How To Attack Sugar Addiction And Win
Sugar…the public can’t get enough of it. No matter how hard we try to stop it, sugar is there staring us in the face. We quit and then return back.
We have you defeated in the battle but lose the war. Why is it so hard for us to escape the clutches of sugar? In order to understand why we have to understand the origins. Where did it come from, who benefits from its widespread use. We have to take a look back in time and understand the history.
Back in 300 C.E. sugar was prescribed for medicinal purposes in Greece, India, and other parts of Europe. The crunchy “sweet salt” of the sugar cane was used as a sweetener to supplement honey.
By the 12th century Venice became Europe’s sugar export hub:
William of Tyre, writing in the late 12th century, described sugar as “very necessary for the use and health of mankind”
Sugar was medicine, then became a dietary necessity. So much so that Venice began refining and shipping millions of pounds of sugar across Europe. That was only the beginning of the epidemic.
Sugar became a delicacy and a status symbol. We think of cocaine as a rich person’s drug now. Refined sugar was a rich person’s drug in the 1400s to the 1800s. When Columbus and others began colonizing the Caribbean, central, and South America… cane plantations were some of the earliest kinds of plantations producing cash crops. When the trans-Atlantic slave trade began in the 1600s, these sugar plantations multiplied… grew in number, and output.
Europe’s insatiable appetite for sugar was just beginning.
In the late 1800s sugar cubes and what we now know as modern refined sugar became widespread and not the symbol of status they once were. But the consumption was growing.
Today, refined sugar is created from a number of sources which include corn, beets, and cane. The Caribbean, South American, and many U.S. states grow one of these crops for the purposes of refined sugar production. (Damaging effects from herbicide: How To Combat The Silent Killer Glyphosate
In 2016, the global production of sugar beets was 277 million tons. Global production of sugarcane in 2016 was 1.9 billion tons. This is a lot of white stuff moving around that’s not considered a drug, but very damaging to health.
This white powder is the drug that nobody wants to admit has the entire world hooked, not cocaine. Sugar’s widespread use has had damaging effects on public health. So what is sugar and sugar addiction?
The substance known as sugar breaks down into two categories: Monosaccharides and disaccharides.
Monosaccarides : Simple sugars
- Fructose – Fruit sugars.
- Galactose – Element of fruit sugar
- Dextrose – Grape sugar.
Disaccharides: Multiple sugars
- Lactose – A milk sugar that loses digestibility post-infancy
- Maltose – Grain sugar often found in beers. (Malt Liquor anyone)
- Sucrose – Sugar beet and sugar cane.
Monosaccharides provide the body with quickly available energy. It enters the bloodstream immediately after consumption.
Eating a piece of fruit (with the fiber inside) before any physical activity will give you energy without the crash. Disaccharides are more complex. The sugar has to be broken down further before you get that energy burst.
So what we get is simple sugars and more complex sugars. Not all sugar is created equal. I refer you to Heathline for a list of the tricky names sugar disguises itself as: 56 Sugar Names.
According to world atlas, the United States is the highest consumer of refined sugar on Earth. ( Top Sugar Consumers).
Followed by: Netherlands, Germany, Australia, Mexico, Ireland.
The United States produces a lot of sugar, but many of these other nations rely on imported sources.
Are these nations leading the world in certain health ailments directly because of sugar consumption?
As Deadly As Cocaine
If we look at some of the simple direct effects of sugar consumption…this is a very very fundamental one. The more fructose you consume, the more calories you crave and as a result, you pack on weight. Very simple and straightforward. It’s a brain response to glucose: Differential effects of fructose versus glucose on brain and appetitive responses to food cues and decisions for food rewards.
The number one cause of death worldwide is heart disease. Sugar contributes and causes heart disease: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3712514/.
Diabetes has doubled in the last 30 years (along with sugar production and consumption). A direct link : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21705069.
I can refer to study after study after study. Cellular aging, skin health, all deeply impacted negatively by sugar consumption. The U.S. was rated number 1 in sugar consumption and 3rd in depression.
There is even some evidence that suggests sugar may cause Cancer Cancer Sugar Link.
So the bottom line is sugar is bad and its origins as a luxury sweetener for European monarchs, rich families and later a widespread cash crop for S.A.D. addicted people should tell you all you need to know.
Now, all sugar isn’t created equal. Fruit sugar is not as bad as HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) when eaten as whole fruit (Juices are actually fattening). But even then, modern fruit is often very different than it’s ancient ancestor. More sugar, less fiber to pack in more calories. They’re less nutrient dense, however.
White Powder Addiction
Sugar hits the same dopamine centers in our brain that drugs like cocaine do – Why Sugar Makes Us Feel So Good.
