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Is Sugar More Addictive Then Cocaine?

Sugar is More Addictive Then Cocaine

Innocent plants like coca leaves were used for centuries in their natural state to chew on or to make tea. This was normal there were no side effects. Then it started being highly processed and turned into a dangerous and addictive drug known as cocaine.

The innocent poppy flower formerly a safe and effective tea, often used for relaxation and pain, after being super-processed became a powerful, dangerous and addictive opiate.

Sugar first starts out a healthy stalk, sugar cane used in its natural form is good. You can’t consume enough to make you sick. But after it’s super-concentrated and processed it becomes like a drug. In fact, with lab rats, sugar outperformed cocaine as the drug of choice.

The Different Types of Sugar

There are various types of sugar, some natural and some highly processed – to the point that even if they started natural, they are no longer natural.

  • Fructose – Don’t get confused by the word. While fructose is derived from fruit, it’s gone through processing that makes it a highly-concentrated form of sugar. This type of fructose should really be called “industrial fructose”. Eating fructose from natural fruit is not bad for you. After it’s processed commercially though, it can cause a lot of health problems. Fructose is frequently derived from sugar cane, sugar beets, and maize. High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a mixture of glucose and fructose derived from corn. There has been some research that claim excessive fructose consumption can cause insulin resistance, obesity, elevated LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, leading to metabolic syndrome.
  • Glucose – This is sugar that’s in your blood. You get it from natural plant foods such as carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables, especially starchy ones. It’s one of the most important medications and very readily available in nature. It supplies almost all the energy to the brain. It’s important for metabolic health, respiration and more. If you want to be able to think clearly, you must have the right amount of glucose. Glucose is created industrially by using starchy plants like corn, rice, wheat, and other ingredients.
  • Lactose – Found in milk, it’s made from galactose and glucose. Industrially it’s produced as a by-product of the dairy industry. Most humans produce lactase to help digest this type of sugar far into adulthood. But some people, are lactose intolerant which means they cannot properly digest this type of sugar. In people who are lactose intolerant, lactose is not broken down and provides food for gas-producing gut flora, which can lead to diarrhea, bloating, flatulence, and other gastrointestinal symptoms.
  • Maltose – This sugar is found in the germination process as the seeds break down their starch stores for food to sprout and grow. This type of sugar can cause many intolerances as well as weight gain, kidney stones and more. However, eating it in its natural form such as in sweet potatoes, soybeans, barley and wheat (other than those who suffer from celiac disease) is healthy. Maltose is a component of malt, a substance which is obtained in the process of allowing grain to soften in water and germinate. It is found in beverages, beer, cereal, pasta, potatoes and in many processed products which have been sweetened.
  • Sucrose – This is a naturally occurring sugar, but it has been increasingly refined and consumed in all kinds of processed foods. Sucrose is extracted and refined from either sugar cane or sugar beet for human consumption. The process involves bleaching and crystallization also, which produces a white, odorless, crystalline powder with a sweet taste of pure sucrose, devoid of vitamins and minerals. This refined form of sucrose is commonly referred to as table sugar or just sugar. Before it’s been processed it has a lot of health benefits, vitamins, and minerals. As fruits ripen, their sucrose content usually rises sharply, but some fruits contain almost no sucrose at all. This includes grapes, cherries, blueberries, blackberries, figs, pomegranates, tomatoes, avocados, lemons and limes. Honey is mostly fructose and glucose with trace amounts of sucrose.

You may have noticed that most sugars start in a very natural state and aren’t bad for you until they undergo super-processing. It’s the super-processing that’s bad for you, because it makes natural sugars into highly addictive drug-like substances.

13 Reasons Sugar Is Bad for You

These are many of the reasons sugar is bad for your health.  Some nutritionist say it’s one of the worst things you can introduce to your system.

