We can probably all attest to the addictive nature of sugar and steering clear of the sweet temptation is easier said than done, especially if you’re still wading through cupboards and draws full of Easter eggs.
In recent years though, sugar has become a global taboo with scientific and medical research confirming its harmful effects.
Unlike the negativity surrounding the consumption of fat, dairy, coffee and even red wine, all of which are now making a resurgence as they are hailed for their health benefits in moderation, sugar’s bad rep is getting worse.
Although deliciously addictive, most people will admit that sugar is not good for the body and mind. It’s difficult to cut down on though, mainly because so much of it is hidden in our food. A cursory look at the ingredients reveals that sugar is added to pretty much everything we eat.
Are you addicted to sugar?
- Do you struggle to walk past a sugary treat without taking ‘just one’?
- Do you have set routines around sugar consumption? Always having a pudding for instance, or needing a piece of chocolate to relax in front of the television or with a book?
- Are there times when you feel the need for sugar just to stay awake?
- 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 above questions, you’re probably addicted to sugar.
The Dangers Of Sugar:
As the seasons change, maintaining a strong immune system should be a top priority, but one of the greatest immune suppressants is sugar. Cutting down on your intake is therefore one sure way you can stay healthy.
Other harmful effects of sugar:
- Feeds candida
- Promotes wrinkling and premature aging of skin
- Makes your blood acidic
- Can aggravate arthritis and osteoporosis
- Rots teeth
- Raises blood sugar levels
- Contributes to obesity and binge eating
- Is addictive
- Provides ’empty calories’ with no nutritional value
- Contributes to diabetes
- Robs your body of minerals
- Robs you of energy
- Contributes to heart problems
- Can cause cancer
- Contributes to ulcers
- Can cause gallstones
- Contributes to fatigue
- Raises the level of serotonin in your brain
- Weakens eyesight
- Sugar can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels).
- Contributes towards eczema
With all that in mind as delicious as it is, sugar is something we should make every effort to steer clear of.
How To Steer Clear Of Sugar:
David Gillespie’s Sweet Poison books focus on how he stopped eating sugar. He lost 38 kg’s in a year without dieting. He explains: “You are breaking an addiction, so you need to stop consuming all sources of the addictive substance. They are all hard to give up because they are addictive – but they are all easy to give up once you understand what you are doing and why.”
He adds: “Your palate adjusts significantly and quickly when you delete sugar. You can suddenly experience a whole range of flavours that either you didn’t know existed before or were muted by the presence of sugar.”
Gillespie began reading John Yudkin’s book Pure, White and Deadly, published in 1972, which also showed that consumption of sugar and refined sweeteners is closely associated with long-term disease. He discovered that fructose (in particular) is connected with fatty liver disease, appetite stimulation, gout, diabetes, memory loss and, of course, obesity. He was shocked to learn “how many of our organs sugar systematically destroys without symptoms until it is too late. First the liver, then the pancreas, then the kidneys, and ultimately the heart.”
The more Gillespie learnt, the more he was determined to do something about his own eating habits. “I wasn’t feeling deprived. I ate what I wanted and as long as it didn’t contain sugar, the weight kept coming off. I had stumbled upon a way of fixing what had obviously been a broken appetite control system up to that point in my life.”
Although his children didn’t like having to cut sugar out initially, they got used to it and their palates adjusted. Now they don’t get cavities, they rarely getting colds and they feel more energetic, with none of the highs and lows that come with sugar eating.
The mood roller-coaster is one of the reasons Gwyneth Paltrow gives for quitting sugar: “Sugar gives you an initial high, then you crash, then you crave more, so you consume more sugar. It’s this series of highs and lows that provoke unnecessary stress on your adrenals. You get anxious, moody (sugar is a mood-altering drug) and eventually you feel exhausted.”
Although I think we should all go sugar free, dietician Sylvia Turner of the British Dietetic Association (BDA) says; “Sugar is not bad for you as part of a balanced diet. It has an important role to play in providing flavour and texture to foods. Just remember, sugar contains calories but few nutrients, so eating too much added sugar and sugary food and drinks instead of other healthy foods can make your diet less nutritious.” She adds: “Some research suggests that sugary drinks make it harder for us to regulate the overall amount of calories eaten and a regular intake may be a factor contributing to obesity in children.”
People around the world have taken the ‘No Sugar’ stance seriously and quit, with great health benefits. Are you willing to give it a go?