Are you an addict?
I was once… I struggled with this addiction most of my life. It brought me up and down, I’d be on top of the world then crash into a state of melancholy. The drug was making me sick, lethargic, depressed and moody all just for a quick high. What was the drug? Sugar.
Let’s face it. sugar makes us happy. We associate it with bright coloured packaging, people laughing, parties and happy music. I know I loved it. Growing up I battled with blood-sugar and sugar for me was almost an allergic-addiction. You always want the things you shouldn’t have.
It wasn’t until I was in university that I started to associate my mood swings, the ups and downs, with sugar. I couldn’t blame it on teenage angst any longer. The book “Sugar blues” by William Dufty was a wake up call for me and since then I have tried to be more aware of sugars I put in my body.
The #1 source of calories in developed countries is fructose. Fructose sugar hides in all areas of the supermarket. Everywhere from cough syrup to crackers, to cereal to sushi, and it’s extremely difficult to avoid if you’re unaware. There are many different types of sugar hiding in our foods and it’s imported to recognize some of these hidden nasties. It’s not just white crystallized sugar, it’s malted barley, fruit sugar, high fructose corn syrup and even processed carbohydrates are a form of sugar. If you’re eating a lot of white pastas, breads, muffins, etc. you’re also consuming a lot of sugar because once your body breaks down these carbohydrates they turn to sugar and immediately increase blood sugar levels in your blood stream. Sugar is everywhere… and it’s addictive.
Sugar is something we turn to when we’re stressed and why not? It makes us feel good. It’s a quick “fix” for times when we need some comfort.
“Sugar increases beta-endorphins in the brain, the feel good, natural opiate, morphine-like substance. We normally associate addiction with cocaine, heroine, and other big drugs, but the truth is that more premature deaths are the result of sugar and alcohol and smoking than cocaine or heroin” James Colquhoun and Laurentine Tend Boshe – Hungry for Change
Sugar is not only mood altering and addictive… it is making us fat. I’ve read numerous sources that are blaming today’s obesity crisis on the low-fat diet craze. For years we were told “Fat=weight gain” and so people turned to the plethora of fat-free products that were on the shelves. In order to make these products taste appealing they needed to add something to them, sugar. When we eat a lot of sugar, most of the fructose gets metabolized by the liver. There, it gets turned into fat, which is then secreted into the blood.
Not only is this addictive substance making us fat and depressed, it also increases chronic illness. In the United States alone, over 28 million people suffer from some form of diabetes. Younger and younger children are also being hard hit by this disease.
The good news? It can all be reversed by simply cutting back on the amount of sugars (including processed, white flours) that we eat. If you need something sweet, try experimenting with natural sugars in moderation. Dried fruit and nut balls, maple syrup, raw honey, unsulphured blackstrap molasses and rice syrup to name a few. There is nothing wrong with a sweet natural treat each day. It’s about balance, crowd in the good stuff and the bad wont have any room left!
I’d like to leave you with this recipe from Amber Crawley @ http://www.rawfoodrecipes.com
Almond butter-honey truffles
½ cup coconut flour (desiccated coconut processed in a blender)
¼ cup raw almond butter
3 Tbsp raw honey
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed (linseed) (grind whole seeds in blender or coffee grinder)
1 Tbsp cacao powder, for rolling