Happy Easter and Passover All!
Most everyone knows that the Easter Bunny has its origin in pre-Christian fertility lore; where the Hare and the Rabbit, the most fertile animals known (obviously supporters of Rick Santorum), served as symbols of the new life during the Spring season. During the 1700s, he, the Bunny not Santorum, was introduced to American folklore and the arrival of the “Oschter Haws” was considered “childhood’s greatest pleasure” aside from a visit from Christ-Kindel on Christmas Eve. The children believed that if they were good, the “Oschter Haws” would lay a nest of colored eggs. The tradition then grew to chocolates and other sweet treats being gifted to “good” kids all over the world.
Similarly (not really), during the Jewish holiday of Passover, which celebrates the Hebrew people’s liberation from Egypt, desserts like macaroons, meringues and chocolate cakes are a focal point of the seder.
With a weekend full of added sugar being consumed throughout all the households of my clientele, I couldn’t help but think about the 60 Minute piece I saw last Sunday (this is an April Fools Joke if I ever saw one). I hope it’s no surprise to my regular readers that added sugar is already known to play a huge role in obesity and type II diabetes. What about hypertension, heart disease and even cancer.
According to the report, since the 1970s, sugar consumption has gone down nearly 40%, but high fructose corn syrup has more than made up the difference. Dr. Robert Lustig of the University of California, San Francisco believes, and many now agree, that table sugar and its man-made substitute are toxic. Americans now consume 130 pounds per person a year! That’s a third of a pound every day!!
Experts and consumers shouldn’t be surprised. Because with such a focus on eating fat-free foods, food manufacturers know that in order to make their products taste great without the fat, they need to add sugar to satisfy our taste buds.
Dr. Lustig has discovered that sugar increases bad cholesterol (LDL), the small dense particles that are associated with heart disease. And possibly more disturbing, Lewis Cantley, a Harvard professor and the head of Beth Israel Deaconess Cancer Center, says when we consume sugar and our pancreas secretes the insulin hormone our bodies could be “fueling” [sic] certain types of cancers.
How? Some cancers, breast, colon and prostate, to mention a few, have insulin receptors which attracts insulin where it binds and signals the tumor to start consuming glucose (sugar) instead of allowing the glucose to pass throughout the body as it should. So, not only is the glucose potentially feeding the tumor and making it grow, its absence from the rest of the body is starving cells necessary for the its survival.
I know it’s unrealistic to expect you, or even me for that matter, to refrain from any sweets all of the time, especially this weekend. But, if you can truly limit your consumption you will limit its destruction.