The forbidden fruit in the tale of Adam and Eve shouldn't have been an apple, but a spoonful of sugar. Melting in your mouth for an instant energy boost, you're immediately craving more. Before you know it, you've fallen victim again, trapped in a downward spiral of just one more chocolate, only one more melting moment.
Perhaps it's a reward after a rough day at the office or a way to perk yourself up when you're oh so tired, but at the same time wired after an unproductive meeting with a client.
The real trap though is how addictive it is right? I get it. We have all fallen for sugar at some point in our lives. You know it's no good, but it's impossible to say no.
On your plate, sugar is without a doubt the biggest threat to your health, and it's hiding in far too many of our foods. Doing untold damage to your body with every bite, down to a molecular level, changing the very chemistry within yourself.
That's because it has been so refined, bleached and heat treated that the very nutrients its whole state used to contain, ends up acting like a free radical in your body, leaching untold amounts of vitamins and minerals from every cell in your body, in order to metabolise it and break it down.
That's why its reputation is that of the biggest vitamin and mineral robber in the commercial food chain.
But it's not all doom and gloom.
I'm here to show you the light at the end of the tunnel.
It’s not your fault
We all know we should eat better and exercise more, but it can be tough to stand up to the modern lifestyle. Busier than we've ever been, and subjected to a barrage of advertising telling us it's okay to indulge, just this once.
And if that's not bad enough, we're genetically wired to crave sugars. Born with a sweet tooth. A desire driving our ancestors to forage for fruits and nuts high in energy, to help them survive the hardships of their life.
For thousands of years, sugar was something to be enjoyed sparingly, until the 1960s hit. We created a process to produce sugar en-masse. Pumping out thousands of tons of "high fructose corn syrup" the sugar rush craze hit the world.
Along with a health crisis. Because humans weren't designed to eat sugar in such large amounts, certainly not the 60 grams a day the average Australian consumes.1
From 1910 to 1970, heart disease went from an unrecognisable threat to a worldwide grim reaper as our bodies couldn’t stand up to the toxins we put in.
And as sugar consumption continues to rise, a ten-fold increase to 1990 we face the biggest challenge yet. Yep. The obesity epidemic. The result of big corporations adding sugar into almost every processed item on the shelves, from your "low fat" salad dressing to the whole wheat bread lining the organic shelves.
We're at a crossroads, and it's time for a change.
The good news, it's becoming easier than ever to fight back. To regain control of your life, your diet, and start building a body you're thrilled with. A healthy lifestyle is just a few smart choices away, and I'm here to guide the way.
But why is sugar so damn addictive?
Now here's the scary part.
Sugar has a remarkable effect on a chemical in your brain called dopamine. Essentially the "reward" trigger, it floods your body with a stream of chemicals designed to make you feel good after you eat something sugary. Every addiction does this, from caffeine to alcohol, stimulating the dopamine reward trigger.2
But ultimately, it's all for naught. Soon you're crashing and scouring the cupboards for another biscuit or two to recreate that elusive high while burning out your dopamine receptors. Needing more and more sugar to get the same feeling.
Your body is being manipulated by sugar. You need to walk away and take a break.
Want to know another product which does this to your body?
Opiates. The hard drugs you hear about on the news as people get addicted to painkillers share a remarkable similarity to sugar. Sugar triggers the same dopamine release in your brain as opiates. Talk about a charmed and dangerous combination!
And you can bet your bottom dollar the food companies know; otherwise why else would you find sugar hidden in nearly every processed item on your supermarket shelves? They're feeding your addiction.
I know this isn't "new" news, but I have to shed light on this. That's the only way we can understand the challenge we face, and get motivated to fight back. Addiction doesn't like the spotlight, and I want to be a shining beacon against this poison!
Common misunderstandings about the sugar craze
Once you really start diving into the details, there are a few misconceptions I seem to keep coming across when it comes to sugar and a healthy diet. Let me clear these up for you now, so you've got the information you need to make informed decisions for you and your family.
Raw sugar is healthy
There is no such thing as a "healthy" sugar, even though products like agave nectar and coconut sugars line the health food aisles. Sugar is sugar. Yes, you'll get a few more nutrients with raw sugars instead of refined, but it's all pretty bad for you.3
Products with "no-added sugar" are OK
There are many disguises sugar uses to hide, and you'll find it called everything from malt syrup to cane crystals, even fruit juice concentrate. Read the labels of your food carefully, anything ending with an "ose" – that's another term for the sugar hiding in your food.
Sugar-free alternatives are better
Be very careful, as many companies pump their products full of artificial sweeteners which are just as detrimental to your health. There is no magic bullet when it comes to sugar, the real key is moderation and a well-balanced diet.4
Fruit is bad because it has sugar
Yes, well you're certainly right there, but you need a little perspective. Fruit isn't just an empty sack of calories to go along with the fructose. You're getting vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants, as well as fiber, to lower cholesterol and stabilize your blood sugar levels.5
Understanding the terrible impact of sugar on your body
A common thread with healthy living is to eat less "white" foods. Cut the toxic processed and sugary carbs from your diet, like bread, pasta, and baked products.
The high levels of refined sugar in these foods is absorbed quickly into your body. Your blood sugar spikes and insulin is released to convert it to energy.
But refined sugars are converted faster, so you crash as blood sugar levels drop rapidly, and you start craving more sugar to even it out. It's not a healthy cycle.
With time, it develops into insulin resistance. Your body just cannot cope with the high sugar spikes which are impossible to regulate, and your insulin becomes less effective as well. Without proper management, this is a precursor for type-2 diabetes. Alongside many health issues, like weight gain, inflammation, and even heart disease.6
But that's not all.