So we get that same kind of kick and boost that we get from a viral social media post, a pay raise, getting a potential date’s phone number, etc. But imagine to get that same chemical rush, all you had to do was eat a cookie. No work involved, no interesting funny viral post, no work for a pay raise, just open your mouth and insert a sugary treat and boom… you got your dopamine.
To break the chemical sugar addiction to sugar it takes around 8 months or so according to numerous anecdotes I’ve read.
The sugar addiction damage is real to both the body and the mind.
My Sugar History
Growing up our parents were very careful about what we ate. When most of our friends were eating school lunch, candy, or other junk cereals for breakfast… we always had oatmeal and fruit. Our palettes never developed a liking for sugar. We didn’t have soda in the house, candy, or junk food.
My friends were not as fortunate though. The standard S.A.D. kid’s breakfast of Fruit Loops or Captain Crunch is what my friends had for breakfast. They all developed cavities over time, got fillings (Mercury), also had weight fluctuation issues because of the amount of sugar consumed.
During middle school and high school I started to fall away from the path. I’d grab junk food from the corner store going to school, coming from school. I wasn’t paying much attention to my diet. I was more in Y.O.L.O. high school mode at the time. You can get away with a lot with your body when you’re a teenager.
The white stuff got me.
After years of growing on the healthiest of foods the dopamine rush that sugar provided was very much in my head. Through my 20s I never exactly was a sugar addict. I was conscious of the pull towards sweets. People in the metaphysics field say that when you have a sugar addiction it points to a lack of love being received. There may be some truth to that.
Around the end of my 20s, I started to explore sugar’s impact on our bodies and minds and went on a hardcore sugar purge where I didn’t drink anything but water and tea. I’d buy healthy snacks, stayed away from most fruit.
What I discovered was that most of the fruit commercially sold today was actually too sweet. Yellow bananas were disgusting. My palette was changing. I was able to keep up a very strict regimen for close to 6 months.
Then an elder’s birthday party threw me off. I had birthday cake and fell off the wagon. I thought I could cheat a few more times after that, the taste wasn’t too sweet for my palette anymore.
So now what I have been able to do is become disciplined in keeping my cheat days to that one day, and going back to a stricter diet. Also understanding the chemicals responsible for the sugar addiction and learning how to fight them off with supplements and lifestyle changes. It’s a constant battle that has to be maintained.
How To Actually Defeat Sugar Addiction
Now to the good part, the answers. When you understand the causes and links it paints a picture.
I’ll start off with a story. I had an uncle who suffered from Diabetes first, and Parkinson’s disease second. He had a sweet tooth and developed insulin resistance. So with his dopamine levels low, there were brain and mood changes https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4371978/.
Then that set off a chain. Parkinson’s develops when dopamine producing cells in your brain begin to die out. Ultimately he had pretty severe diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.
The common theme here and what I’m getting at is dopamine is the key component of sugar addiction. Sugar is addictive because of the happy feeling and comfort you feel after you eat it. Not the taste, not anything else, it’s purely chemical.
So what you have to do is increase your dopamine levels and ween yourself off sugary foods.
Let’s start with a list of supplements that will increase dopamine and make quitting sugar easier :
- Mucuna Pruriens – Take this powder with food or make a tea. This will increase dopamine.
- L- Theanine – Similarly, take this powder with food like cereal, or make tea.
- Vitamin D3 – Protects dopaminergic neurons from inflammation: Abstract
Click the names for the recommended supplements. In my opinion these are the best versions of each supplement available. Vitamin D3 is fat soluble and needs to be consumed with fat, the D3 capsules above have coconut oil in them for absorption.
In addition to supplements, some dietary guidelines to boost dopamine.
- Saturated fat sources such as avocados, walnuts.
- Meat (Fish, Chicken, Beef, Bison).
- Low glycemic whole fruit like cherries, apples, oranges, watermelon.
- Eggs (Pasture – raised preferably)
- Get sunlight, expose your skin to sunlight
- Sleep well: How To Get Amazing Sleep
- Hit the gym, work out
- Regulate Social Media usage: How To Break Free From Social Media’s Grip
- Break the habit of eating while watching T.V.
- Love and laugh
I talk about sugar addiction like a drug addiction simply because it is. And when you view it through that prism, you might as well. Junk food junkies. Not much different than a heron junkie. Some people get depressed, irritable if they don’t have some form of junk food to snack on. Because their dopamine levels are lacking, and they need a dope-amine fix but don’t realize there are other ways to get it, that actually benefit you healthwise.
These steps above will help you get over sugar addiction and reclaim your health. Good luck!!!