Advanced search

since when did sugar become the enemy?

(87 Posts)
FishCanFly Wed 14-Aug-19 14:47:16

Ok, what's too much is unhealthy.
But i remember the past - well, think 2-3 decades ago. I remember it was always preserves, jams, jellies, marmalades, compotes - people made them at home, and white sugar went in by bagloads. Yet there much fewer clinically obese people around.

PatternedSlippers Wed 14-Aug-19 14:50:35

Jamie Oliver gets the blame here. We joke about sending him an olive oil bottle full of sugar with a label "we like sugar, you like oil, have some empathy for others".

allymcn Wed 14-Aug-19 14:59:09

Meat and processed carbs are the real devils! Sugars fine

Mide7 Wed 14-Aug-19 15:03:14

it’ll be fat again soon. It’s just the circle of life isn’t it?

As with most things. Be wary of simple answers to complex questions.

PixieLumos Wed 14-Aug-19 15:06:25

Because sugar is high energy and if you don’t burn that energy you’re body will convert it to fat for storage - if you eat a jar of jam and go run a marathon no problem I guess but if you eat loads of sugary snacks and then just sit in front of the tv it becomes a problem. So I suppose rather than sugar being the enemy it’s our sedentary lifestyles - but it’s easier to tell people to beware of sugar than convincing them to burn it off. I don’t think you can compare old fashioned jam and cake of the olden days to the buckets of sugar people are consuming through drinks, sweets and chocolate nowadays, whilst moving a lot less than people used to. The scales of sugar and excercise have certainly tipped the wrong way.

gobbyone Wed 14-Aug-19 15:06:40

All of those things listed in the OP were treats- people didn't eat them all the time. They would be made once a year at harvest time and probably run out before the next harvest.

Ounce Wed 14-Aug-19 15:09:27

Sugar has always been the enemy - but back in the day it just used to rot our. We never ate enough of it for it to make us fat.

And lol at the notion that the morbidly obese people thronging our towns and cities are just partial to 'compotes and preserves'.

Ounce Wed 14-Aug-19 15:09:46

teeth! Rot our teeth, ffs.

Teacakeandalatte Wed 14-Aug-19 15:16:04

Where have you been for the last 5 years OP? Yes sugar is the new dietary demon replacing fat which is now good for us. People are freaking out over how many cubes of sugar are in an orange and raisins are a form of child abuse.

KnittingSister Wed 14-Aug-19 15:21:53

Sugar has always been the enemy, we just didn't know it before. It's only recently that sugar has been so readily available, cheap and easy to access. Processed foods are now much more available, we used to make food from meat, veg, fruit and grain. Now we buy food in packets, ready processed, sugars are much more bioavailable.

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 14-Aug-19 15:28:33

Sugar is the enemy. But AND is the real enemy.

In the past people may have had a biscuit or a jam sandwich. But they didn't have a biscuit and a jam sandwich and use cars to go everywhere and a fat-filled, ready meal and sit while doing their jobs and have no time and have treats everyday and not know how to cook and do no exercise.

My MIL did get overweight later in her life. She would have been earlier, she ate crap, but she had two young children, no car, no money to buy shit so they lived on simple food and she was pushing 60 lbs of kid up a hill twice a day. Plus doing laundry the old-fashioned way and cleaning and all that. They didn't buy chocolate because they couldn't afford it. I mean jam isn't as nice as chocolate.

iismum Wed 14-Aug-19 15:31:06

Yes, sugar has always been the enemy and now we have better evidence to understand it.

Back in the day, people were making high-sugar jams, etc, and having a bit of them on toast or something like that, and then largely eating low-sugar low-processed food the rest of the time.

Now a lot of people are living mostly off processed food, so most of their 'savoury' food is high in sugar, and also high in very refined carbs, which break down into sugar easily in the body, and also people are drinking a lot more high-sugar drinks. A couple of spoonfuls of sugar in your tea are not comparable to a couple of cans of coke.

So the good news is that we now understand nutrition much better and know how harmful sugar is. The bad news is that are modern diets and the modern food industry are so much based on high-sugar foods that you need to make an effort to avoid a diet that's way higher in sugar than anyone's diet was 20 years ago, and many people don't make this effort for a whole variety of reasons, often related to poverty.

fortheloveofPete Wed 14-Aug-19 15:32:08

It's like everything else....
It's all got be taken in moderation.

Don't forget, 2/3 decades ago, there was a lot more manual work and more effort made in daily life. Not as many peoplehad cars etc..

