When I was first looking for a picture of a two-headed dragon, I wanted something fierce. Something dangerous looking. Something that was on the scarier side of mythology. This picture was perfect! Then I found another picture of a two-headed dragon that seemed almost comical.
When I was first looking for a picture of a two-headed dragon, I wanted something fierce. Something dangerous looking. Something that was on the scarier side of mythology.
This picture was perfect!
Then I found another picture of a two-headed dragon that seemed almost comical. Well, it did come from a Disney story and it wasn’t so scary, dangerous, or fierce looking.
Then I thought – the second two-headed dragon is us!
Read to the end before you judge that last statement.
Go ahead. Scroll to the bottom and take a peek. But come back here to understand my logic.
(bullet points below are copied directly from this article)
Chronic Ethanol Consumption
Hepatic dysfunction (ASH)
Fetal alcohol syndrome
Chronic Fructose Consumption
Hepatic dysfunction (NASH)
Fetal insulin resistance
Habituation, if not addiction
Dragon head # 1 = Sugar
Sugar seems like the lesser of two evils until you really examine it.
Fructose is the primary culprit to the danger of sugar. Glucose is what our body uses and is what other sugars are broken down into in order to be transported into our cells for immediate energy.
Fructose is found in fruit naturally. However, it’s pretty tough to overeat whole fruit.
Naturally occurring sugars is not where the problem primarily rests.
HFCS – high fructose corn syrup is one of the main issues.
Do you remember a campaign a few years ago where we, the TV-watching public, were on the receiving end of a series of propaganda ads that informed us that HFCS was actually good for us because it came from corn? It was funded by the Corn Refiners Association.
Simple fact – food that needs advertisement time (and has the money to spend for ads) generally is not healthy.
How often do you see broccoli, eggs, or pasture-raised meat advertised?
Rarely, if not never!
How often do you see crap-loaded processed sugar filled treats or fast food advertised?
Do I blame the advertisers? No
We are paying for the advertisement with our food dollars. You may not be personally. But our country as a whole is!
Plus, you can turn off the TV, pick up a book, or follow healthy sites that tell the truth.
Dragon head #2 = Alcohol
It’s time to address the other head of this nasty dragon – Ethanol (ETOH)
Alcohol is processed in an extremely damaging sequence of events, similar to fructose. Both have end points that cause stress on the liver, increase lipid accumulation in both the blood and abdomen (belly), and have a very high potential to instigate or precipitate Type 2 Diabetes.
The main difference is the the first 10% of alcohol is broken down by the stomach and intestines = “first pass”. Then the next 10% is metabolized by the brain and other organs. This is where the buzz from ETOH comes from. The final 80% is metabolized by the liver.
** With fructose (sugar), ALL of it is metabolized by the liver.
Two heads – Same dragon
The cascade of events – just for your liver alone – often have devastating results that are life-altering. Cirrhosis, diabetes, fatty liver disease, NAFLD, just to name a few.
The psychological ramifications are similar.
Both substances stimulate the “hedonic pathway” of the brain directly and indirectly.
Both create habituation cycles that cause the user to “need” more to get the desired effects. Unfortunately, have a high tolerance (adaptation) to alcohol is often revered, but is truly a sign that your body is struggling to maintain an appropriate homeostasis. Annie Grace’s This Naked Mind details the physiology of alcohol, and compares it in some cases to sugar.
When you really think about it alcohol is sugar – even the drinks without the umbrella or a “no sugar” content. Your body sees and processes each of these basically the same way.
So which of the two-headed dragon pictures is sugar and alcohol to you?
This two-headed dragon is no where as fierce, dangerous, or scary. Right?!
It looks more like a goofball to me.
It looks like it would trip over its own feet, wings, or even neck.
Might I suggest this is more like us?
We trip over ourselves to get to the short-lasting effects only to be disappointed in the end. And possibly reinforcing a shame cycle upon ourselves.
What started out as something to be feared (the first dragon picture), really is just a dragon that is able to be tamed.
Putting sugar and/or alcohol in proper perspective gives us an advantage into defeating it once and for all!
I fully understand alcohol and sugar can be sensitive subjects to most people, if not all. Under no circumstances do I consider myself an expert on this subject. However, in the references below, experts in their fields explain in their own words about the uncanny similarities between sugar and ethanol.
The Amazing Similarities Between Sugar and Alcohol
This Naked Mind
Sober Sis 21 day challenge