DID YOU KNOW: Sugar is eight times as addictive as cocaine?
Sugar is now the biggest addiction problem affecting the Western world, above alcohol, drugs and smoking combined. Sugar is metabolised in the liver, when consumed in excess, sugar is converted into body fat. Sugar overload puts a enormous amount of burden on the liver, leading to our number one driver of ALL chronic disease, which is ‘inflammation’.
Some of the major chronic diseases associated with sugar consumption shown in studies are high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, fatty liver disease, Alzheimer, dementia and cancer, amongst childhood obesity. According to a 2018 study from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, there are now 1 in 4 children and adolescents overweight or obese. These are very scary statistics!!
Hidden Added Sugars In Your Food:
“I don’t eat much sugar, I don’t add sugar to my coffee or tea, I don’t drink soft drink, I don’t consume much sugar” you say? Well you may just be very surprised, its not these sugars that you are aware about, that are as much the problem, it is all the hidden added sugars lurking in your foods, including foods that don’t even taste sweet such as canned soups, sauces and bread.
Many of these hidden sugars are disguised as other names in which many people would not recognise as sugar such as high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, fructose, malt, cane juice, evaporated cane juice, galactose, glucose, glucose solids, barley malt, maltodextrin, maltose and sacchorose just to name a few.
The recommended amount of sugar that can be safely consumed according to the World Health Organisation is just 6 teaspoons in a whole day. What is scary, is that many people are consuming well over the daily intake in just their breakfast alone!
Sugar is designed to be addictive. The more exposure to the substance, the more you crave. When consumed your brain releases dopamine and opioid receptors also known as your feel good hormones, related to pleasure and happiness. This is why when we are feeling down or depressed, sugar tends to make us feel better. Yet this is only short lived. As our blood sugar crashes shortly after the high, we become fatigued, depressed and experience cravings for another sugar hit. This is when we reach out for something sweet again and the cycle goes around again.
My Quite Sugar Experience:
I myself know too well, how sugar can be highly addictive. Growing up I always thought I was reasonably healthy, well at least with my main meals, yet I did always enjoy a sweet treat. I loved regularly going out for coffee and dessert with my friends and consumed alot of so called ‘healthy’ highly processed packaged foods in which were full of sugar.
Today I no longer consume refined sugar nor do I miss it. I rarely crave the sweet stuff anymore but if I do feel like a sweet treat, I tend to go for a raw slice which are naturally sweetened usually with stevia, raw honey or rice malt syrup. Still in moderation, natural sweeteners are far less damaging on your health, yet still hit that sweet spot. Its hard to believe I was once the girl who would never say no to dessert!
Going back around 5 years ago, I was suffering from some health issues that lead me to the need to strictly remove all sugars from my diet for a period of time. Not until I looked into it, did I realise that sugar was a part of a lot more of the foods I was eating, than I thought.
“How was I going to do this?” “What was I going to eat?” were my initial thoughts. It took a bit of work and organisation to work out meals that were appropriate but we got there. I went on this removing sugar journey for over 6 months, it was tough at times yet once I past a certain point I found I no longer craved sugar anymore, my health improved and I felt so much better for it.
Initially when I first gave up the sugar I found myself loosing unwanted weight. When you first remove sugar from your diet, your body goes into a bit of shock, which in many cases leads to weight dropping off pretty easily. For many that is a bonus, yet for me, maybe not so much as I was already slim.
Today I eat without the sweet stuff in my life, yet my body has now adjusted to this way of eating and is of a healthy balanced weight. What I have noticed since giving up the sweet stuff, is that I have so much more energy, balanced moods, no more cravings, better skin, less pain and overall better health.
Life Without Sugar:
Some other benefits you may expect to see from quiting sugar are:
less arthritic and muscle pain,
reduced blood sugar,
reduced blood pressure,
decreased feelings of sadness and anxiety,
improved behaviour in kids,
more room for good quality nutrient dense foods,
and you may even improve on your cooking skills while trying out new ways to eat without the processed sugar.
Quiting sugar does not happen over night and yes for most it can initially be a challenge.
Removal of sugar just like a drug, does come with unwanted withdrawal symptoms with some of the most common including:
headaches and migraines,
feelings of fatigue,
This is due to your liver working overtime to remove all the toxins out of your system. If you can get past these uncomfortable symptoms, you are on your way to living a sugar free life and your health will thank you for it for many years to come!!
Ready to kick the sugar habit, for more information, advice and support on how you can get started today get in touch and check out my recipes page for healthy refined sugar free meals/snacks.
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Here’s to good health and happiness
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