Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Are you addicted to Sugar?

Below is an article written by a Business Partner of mine. She writes weekly newsletters on wellness. The link to her web page is at the bottom. Are YOU addicted to sugar? I no longer am. Enjoy!
Lynn J. Woodley, CR

Reining in your Sweet Tooth
by Kim Watson

There is a buzz about sugar going on right now. Research is showing that sugar may be a BIG public health problem. It isn't just fat intake and high cholesterol levels that are the only culprits in the soaring rates of chronic disease today.

Are you a food label reader? Take a look. Sugar and high fructose corn syrup can be found in just about every processed food in the grocery store and fast food restaurant - deli meats, condiments, peanut butter, breads, cereals, frozen waffles, chips, baby foods, instant coffees, baked beans, dairy products, fruit juices, and, of course, in all the foods we expect to be sweet – jam, cookies, cakes, sodas, candy, ice creams etc.

The result? Sugar addiction across the population. Why are so many children resistant to healthy whole foods like vegetables and fruits? They are being weaned onto processed foods and their palettes are attuned and addicted to the sugars and chemical “flavor enhancers” they’ve been fed from the start. And even if you have been vigilant for years in steering clear of ‘unhealthy’ foods, many of the organic processed foods are still full of sugar.

Many of us admit to a ‘sweet tooth’. Is that a problem? Well, for sure, sugar isn’t helping your health. And there is a growing incidence of what the medical industry calls ‘metabolic syndrome’, a name for a group of risk factors that occur together and increase the risk for coronary artery disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Two of the most important risk factors are carrying extra weight around the middle, and insulin resistance, where the body can’t process insulin effectively and blood sugar levels rise. When blood sugar levels rise it affects kidney function and raises the level of triglycerides. This all points to chronic disease.

If you want more depth information I encourage you to read a fascinating NY Times article called ‘Is Sugar Toxic?’ and then watch ‘Sugar: The Bitter Truth’ on You Tube, a talk given by Robert H Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology on the damage caused by sugary foods.

Would you like to be free of your addiction to sweets?
Like any other addiction it takes persistence and effort. Here are some suggestions to help you along the way:
Don’t drink soft drinks of any kind. This is a no brainer. Just don’t, not even in moderation.
Avoid all artificial sweeteners – they increase your appetite, increase your sugar cravings, inhibit and decrease your fat metabolism. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080210183902.htm
Don’t buy junk food. Don’t have it in your home. You won’t eat it if it isn’t handy
Eat a piece of fruit when you have a sugar craving. Rather than giving a rush of energy, fruit gives a steady supply of glucose to your blood stream. This is a great bridge as you adjust to lower sugar intake.
Exercise. Along with diet, exercise yields great benefits – fitness and stable blood sugar levels.
Break the emotional association. Does sugar = happiness to you? If you associate it with love, reward, romance, holidays and good times, start separating the emotion from the food. Substitute flowers or a gift for the candy. Don’t reward children with food!
Taper off. This isn’t a race. Cut down on how much sugar you are eating with smaller portions or going for longer periods without it. Once you overcome the addiction, your body won’t ask for it. Really!
Don’t fall off the wagon. If you eat the sugary foods at a party or gathering, then the cravings begin all over again. Break the habit once. It's easier that way.
Eat low glycemic foods. Whole foods and whole grains don’t spike your blood sugar.

I’m a big believer in taking small steps. Make your goal and move toward it. Your body will thank you in many ways!
Kim Watson


  1. This is a good article, and thanks for the NY Times and YouTube links.

    So what's good advice to replace sugar in recipes, for example?

  2. Dates are a great source of sweet. So to replace sugar with date puree can work. Although if you are diabetic this is not the way to go.

    There are Coconut Crystals, which are flavorful and also doesn't raise the blood sugar levels in your body.

    What can be done very effectively is to use concentrated apple juice to replace sugar in recipes. Of course in the most pure form.