When it comes to sugar I’m like a ravenous wild animal. I used to go with my friends after school to buy and devour whole chocolate blocks. I’ll manage to eat a moderate helping of dinner then find myself eating half of the prepared dessert. Sometimes when I feel bad I’ll gorge on sweets all day instead of eating nutritious food. Part of my problem with sugary stuff and veganism is that my brain sometimes forgets the difference between an aesthetic and gastronomical appreciation for sweet treat recipes, and the actual logistics of eating them.
These recipes are delicious, make healthy substitutions and are so, so fun to make. They’ve kind of become the poster kids for veganism on the internet – that ‘you can have your cake and eat it too!’ But these mainstream recipes can have an unhealthy allure. We’re all aware now of sugar’s links to many health conditions like tooth decay, excessive weight gain, and heart disease. Recently, significant studies have been carried out that suggest sugar may cause similar cycles of addiction to drugs. Last week, it was announced the WHO is drafting new guidelines recommending that adults and kids alike should consume no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar a day.
With this in mind, it’s more important than ever to be aware of the content of sugar in your food. I believe that making and eating dessert-like recipes in moderation is an important step towards this awareness. It’s okay to love and appreciate innovative new treat recipes that bloggers create and the wonderful food photography they showcase. It’s okay to look forward to, and enjoy, the craft of assembling and baking them every once in a while. But that doesn’t mean that you have to make all of these recipes, or use them constantly. Just like any other dietary lifestyle, veganism requires a nutritional balance. All the old faithfuls of protein, calcium, iron, and vitamins are the essential ingredients we should be consuming. Focusing on getting these nutrients and taking a Vitamin B-12 pill daily helps me to remember to keep my health on track, one day at a time.
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.