar works in the body and how natural sweeteners are so much better for you. Also my mother and brother almost always reacted to refined sugar with severe stomach ache, that didn’t appear with honey. Our mother always trusted our understanding, no matter what age we were and that gave us a lot of self reliance. She would say I’d rather you don’t eat that for its not good for you, but it’s your own choice. Or: I will buy you one ice-cream these vacations and you can decide when you want it. You have to buy the others yourself. We also baked a lot at home and very early. I watched mum and my brother bake buns when he was 1,5 years old. So we had a deep connection to food and its value.
I thought it would be so hard to establish these routines with J in our new family. I thought the world is filled with sugar so how could I ever protect him from it? Of course I didn’t have to. You shouldn’t protect your child from sugar. You just have to model a healthy relationship to sugar. Show him alternatives and get him used to natural sweeteners. This way he will have an early knowledge about food and health.
I talked to a friend about that topic and she was surprised to hear about agave syrup being so unhealthy. She asked me why honey was any better than sugar when it also contains these high fructose parts. And why we don’t become sick of eating too many fruits? And why this is suddenly a problem when 50 years ago everyone ate sugar and no one became sick?
I will try to answer these questions shortly and please feel free to tell your experiences and knowledge in the comment section 😊
1. Why is honey better than white sugar?
White crystallised sugar is a refined, isolated and highly unnatural product. Honey on the other side is complex and whole as mother nature produced it. This makes a tremendous digestive difference. To digest your body needs enzymes that break down the parts of food. Since sugar is isolated and incomplete, it extracts these enzymes and also many minerals from the cells of your body (blood, bones, skin). So this process weakens you and over the years it can lead to massive disorders.
Honey on the other side brings all the products that are needed for digestion with it in its complex form. It already contains the digestive enzymes and additionally numerous valuable minerals and vitamins to support you.
An important remark should be made here: honey is sometimes produced with the help of sugar. Beekeepers tend to feed it to their bees in the winter months. It normally doesn’t reach the honey we consume later, but scientists have found that it weakens the bee’s immune system and makes them more vulnerable to be harmed from pesticides.
2. Why don’t we become sick of eating too many fruits?
Digesting fruits works similar as with honey. They are complete and natural and contain high amounts of vitamins. We still shouldn’t eat fruits all day since their high fructose part can be straining for the liver. A rule of thumb is that you should drink one smoothie per day to have the necessary and maximum amount of fruits. By the way fruits are not the first choice if you want to boost up your vitamin stores. While we often think we have to consume lemons and oranges for vitamin C or carrots for vitamin A, there is a much easier alternative. Wild herbs contain much higher doses of vitamins than fruits. You would have to eat kilos of lemons to have the vitamin C amount in stingy nettle or ashweed. Just pick wildherbs that are local and fresh and consume them right away.
Dried fruits are a little different than fresh fruits. They are dehydrated, which means they need more water to be digested. Ultimately they soak the cell water out of your skin and bones, but as long as you don’t consume them all day you should be perfectly fine. And it is always recommendable to soak them before consuming. But hey, our little one eats raisins a lot and they are complex vitamin rich sweets. There is nothing wrong about that.
A short remark: please never brush your teeth directly after consuming fruits as your tooth enamel is very vulnerable then to be hurt and opened.
3. Why is this suddenly a problem when 50 years ago everyone ate sugar and no one became sick?
Yes your grandma probably doesn’t understand all the fuss you are making to live that sugar reduced life. How could she? Nowadays everything contains sugar (fruit sugar, fructose, syrups etc). From ketchup, crisps, cream cheese, sausages over nut milk. We consume the 10- 50 fold amount of fructose that our grandma generation did. When your grandma ate her morning bread with jam and that piece of custard pie at the afternoon tea, it were probably the only times she consumed sugar over the day. Today we consume sugar if we want it or not. Mostly we don’t even know it. That is why we should open our eyes for hidden sugars and to what sugar we want to consume.
And now let’s talk applesauce.
Sugarfree Apple Compote You will need: 3 kg ripe apples (A mix of sweet and sour works best) 1 teaspoon cinnamon 200 ml filtered water 1 handful raisins 2 mason jars (400 ml) Wash the apples, cut them into quarters and remove the core. Don't remove the skin as it will be much tastier and healthier if you let it on. Put them in a pot together with the cinnamon and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmering and let sit for about 10 minutes. Maybe you will have to add more water in the mean time. Add the raisins and let sit for another 5 minutes or until the apples are soft and done. Blend it roughly or to your liking. Immediately fill into the prepared washed out mason jars and turn them around to produce a vacuum. Enjoy :)
In the end sugar will never be a health pastille. But health always embodies our physical and our psychological wellbeing. Eating sweets enables our sense of happiness and raises the mood. It thus supports our psychological health. We just have to see that we minimise it’s harm on the physical health and everything will be in balance.