  1. Your Immune System – If you consume too much processed sugar you can reduce your ability to fight of germs. It doesn’t take much, either. Just two sodas can stop the ability to fight off that flu bug and lead you to get sick. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get vaccines if you don’t eat sugar, but when it comes to health, including dental health, avoiding added sugar can boost your immunity exponentially.
  1. Mineral Balance – If you have trouble sleeping at night, are constipated and having other problems, you could be having trouble with your mineral balance. If you eat a lot of sugar, you are likely depleting your magnesium stores to process all of it. Plus, you will lose more chromium through your urine if you eat a lot of sugar.
  1. Behavior Problems – Every parent on the planet will tell you that sugar and lack of sugar can affect their child’s behavior. If a child is hungry and their blood sugar is low, they will be sleepy and grumpy. If a child eat too much sugar, they will be bouncing off the walls irritated an agitated. The key to better behavior is blood sugar balance.
  1. Empty Calories – The fact is, processed sugar has no health benefits whatsoever. Therefore, when you eat sugary meals or snacks, you’re eating empty calories that will cause weight gain. The fact that sugar is often combined with fat and salt will make the effects even worse. It’s better to avoid added sugar when you can.
  1. Elevated Insulin Levels – When your insulin response is healthy, your cells will release the right amount of insulin. But, if you regularly consume sugar, especially in excessive amounts, your body will become confused about when to release insulin and when not to.
  1. Damages Cells and Tissues – The tissue in your eyes, kidneys, nerves and more seem to carry sugar a lot longer than other organs. This means that the body can suffer damage from that remaining sugar because it damages small blood vessels.
  1. Causes High Blood Triglyceride Levels – There are no symptoms for high blood triglyceride levels. The only way to know if you have high triglycerides is by getting a blood test. It’s usually part of your overall cholesterol test.
  1. Contributes to Hyperactivity – There are many studies that show both results. Some claim sugar does cause hyperactivity and some claim the opposite, that sugar doesn’t cause it. But, remember that some drugs can affect one person one way, and another person differently. Parents often report problems with hyperactivity in their child after consuming too much sugar. So, you can’t ignore the possibility.
  1. Anxiety – Refined sugars enter the blood stream quickly, and leave the blood stream quickly. This process can manifest into more anxiety. Even though people who are addicted to sugar often eat to suppress anxiety, it can just make the problem much worse. It’s best to avoid added sugars in the first place.
  1. Poor Concentration – Again, the reason sugar may affect concentration is because of the speed by which processed sugar can invade blood cells and then leave them. You need a balanced level of glucose to feed your brain, not short bursts of sugar such as in the form of soft drinks or cereal.
  1. Feeds Some Cancers – The fact is, cancer cells love sugar. That’s because like most living things they need sugar to grow. But, not all sugars are created equal. Cancer cells love white sugar, white flour, and high fructose corn syrup. The good thing is that if you simply reduce your consumption of processed sugar, you can cut your cancer risks.
  1. Hypoglycemia – Low blood sugar happens in people who have a condition called hypoglycemia. This can be a condition on its own, but it can also happen in people who have diabetes and take medications like insulin because their bodies don’t produce enough on their own.
  1. Poor Digestion – Processed sugar is very acidic. The more alkaline you can make your body, the healthier you’ll become. If you have an acidic stomach you’ll suffer from heartburn, GERD, and other digestion problems.

Remember each person can be affected differently. It’s best to look at your own symptoms and health issues and if you have any of these problems, try eliminating processed sugar first to see if you notice any changes in your health.

Are You Addicted to Sugar?

As you read this report, do you start thinking about ways to get around the 90-gram maximum of sugar that you can have each day?

Note that the 90 grams of sugar (government guidelines) you can consume per day has nothing to do with how many carbohydrates you eat each day. That is a separate number that you should be tracking.

Here are some common symptoms that would indicate sugar addiction:

