Sugar under the microscope
1. Do you struggle to walk past a sugary treat without taking ‘just one’?
2. Do you have routines around sugar consumption – for example, always having pudding, or needing a piece of chocolate to relax in front of the television?
3. Are there times when you feel as if you cannot go on without a sugar hit?
4. If you are forced to go without sugar for 24 hours, do you develop headaches and mood swings?
If you answered ‘yes’ to one of the questions above (and I answered yes to all of them), you are addicted, according to Victoria Lambert in The Daily Torygraph. Think that’s not a problem for you? Think you can handle it? Yeah? Read on.
For me, the biggest problem is that sugar, white sugar, is processed through bone char, that is animal bones that have been reduced to charcoal (source) so if like me you are vegetarian, you’ll have to think twice before you use sugar. And while the lucrative sugar industry is busting a gut to try to prove that sugar is actually fine…
“Hyperactive behaviour is more likely attributable to excitement around the activities that typically come with extra treats – such as holidays and birthdays, says Katherine Gray-Donald, an associate professor of dietetics and nutrition at McGill University, and president of the Canadian Nutrition Society.” (link)
…meanwhile, back in reality, anyone who has ever spent 5 minutes with a live human child can attest to the fact that sugar makes them go freaking insane and gives adults an energy spike that inevitably leads to a crash about 20 to 30 minutes later. Go on, try it now.
- Stresses the Liver […]
- Increases Bad Cholesterol and Triglycerides (source)
- Can contribute to Leptin Resistance (and then weight gain, cravings, sleep trouble, etc) – source
- Creates an addictive sugar response in the brain (source)
- Doesn’t fill you up and instead encourages you to eat more
What I really liked about that post was the comments at the end – real people giving their opinions, away from statistics from newspaper articles and government studies. (In many ways, the comments at the end of a blog post are like Amazon reader reviews – but that’s another blog post.)
But you substitute sugar for agave syrup, honey, maple syrup, pure fruit sugars or blackstrap molasses, so, no problem, right?
This article on Dr. Mercola says no, because if it tastes sweet, it’s got sugar in it, and that means even fruit. In many ways, yes I agree but it’s true that honey (as local as you can get it) and blackstrap molasses have nutritional qualities that counterbalance the negatives.
So are artificial sweeteners off the menu too?
There are lots of articles out there claiming that, on one hand, there is no evidence to show that artificial sweeteners are dangerous, and on the other hand, those that say that Aspartame is the most dangerous chemical food additive in existence. I for one don’t know who to believe, but I did read one chilling article on the Harvard Med website that said:
“Animal studies suggest that artificial sweeteners may be addictive. In studies of rats who were exposed to cocaine, then given a choice between intravenous cocaine or oral saccharine, most chose saccharin.”
And another that also gave me the willies about Diet Coke on medicaldaily.com
Maple syrup under the microscope
So even though it sounds like your life will be ruined, just ruined through lack of enjoyment if you see if you can beat your sugar addiction, why not see if you can actually do it? I mean, what’s the worst that could happen? You could detox a little, maybe feel better in yourself and have better moods. Start with just one day of no sugar other than fruit. What’s going to happen?
What I’m not at all saying is that you should stop eating sugar. What I am saying is that I had to think about how much sugar I was eating and wonder to myself if that wasn’t too much. Actually, it was. I went for a week with no sugar at all, no fruit no nothing. I felt good and I didn’t feel bad. Does that make sense? Leave your comment on the Lotusforest Facebook page.