Did you know, rats have been shown to work 8 times harder for a sugar reward, than a cocaine reward?
All these years, sugar was compared to cocaine, you might be wondering why I compare sugar to tobacco. The main difference being, cocaine- you will instantaneously develop nerve, brain and heart damage, tobacco – may or may not develop cancer.
Researchers have proven two major effects of sugar, one– sugars like sucrose (table sugar) and HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) specifically, various other combinations of glucose and fructose; sets offinsulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. Two, binge eating, withdrawals and cravings, mood swings etc. are also sugar-triggered.
Many people might debate, increasing your activity levels will fix it all, since our grandparents ate ice-cream in peak summers and hot-hot jalebisin the rain. Their work was never sedentary, they never couched in front of any blinking screen, and they had feasts and fasts.Analyze that and the answer is a holistic one. Calories in-Calories out.
Yes, the insulin resistance can be reversed only with exercise, as studies show, it reduces stress and anxiety as well.
However, without cutting the head off the snake, all this is in vain.
Adults, children and even infants, often display symptoms of withdrawal when they deprive themselves of sugar-rich foods. They also have food cravings, particularly for high carbs, which can trigger relapse and impulsive eating. This leads to a vicious cycle of self-medication with sweet foods that may result in obesity or an eating disorder.
You will never find people addicted to fat by itself – drinking a glass of melted butter, never, but butter cookies, puff pastries, chocolate, yes. The common factor here again are the sugars.
Sugars have a strong addictive nature. Which is why it is important to cut-off these hollow calories- especially at a younger age – including baby foods. Sugar addiction occurs even at that delicate stage.
Reversing the effects of sugar is a slow and steady process. But I assure you, the benefits are immense.
Without these sugars in the diet, chronic diseases like Obesity, Diabetes, Hypertension and High Lipid Profiles would be occasional, if not, in some cases, even fictional.
When I say sugar free diet – I don’t mean increase sweetness through sugar replacers. Using non-caloric sweeteners instead of sugar will not reduce your sugar addiction, it will only feed it. Avoid refined sugars in your diet – like white sugar, corn syrup, brown sugar etc. Hidden sugars- such as in salad dressings, fruit yogurts, ketchups etc. Excluding these empty calories are the key to wean off of sugar.
So what is the safe amount of sugar to be consumed? It’s the same answer, as with tobacco.
‘Everything is okay in moderation!” No. Your version of ‘moderate’ isn’t the same as your shadow.
There is no generic safe amount for sugar (like tobacco). Some cultures have a 32 kg per capita consumption of sugar, with a twenty year delay in appearance of symptoms, for some, one puff could do the trick.
Now, suppose you do have an affinity towards sweetness. Deconditioning from sweetness is the key. If you have 3heaped teaspoons of sugar in your coffee, reduce 1 teaspoon in your beverage for 2-3 weeks- it will be slightly grim- since coffee isn’t doing his job- but this is one of the easiest ways to decondition yourself, as a start.
Despite my many eating flaws, I don’t have a sweet tooth. A bit of dark chocolate or a warm apple pie on a cold night, I like. I find that the sweetness of many processed foods actually repulsive. I would say, if you feel “hooked” on sugar, turn cold turkey now.
I urge you to read labels in food products carefully, avoid sweeteners and slowly wean off sugars. It is detrimental not just for you, but for your family and friends as well, to decondition this habit. Start your Sugar Detox today!