Elle Nov 2010 writes about Sugar: Your Worst Enemy?
I have been waiting for this type of articles to appear in mainstream media for years. Claire Matthiae starts with describing a normal day in the life of a sugar addict. The cravings start at 11am, 4pm and 10pm, you reach for a snack and a drink to help you concentrate for another hours or two. The snack is usually high in sugar, and yes you might tell yourself that eating a granola bar or dried fruit is healthy but it’s still sugar, from low to very high levels. Brits consumes 2.25 million tonnes of sugar every year and the Americans need to reduce their levels by 75% to reach healthy levels. Your blood sugar goes up and down and every time you satisfy your craving the body absorbs the glucose and turns it into fat for future usage, your blood gets stripped of glucose and you feel your blood sugar drop and you crave some more sugar. A vicious circle which eventually means that your body will crave higher and increased levels of glucose which means you need to eat more sugar, resulting in tiredness, depression and potentially serious illnesses. I used to eat sugar to keep me awake so I ate sugar more frequently than 3 times a day. It messes with the neurochemistry, triggering serotonin production. The writer quotes American Psychology Professor Bart Hoebel who led a physiology and behaviour study in 2005 and found that sugar fires up the same pleasure receptors in the brain that activate the same pathways as heroin. A Swedish book on the same topic that I read in 2001, “Sockerbomben” written by Bitten Jonsson says that sugar is so powerful that if it had been released on the market today it would have to be sold on prescription, over the counter.
Elle’s writer mentions that a majority of us ignore the side effects of eating sugar or blames them on the fact you didn’t sleep well last night, fought with your family or have a stressful job.
What are the side effects? The more obvious signs would be “mood swings” and sinking energy levels. After a sugar rush, lethargy and irritability steps in.Bloating, pimples and red skin is another sign of having eaten too much sugar.
The worst sign is: rotting teeth! Not only, is it really inconvenient but also carries huge social implications. The article continues by saying” if sugar rots your teeth and it’s the hardest tissue in your body, imagine what it does the soft tissues, like your kidneys”. Oach! Next time you/I put sugar in my tea, I will think of my poor internal organs who already has to process medication – how long would/will they be able to cope with sugar too?!
Reading list (as suggested by Elle):
Lick the Sugar Habit and Suicide by Sugar by Nancy Appleton, Beat Sugar Addiction Now! by Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum and…
in Swedish…Sockerbomben – Bitten Jonsson
In 2003, I thought I suffered from serious sugar addiction. It was one of the avenues, I went down trying to find out what was wrong with me. I wasn’t addicted to sugar, in the addiction sense, but used it as a crutch to help me stay awake. It will be a lot easier to manage narcolepsy if you cut out sugar or try to minimise your intake. It has certainly helped me! You will notice a difference within 2 weeks but look out for all the sugar manufacturers hide in food products. Watch out for anything ending in -ose.
What alternatives are out there? Raw chocolate is one… I need to research this further…