Sugar Addiction More
Dangerous than Cocaine
Did you know that there is an addiction more dangerous than cocaine? Yes, there is, and it is a sugar addiction. Research now tells us that sugar is 8 times more addictive than cocaine. Sugar is the new nicotine, the new fat, except that fat isn’t addictive like sugar.
Approximately 79% of Americans and 1.5 billion people worldwide are overweight. These numbers are expected to bloom to 2.3 billion people worldwide by 2015. That is just 6 months from now. Much of this overweight and obesity is brought on by the consumption of sugars.
We may think it would be easy to eliminate sugar from the diet and all would improve our nutrition. However, the challenge is that sugar is insidious in many of our foods, and disguised by many different names. (This website shows 257 different names for sugar found in processed foods.)
We as a society are eating more sugar and flour than ever before in the history of man. It is estimated the average person consumes 152 pounds of sugar annually and 146 pounds of flour. Just about 100 years ago, in 1820, it was estimated people consumed approximately 5 pounds of sugar a year. Today this means we consume about 22 teaspoons of sugar daily, with teens consuming even more at 34 teaspoons daily.
Again, this is due in large part to the hidden sugars in processed foods. There are over 600,000 consumer products in the market today and about 80% of those contain some sort of sugar.
You may be asking yourself at this point, why does this matter. Is sugar really that harmful? The answer is it does matter, and yes, sugar can be deadly. Sugar consumption accelerates cell damage and aging. It also causes an increase in risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, cognitive decline, and many other degenerative diseases. An excess of sugar in the body builds up fat, can affect our hormones and neuro-transmitters, may cause depression, may affect sex drive, and may cause acne flareups along with other skin disorders.
So what does sugar actually do to our body? It is a vicious perpetual cycle. 1) You eat sugar – you like it, you crave it, and it has addictive properties. 2) Once eaten, your blood sugar spikes, dopamine is released in the part of the brain where addictions take hold, and a mass increase of insulin is produced to drop the blood sugar levels. 3) The insulin causes the blood sugar levels to take a drastic nose dive, which causes immediate fat storage production to occur, and the body begins to crave the lost sugar “high”. 4) Hunger and cravings ensue, low blood sugar levels cause an increase in appetite and cravings, and the cycle begins again. Much like riding a roller coaster with drastic ups and downs, this is what we are doing internally within our body when consuming sugars.
So what do we do? We work to find ways to eliminate sugar from the diet. Personally, I’m starting a 10 Day Sugar Detox and I challenge you to join me.
10 Day Sugar Detox Challenge
1) Toss anything that is not real food. Processed foods packaged in plastic, boxes, bottles or cans should be eliminated, unless they are whole foods. For example if you have canned tomatoes that have only tomatoes and salt, these are fine.
2) Eliminate anything that has 5 or more ingredients. Especially if you can’t pronounce the names of some of the ingredients.
3) Eliminate any food that contains sugar in any form including: syrups, honey, molasses, agave, maple syrup, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup or any ingredient that ends in ‘ose’.
4) Dump sweetened drinks, juice, sodas, and sports drinks. These can have as much as 15 – 20 teaspoons of sugar per container.
5) Nix anything with hydrogenated fat or oil, refined vegetable oils like corn and soybean, and anything that says trans fat on the label.
You may begin to feel different within the first couple of days of this detox challenge. Your body will begin to maintain more stable blood sugar levels. No more roller coasters for your internal systems. You may begin to experience an increase in energy, improved moods, your digestive system will improve, your skin clears up, and you may find yourself sleeping better.
Give it a try. It is only 10 days. And if you do, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know how you are doing. Or drop me a note on my Upachaya FaceBook page. After this challenge work toward a healthier eating style by insuring that your plate is 50% salad or vegetables. This will provide you essential vitamins and minerals and help improve your insulin production. Drink lots of water, and stay away from sodas and sugary beverages.
And thank you to Candiesandcrunches.com for the use of the above picture from their website.