  • You Eat Too Much – If there are some foods that you just can’t stop eating, they’re likely high in sugar. Sugar doesn’t really make you satiated, so it’s hard to stop eating. This is worse if sugar is combined with sodium and fat. For example, donuts which are high in salt and fat, as well as sugar.
  • You Crave Processed Carbohydrates – If you’re often craving refined carbs like chips, crackers, and bread, then you may just have a problem with sugar. Often, eliminating added sugars can reduce cravings that you’re having for high processed carbs over time.
  • You Crave Salty Foods – With processed foods, salt and sugar go together very well. If you feel like you could lick a salt lick and be happy, you may be addicted to sugar. Look at the amount of sugar in the snacks you normally eat. If they’re highly processed, you can bet they have too much added sugar.
  • You Crave Meat – This might seem strange, but if you crave meat when you really don’t need it and aren’t really that hungry, you may really be craving the spices that are often on meat such as wing sauce which is very high in sugar.
  • Every Meal Is High in Sugar – Is your typical meal higher in sugar than it should be? Keep in mind that the maximum of 90 grams is a maximum. It doesn’t mean you need to eat that much sugar. If you feel bad and aren’t healthy, you can always cut that amount down. The best way to do that is avoid added sugars and only eat sugar that occurs naturally in plants.
  • You Get Moody without Sugar – If you find that you are often feeling grumpy and moody, the problem might be sugar. If you often suffer dips and rises in blood sugar, when you have a dip you will suffer from grumpy moods. This can be exacerbated by eating sugary things like candy which will provide a fast jump and a quick fall.
  • You Feel Powerless Over Sugar – Do you ever feel like you don’t even want to eat that sugary snack but you do it anyway because you know it’ll make you feel better? This is common in people who work long days; students especially. It’s true that eating a sugary snack will help temporarily, but you’d do far better eating a fruit snack with only natural sugars and fiber to help slow down the sugar absorption.
  • You Start and End Your Day with Sugar – Look at your entire day. What do you eat in the morning? What do you eat before bed? What is the first and last thing you eat each day? If you’re eating sugar in the morning and at night, especially added processed sugar and not sugar in whole plants, then that is a sign that you may have an addiction to sugar.
  • You Suffer a 3 PM Slump – If you work in an office, you’ll notice this a lot more than if you are retired or work from home. But pay attention if somewhere after lunch you start falling asleep while you’re working or feel as if you need a nap. Look at your diet. Are you giving yourself energy for lunch or are you setting yourself up for a sugar crash?

If you are going through any of these issues, it is wise to calculate how much sugar you’re eating in any given day. Most people eat double the sugar maximum of 90 grams a day due to added and processed sugars, including hidden sugars.

Tips for Breaking Your Sugar Habit

Thankfully, you don’t need to work that hard to break your sugar addiction. It’s only hard if you shoot for zero sugar. That would not be healthy. Instead, first just shoot for a reduction, and then cut it back more and more through solid food choices.

  • Avoid Processed Food – The biggest culprit when it comes to sugar in food is processed food. Processed food has tons of sugar and if it doesn’t, it has tons of chemicals. Avoiding processed food can eliminate almost all of the added sugar you’re eating.
  • Get Plenty of Sunshine – It might seem weird, but one reason people like to eat sugar is serotonin, the feel-good hormone. When you eat a lot of sugar you’ll get a spike in serotonin. Of course, you also get a crash. There are better ways to increase serotonin levels; one is the sunshine. Of course, you’ll also get vitamin D which can also improve your mood.
  • Get Plenty of Sleep – If you have trouble sleeping at night, then you need to get to the root cause of why. Avoid sugars, caffeine, and anything stimulating two to three hours before bed. You should go to sleep on an empty stomach for the best sleep.
  • Drink Enough Water – Staying hydrated is important to avoid any type of cravings, including sugar cravings. When you’re born, you have a perfect thirst detector. But, life often causes us to deny our bodies’ signals. Therefore, measure your water to ensure that you’re drinking a minimum of 64 ounces to 100 ounces of water a day depending upon your weight.
  • Focus on Stability – You want to try to keep your sugar balanced. One way to do that is to have regular meal times. For you, that may be six meals a day; for others than will end up being the traditional three meals a day. It depends on what works best for you. You should eat when you feel real hunger pangs.
  • Eat Your Greens – For some reason, when you eat more greens like turnip greens, spinach, kale and so forth, your sweet cravings will go away. So, instead of eating something sweet when you get the craving, try eating a bowl of steamed spinach with good red wine vinegar on it and your cravings will disappear.
  • Incorporate Fermented Foods and Drinks – Not only are they good to help keep your stomach acid and bacteria balanced, fermented foods and drinks are also great sweet tooth killers. You can buy prepared fermented foods or make your own. Keep in mind a very small amount of sugar is used in fermentation, but that is okay.
  • Meditate – Sometimes sugar cravings are just a sign that you need to slow down and center yourself. Stress can play a huge part in appetite and cravings. Take the time to meditate, at least 10 minutes per day. If you don’t want to meditate, prayer or sitting silently also works.

Incorporating these tips into your day can make a huge difference when you’re trying to end sugar cravings and break your sugar habit. Remember that it’s not going to happen overnight either. Just focus on adding in good things to your life rather than on what you’re eliminating.

If you have any questions or would like to add your opinion, please leave a comment below.

 

Pierre Schexneider

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