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Consuming Sweets Is Wholesome? For Greenlanders, Sure!


Greenlanders are fortunate. Not solely do they stay in an intoxicatingly lovely panorama, however additionally they have a dietary benefit that the remainder of us don’t possess. ©Nat Wilson, flickr

Was one in every of your 2022 New 12 months’s resolutions to take higher care of your self? Did you, maybe, promise on this COVID-19 period that you simply’d train extra and eat healthfully? Does your ongoing grocery listing now embrace objects reminiscent of apples, avocados, blueberries, broccoli, carrots, kale and lentils?

Have you ever been down this path earlier than?

After indulgent, end-of-the-year holidays, it’s pure to really feel like a change is so as. 12 months after yr, you in all probability make the identical decision to undertake wholesome consuming habits. It’s additionally widespread to desert January’s resolutions by February. In reality, roughly 80 p.c of New 12 months’s resolutions fail by the second month of the yr.

However, oh, these fortunate Greenlanders. Should you occur to be one, you could simply need to preserve the candy treats coming—and keep your well being besides.


Think about being a Greenlander and swapping out broccoli for cookies and different sweets—all whereas reaching the identical well being advantages!

Candy treats and six-pack abs

Greenland is residence to immense glaciers, huge tundras, rugged coastlines deeply indented by iceberg-filled fjords, and layers upon layers of tradition and historical past.

As if residing in such an enchanting panorama isn’t candy sufficient, in line with a new examine performed by scientists from the College of Copenhagen, the College of Southern Denmark, and several other analysis establishments and public companies in Greenland, a genetic variation amongst some Greenlanders makes consuming sugar wholesome—and considerably extra so than for most individuals. Knowledge from 6,551 grownup Greenlanders (and from some experiments utilizing mice) confirmed that intestine micro organism and a singular weight loss program that has nourished Greenlanders for millennia have offered them with a genetic variation that gives an unbelievable benefit. Two copies of a gene variant make it in order that they take up sugar in a different way than different folks do.

The brand new analysis exhibits that grownup Greenlanders with the genetic variation have decrease BMIs (physique mass indexes), levels of cholesterol, fats percentages and weights, and that they’re usually considerably more healthy. They’ve much less stomach fats and—say the researchers—may discover it simpler to get six-pack abdominals. That’s as a result of carriers of the genetic variation don’t take up unusual sugar of their bloodstreams the way in which folks with out the genetic variation do. As a substitute, sugar heads immediately into their intestines. There, intestine micro organism convert the sugar right into a short-chain, fatty acid known as acetate, which in earlier research has been proven to scale back urge for food, improve metabolism and increase the immune system.


In Greenland, vegatables and fruits are exhausting to return by. A standard plate right here would have some fatty marine animal—reminiscent of seal or whale—or fish, and never a lot else.

Singular diets and useful medicine

It’s thought that the rationale for this widespread genetic variation amongst Greenlanders is because of a weight loss program that has stood out from that of the remainder of the world for hundreds of years. For probably the most half, Greenlanders have eaten meat and fats from fish, reindeer, seals and whales. Their diets have historically had minimal sugar content material. That has made the genetic variation frequent, as there has by no means been a necessity to soak up sugar quickly within the bloodstream.

There may be one caveat, although. Whereas the variation has clear well being advantages for grownup Greenlanders, it may be problematic for his or her kids.

Youthful carriers of the genetic variation expertise adverse penalties on account of their several types of sugar absorption. For them, consuming sugar causes stomach ache, bloating and diarrhea. As they age, their intestine micro organism step by step get used to sugar and learn to convert it into power.

One other supply of protein for Greenlanders is reindeer. Osso buco (a shank minimize into parts), soups and steaks are constructed from reindeer hunted on Greenland’s east coast. ©Greenland Journey, flickr

As a result of the genetic variation gives a greater stability of fats within the bloodstream—which leads to decrease weight and, consequently, fewer cardiovascular illnesses—the researchers hope that they will use the outcomes of this examine to put the groundwork for growing new medicine that may sooner or later be used to deal with heart problems and weight problems in those that reside in the remainder of the world.

Residence landscapes and consuming identities

After studying this analysis and occupied with that on Tibetans (whose genes enable them to simply acclimate to heights), I conclude that it’s not solely what we eat that makes us who we’re, however the locations the place we come from. It appears we do have innate connections to our native grounds.

Following the overeating I did this vacation season, I’m not trying ahead to the remedial work that I’ll should do. Maybe, a decision is so as.

All I can say is, at occasions like these, I want I have been a Greenlander.

Or, at the least, in Greenland once more.

Right here’s to discovering your true locations and pure habitats,


Concerning the creator: Candice Gaukel Andrews View all posts by

A a number of award-winning creator and author specializing in nature-travel subjects and environmental points, Candice has traveled all over the world, from the Arctic Circle to Antarctica, and from New Zealand to Scotland’s far northern, distant areas. Her assignments have been equally numerous, from protecting Alaska’s Yukon Quest dogsled race to writing a historical past of the Galapagos Islands to describing and photographing the nationwide snow-sculpting competitors in her residence state of Wisconsin.

Along with being a five-time e-book creator, Candice’s work has additionally appeared in a number of nationwide and worldwide publications, reminiscent of “The Huffington Submit” and “Exterior Journal On-line.” To learn her net columns and see samples of her nature pictures, go to her web site at and like her Nature Traveler Fb web page at







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