It's that our appetite gas kept the same but we've got lazier so are not burning those calories

TheFlis12345 Wed 14-Aug-19 15:32:16

The other issue is the volume of sugar in processed foods that you would not expect, so people eat far more than is good for them without realising. On one of those food comparison shows recently they looked at pasta sauces and some of them had 20 spoonfuls of sugar per jar! shock

fortheloveofPete Wed 14-Aug-19 15:33:37

So lifestyles have got lazy, much like my proof reading blush

BlueCornsihPixie Wed 14-Aug-19 15:34:13

Our sugar consumption has gone up massively in the last couple of decades.

Yes people used to have jam on their toast, or a biscuit or a homemade cake. Normally kept to mealtimes.

But they didn't snack so much on sugar.

Processed food has vast vast quantities of sugar compared to homemade foods, as well as sugary drinks containing masses and masses of sugar. The amount of sugar in a teaspoon of jam is way less than for example a can of coke, and sugar wasn't available so much in liquid form. Although the things you say are sugary they weren't consumed in anywhere near the quantities we consume sugar these days, as well as the frequency

Sugar destroys your teeth. We know this, it is the enemy tbh

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 14-Aug-19 15:34:49

And data was suppressed. People may not have been fat but they did die of heart disease.

BlueCornsihPixie Wed 14-Aug-19 15:35:29

Sugar also os high energy and nor filling or satisfyingin the same way fat is. Its easy to just eat and eat and eat sugar

BlueCornsihPixie Wed 14-Aug-19 15:36:42

Also damage done by sugar consumption in the say 50s wouldn't necessarily show up as disease rates in that era, and may only be showing now in people in their 70s/80s

Branster Wed 14-Aug-19 15:44:24

It’s about the quantity.
An ice cream lolly has a tablespoon of sugar (including sugar from milk). Some people have one every day, it’s not a treat anymore but part of a regular diet. Fruit juice is consumed in much larger quantities and it contains sugar (it comes from the fruit itself or as an additive). Home made Sweet preserves were a treat and probably contained less sugar that a jar of jam you typically buy in the supermarket today.
Also, people were more active.
Excess sugar which your body cannot convert to energy will be converted to fat it doesn’t simply vanish.
It amazes me when I hear people not taking seriously the danger of over consumption of sugar (and alcohol - there’s sugar in alcohol as well but that’s the least f worries where alcohol is concerned).
I grew up with a low sugar diet which I still follow. My grandmother would often prepare pudding for after the main meal but I don’t remember eating loads of it and there were no chocolate bars floating around the house or cereals with sugar. Not by restriction but by education. I bake cakes and sometimes make preserves, never stop myself from eating something sweet if I feel like it but I consume a lot (I mean a lot) less sugar than most people I know.

DontCallMeShitley Wed 14-Aug-19 15:44:50

I am hoping that sweeteners will be the next demon to avoid. Less sugar is fine by me but sweeteners and derivatives of stuff make me ill.

A balanced diet is what is needed, no excesses or fads.

MarshaBradyo Wed 14-Aug-19 15:48:46

Because it’s now in a lot of processed food too - and this contributes to the rise of obesity today

Gingerkittykat Wed 14-Aug-19 15:56:12

Because we didn't constantly guzzle sugar, you might have jam on your toast and a biscuit with your tea but that was it.

Now we have freakshakes, family sized bags of sweets eaten by one person, fizzy drinks and energy drinks being drank daily by many, smoothies, dessert shops, huge muffins in coffee shops, kids getting a dozen easter eggs etc

It simply wasn't an issue if people were having a spoon or 2 of sugar in jam but now it is everywhere and it is cheap so the population eats and drinks vastly too much of it.

Camomila Wed 14-Aug-19 16:03:59

Too much sugar is bad for you but I think it'd be good to have more choice of sugar or artificial sweetners (I get migraines and DS gets a dodgy tummy)

TheInebriati Wed 14-Aug-19 16:08:35

Sugar became the enemy when we no longer needed to use it as a preservative, and when people started to use central heating.
We burn far fewer calories keeping warm than we used to. Imagine turning your central heating off next winter and just making do with an electric heater in one room. And for many people, clothes were not so waterproof or warm as they are now.

I was looking at a collection of sepia photos of men who had just enlisted in WW1, mostly from places like the East End. For many of them the uniform would have been the first new clothing they had ever owned.
A slice of bread and jam used to be a treat for pudding, you had that or cake. not both. People ate things like jam and cake because they cooked from scratch, and those are things that they could cook using the ingredients they could get.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »