Did you know that sugar has been proven to be more addictive than cocaine and can lead to type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cancer?
Most things you read about healthy eating and nutrition nowadays will point you in the direction that sugar is bad. We have finally caught on, but so many of us still consume white sugar on a daily basis, and not just in our coffee or baked treats. It is hidden in so many things, that it is almost impossible to steer clear unless you are eating a whole food diet most of the time.
Those numbers are staggering and of course, we know the rate of childhood obesity has gone up significantly in the last 2 decades along with type 2 diabetes. More and more families are becoming aware of this epidemic and are trying to avoid or reduce the amount of sugary sweets they eat, but it is still a major problem.
So where does the sugar come from?
Most obviously baked goods, juice and candy or chocolate, but there are so many other sources where sugar is hidden, such as these:
- Carbohydrates/Starches - breads, cereal, pasta
- Dairy - milk and yogurt
- Fruits and vegetables
- Most "fat free" foods - the only way to make these foods taste better once they've removed the fat is to add sugar, so beware and read the label
- Processed and Pre-packaged foods - like soups and sauces
Now obviously some of these foods are better for us than others, and if we could live by some of the golden rules of nutrition, like:
- Don't eat anything you can't pronounce.
- Don't eat anything with a label, or if it has a label, keep it under 3 ingredients.
- Don't eat anything out of a box.
If we could all follow these rules, 100% of the time, then I'd be out of a job :) The reality is that we can't always avoid sugar, but if we are aware and educated about what it does to the body, it would make smarter choices even easier.
so here's a cute and simple video on How sugar makes us fat.
Fat doesn't make you Fat, sugar does!
What other problems are associated with sugar intake?*
- Tooth decay
- Nutritional deficiency - including anemia and protein and mineral deficiencies
- Hypoglycemia and carbohydrate imbalance
- Chronic heartburn and digestive problems
- Menstrual irregularities and PMS
- Yeast overgrowth
- Hyperactivity and difficulty concentrating
- Mood swings, anxiety, depression
- Heart disease
- Weight gain
- It has also been proven that sugar is more addictive than cocaine - this scan shows that sugar lights up the brain in the exact same way that cocaine does. For more information, look below for some links to articles that discuss this issue.
Sugar vs Cocaine
Having just returned home from a 6-month travel journey with my family, I had the opportunity to make a pretty interesting observation. While in Mexico we saw on a daily basis locals running around with 2L bottles of Coke, people of all ages from young kids all the way up to abuelas (grandparents) sitting on their front stoops. One of the major reasons for this is the fact that pop is one of the cheapest items you can buy. We also notice that there is a large part of the population that is overweight and even obese, including children. On the flip side of things we were also in New Zealand and Australia, where pop is priced at an all time premium, along with many other sugary, unhealthy foods, and we couldn't count on one hand the number of overweight people we saw. This is an actual picture my husband Mark took in Australia, as you can see it's 40% off at $19 for 30 cans....CRAZY!
Price of Coke in AUS
I could write article after article of all the details about reasons why you should seriously think abut reducing your sugar intake, and learn to fill your sugary sweet cravings with healthy alternatives.
What are the alternatives?
- Replace those sugar cravings that are normally satisfied with candy or chocolate, by eating a piece of fruit. Frozen grapes and berries are an excellent choice.
- If you enjoy baking and cooking from scratch, try using natural alternatives such as maple syrup and honey. I don't mean Aunt Jemima or Billy Bee, I'm talking about the real stuff from your local market, made without preservatives or other chemicals. Just remember that even these natural sources should still be used and consumed in moderation and not overdone.
- Think about the fact that you may be deficient in nutrients, which is causing your cravings. So try adding in foods rich in minerals that commonly cause these cravings like chromium (broccoli, grapes, cheese, chicken), magnesium (nuts, seeds, legumes), sulfur (cranberries, cauliflower, cabbage), carbon (fresh fruit), phosphorus (chicken, fish, eggs) and tryptophan (raisins, sweet potato, spinach).
If you're not convinced that sugar sucks yet, take a look at some of the links I've added below to help show you understand the true dangers of sugar on the human body.
If you are looking to cut sugar out of your life, check out my friend Diane Sanfilippo's "The 21-Day Sugar Detox" program.
More interesting articles and videos:
ABC13 Eyewitness New - Study: Sugar hidden in junk food eight times more addictive than junk food
David Wolfe - Studies show sugar is more addictive than cocaine
Dr. Joseph Mercola - The Truth about Sugar
The Truth about Cancer- The one Rule for Anti-Cancer Diet
Dr. Josh Axe - Hidden Sugar Foods
"Staying Healthy with Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine" Elson M. Haas, MD with Buck Levin, PhD, RD; 2006