Growing up in a small African town, I believed sugar caused diarrhea and other old wives’ tales! My great grand mother convinced me that sugar was bad for health. She said, if someone eats a lot of sugar they got immediate diarrhea ; that sugar rot teeth and was addictive – that the more I ate it, the more I would crave it. I believed.
Now as an adult, I am learning to have respect for some old wives’ tales – since this scare story probably made me not love sugar so much. Maybe some other such tales have some truth in them? Anyway, we now know sugar is not so benign.
In fact, some researches suggest sugar is the new fat!
What put me off wanting to eat much of sugar was the fear of getting immediate diarrhea, to be honest!
As a child the fear of getting rotten teeth in the future did not faze me. Not as much as the thought of getting immediate diarrhea! Now this was something I could visualize.
What child wants diarrhea?! At that young age, didn’t really care much about sugar causing ill-health. That wasn’t something that I could see. But the diarrhea – this I could imagine. And, I did not want this!
The other supposedly bad effect of sugar I often heard was that sugar caused rotting teeth
I could identify with this effect – I saw some people with rotten teeth, mostly adults. Again, this was something I didn’t want to have, though not really bothered about,thank you!
How did these Old Wives’ Tales have an impact on my childhood diet?
Well, we rarely had sweets for dessert. On the rare occasions I got a boiled sweet or two, which I often had to share with two or three other children. I wasn’t happy about this, but with time I just got used to it, craved sugar less and less.
The body needs sugar to function and lots of foods have natural sugar in them.
Perhaps we could cut down on the amount of added sugar we eat, especially in our children’s diet – the less sugar they have, the less the craving for more sugar they may develop. Is eating lots of sugar addictive?
Do you have any Old Wives’ Tales you heard as a child? Would you like to share how these stories had an impact on your lifestyle as a child then and now?
Have a great week. 🙂
Sissi Scheyerle MPharm
Some research sources on sugar