When I was growing up my Dad would offer us special treats along with an outing and as kids, we were always so excited to go along. He would tell us to get our pajamas on, and then drive us to Dairy Queen for ice cream before bed. I couldn’t wait to order the ice cream sundae with hot fudge and nuts – and don’t forget the cherry! Or on very special occasions, he would take us to McDonald’s and tell us we could order whatever we wanted. As a little girl, I would order and eat a Big Mac, French fries and a chocolate shake. These are still very dear memories but Holy Cow, not healthy ones!
DID YOU KNOW?
Did you know that sugar is 4x more addictive than cocaine?!? And sugar has the same effect on the brain that opiates does? These are science based facts.
So you might ask yourself why, if we’re an intelligent society, do we still eat as much as we can possibly get our hands on yet wonder why our health is failing? Because SUGAR IS ADDICTIVE and our bodies, no matter how much self-control we’d like to believe we have, crave it.
The truth is, even if you don’t eat candy bars, donuts or drink soda, you’re still eating sugar on a daily basis. Sadly, manufacturers hide sugar in just about everything we eat.
- Yogurt – a 5oz serving can contain up to 20 grams of sugar
- Tomato based pasta sauce – 1/3 of an average sized jar can contain over 13 grams of sugar
- White breads or any bread for that matter – can contain anywhere from 3 – 15 grams of sugar
Why is sugar in foods? I’ll blog about that in another post – it’s fascinating.
In the 1600’s refined sugar cane was considered an extremely potent drug and handled only by apothecaries, the pharmacists of the 1600’s. In France, they referred to sugar as crack – no lie.
And, did you know? In 2000 The World Health Organization created a task force to look at the effects of sugar intake. This study was done over a 5 year period and the results were staggering. When they came out with their findings, the headline across the globe was this:
World Health Organization calls on countries to reduce sugars intake among adults and children
And the study further wrote – “We have solid evidence that keeping intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake reduces the risk of overweight, obesity and tooth decay,” says Dr Francesco Branca, Director of WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development. “Making policy changes to support this will be key if countries are to live up to their commitments to reduce the burden of noncommunicable diseases.” The guideline recommends adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake. A further reduction to below 5% or roughly 25 grams (6 teaspoons) per day would provide additional health benefits.
Why didn’t we see this article slapped across every news publication in the US? Ah…well, the Sugar Counsel, yes, we have a Sugar Counsel, didn’t want the US reading it! Ugh!
Many addiction experts are exploring ways for us to break our sugar addiction in the name of health. For example, Julia Ross, MA believes that amino acids can and will break sugar addiction in as little as 30 days. I’m going to enlist the help of my middle son (yes, he’s a sugar addict!), run our own test on this theory and will blog the results next month. Btw…I haven’t asked him to be my guinea pig yet but am hoping he’ll be a good sport. He’s the PERFECT candidate!
But in the meantime, if you feel you’re addicted to sugar, try adding more healthy foods into your diet like root vegetables; carrots, sweet potatoes, etc. These foods have natural sugars but calorie per calorie, are much healthier than downing a Snicker’s Bar or eating a handful of Oreos. After meals, try having a small bowl of berries to curb your sweet tooth. They contain natural sugars and are very satisfying. And if there’s one thing you can do for yourself immediately – stop drinking soda, diet or regular. That stuff will kill you!