The process to refine sugar is harsh, using strong chemicals and reactions which strip all nutrients from the sweet crystal granules. Sugar has ZERO health benefits.
And once your body starts to process it, the sugar acts as a drain, soaking up vital nutrients and minerals so you can get rid of it faster. You lose Vitamin A, Vitamin C, folate, Vitamin B-12, as well as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron.
Diets high in sugar are a double-edged sword, dangerous on many levels. Stealing vital nutrients from your system while sending your body on a rollercoaster of chemical reactions as it struggles to maintain a balance.
Sugar is a nasty substance indeed, and one you should avoid putting into your body.
But now you know the facts, here's the real fun part.
The tips you can use to fight back. To overcome your sugar addiction and start leading a healthy and positive life. You'll feel better fast, believe me.
7 bulletproof ways to overcome sugar addiction and bad carbs.
Finally! What I've been wanting to share…
Because overcoming your addiction to sugar is far easier with a little guidance, with a friend helping you to stay on the right path. Use the following to kick-start your new life, and start treating your body like a temple again.
1. Get it out of your pantry and fridge
If you've not got any "bad" sugar-loaded products in your home, you're much less likely to start snacking on all the wrong things as soon as you get a craving. Go through your pantry and fridge, read the labels, and if it's not good for you, it's got to go. Box it up, donating it to a local shelter, or just trash it where it truly belongs.
2. Cleanse from sugar with a detox program
To properly flush the lingering effects of sugar from your body, you need to follow a detox program specifically designed to cleanse your system. Toxins have a remarkable ability to "stick around" and will stay stored in the cells and tissues in your body for years. Combining your new diet with a detox program will help kickstart your journey to health, giving you faster results.
3. Achieve a state of ketosis in your body
Ketosis is the goal of many new diet trends, helping you drop inches from your waistline without impacting your health. The overall goal is to eat smarter, avoiding processed and refined foods. Achieving a state of balance in your blood sugar levels. It'll even help suppress your cravings, so you see results in the mirror even faster.
4. Choose healthy and organic sweeteners
Once you've purged the sugar from your cupboards, it doesn't mean you'll never get to eat anything sweet again. You just need to be smart about it. Raw organic stevia (the one still in its green form) is a zero-calorie, low-glycemic sweetener you can use to satisfy your sweet tooth, and I've always got a bunch of fresh berries on hand when I need a satisfying snack that won't send my sugar levels through the roof.
5. Use Chromium to normalize your blood sugar levels
Chromium is an essential mineral we need for our bodies to stay healthy, and taken as a supplement it can help stabilize your blood sugar levels. It works to enhance the signaling of insulin receptors in your body, essentially supercharging your own ability to better process the sugars you do eat.
6. Get your body moving with a little exercise
I shouldn't have to tell you the benefits of a little exercise to your overall health, but getting your body moving has another advantage. Activities like brisk walking, swimming, and cycling get your system moving which helps your insulin better process sugars, reversing insulin resistance and turning your body into a fat-burning machine as you become more sensitive to the sugars you do eat.
7. Visualise your ideal state and find your reason why
Making a change can be a challenging experience, especially if you're trying to overcome an addiction you've been unknowingly feeding. Take some time aside to consider where you are now, and where you want to be. Meditate and visualize what your entire life would be like, reflecting everything from your weight to your skin, if you were able to overcome your addiction to sugar. Then use this as the fuel to fire your motivation and desire to change. It'll be worth it, I promise.
8. Increase levels of happy neurotransmitter dopamine naturally
Does sugar release dopamine?
Like sex and dopamine, sugar and dopamine are also heavily linked. ...In one study, drinking a sugar solution on an intermittent schedule promoted sugar bingeing and caused signs of dependence while releasing dopamine repeatedly like a drug of abuse.
Our brains perceive sugar as beneficial and release huge amounts of dopamine when we consume sugary, high-calorie foods. In the long term, this can mimic the effects of addiction and create high tolerance and cravings for sugar.
What can you do here?
Phenylalanine and tyrosine constitute the two initial steps in the biosynthesis of dopamine. The three other dopamine precursor supplements to take to help wean yourself from a of sugar addiction are — Rhodiola, Mucuna, and L- theanine—have each been found in studies to increase dopamine and/or help balance dopamine function in the brain.
How to Boost Dopamine with food and lifestyle
Eat foods rich in tyrosine. In order to make dopamine your body must have ample tyrosine, which can be found in avocados, eggs, almonds, bananas, beans, fish and chicken.
You can also add the following
1. Exercise regularly
2. Learn to meditate
3. Get a massage
4. Listen to music
5. Take supplements that boost dopamine production mentioned below.
8 Ways to Treat Dopamine Deficiency
1. Decrease your sugar intake
2. Take L-Tyrosine
3. Decrease caffeine intake
4. Set a routine schedule
5. Decrease stress response activation
6. Correct any magnesium deficiency
7. Take St Johns wort if any depression
My only hope is that I can help you create a life for yourself that doesn't revolve around a toxic substance designed to cause weight gain, mood swings, hypoglycaemia, vitamin and mineral deficiencies and much more.
You deserve better, and I'll be here to guide you at every step of the way.
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Cutting out sugar is only one part, a single step in the journey to a life centred on wellness and clean living. In a short and easy Smart Cleanse program, I'll walk you through everything you need to gain a little balance in your life.
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Your Naturopath & Coach
BHSc, ND, Master NLP
P.S. If you are wondering what the best sugar substitutes are, then watch out for future articles as I will be covering that there!