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Sugar: Ditch It and Improve Your Physical and Mental Health
Sugar is a name given to a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose and fructose, characterized by a sweet taste. In food, sugar refers almost exclusively to sucrose, which in its fully refined form comes mainly from sugar cane and sugar beet, although it is present in many carbohydrates in its natural form.
Other refined sugars used in industrial food preparation are glucose, fructose or fruit sugar, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, maple syrup, malt syrup, honey, etc.
Man has long enjoyed sugar. Originally, even before 350 AD, people chewed raw sugar cane to extract its sweetness. Later known as “the reed that gives honey without bees”, sugar has evolved at a rapid pace throughout history and turned into a billion production industry.
But, have we become addicted to the monster that is slowly killing us?
The American Dietetic Association and American Diabetic Association agree that sugar consumption is one of the three main causes of degenerative disease.
Cardiovascular disease and cancer were virtually unknown in the early 1900s. Over the last 20 years, we have increased sugar consumption from an average of 5 lbs. per person per year to about 135lbs per person per year!
But why do we find it so hard to give up sugar?
In a recent scientific study, rats were instructed to eat sugar and found to withdraw telltale signs of addiction, including “the shakes” and changes in brain chemistry when the effects of the candy were blocked. These symptoms are similar to those produced by drug withdrawal.
Sugar triggers production of the brain’s natural opioids. This is a key to the addiction process. The brain becomes addicted to its own opioids like it would to morphine or heroin.
It is a proven fact that sugar increases our insulin levels, which can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, and premature aging.
Sugar is also known to aggravate asthma, promote mental illness, anxiety, hyperactivity, mood swings, trigger personality changes, fuel nervous disorders, grow gallstones, cause arthritis, and all forms of cellular cancer.
– Sugar is more addictive than cocaine?
Did you know that refined sugar is much more addictive than cocaine? Research shows that a surprising 94% of the rats who were given a choice between sugar, water and cocaine chose sugar.
Researchers speculate that the sweet receptors (two protein receptors located on our tongue), which evolved in ancestral times when our diet was very low in sugar, have not adapted to modern times’ high sugar consumption.
The abnormally high stimulation of these receptors by our sugar-rich foods generates excessive reward signals in our brains, which have the potential to override normal self-control mechanisms, leading to addiction.
– A high sugar diet is shown to increase anti-social behaviour
Dr. Russell Blaylock (Neurosurgeon, author and lecturer) explains that high sugar content and starchy carbohydrates lead to excessive insulin release, which leads to falling blood sugar levels, or hypoglycemia. This would cause our brain to secrete glutamate in levels that can cause agitation, depression, anger, anxiety, panic attacks and an increase in suicide risk.
A 1985 study published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology found that reducing sugar intake had a positive effect on emotions:
“… Subjects reported many symptoms and/or presented a distressed profile during the baseline assessment. However, after a 2 week diet change symptoms declined, and the MMPI or POMS profiles reflected a more stable and less distressed individual. Results suggest that a diet Change can alleviate the emotional distress exhibited by some individuals…”
The diet change consisted of a high protein, low carbohydrate diet without sugar and caffeine.
– Our genes remember when we eat sugar
When we eat sugar, our genes not only turn off controls designed to protect us from heart disease and diabetes, but the impact lasts for up to two weeks!
If we eat poorly for a long time, our DNA can be permanently changed and the effects can be passed on to our children and grandchildren.
We are born with a set of genes, but the expression of those genes is not set in stone. Our genes can be activated or silenced by various factors including our diet, and even our mind!
Emotions also play a big role.
So, if you feel the urge to binge on sugar or junk food, it’s imperative that you have a system to help curb those cravings. Now you know why power and self-control just don’t work for most people! You have to start by consciously putting certain strategies in place.
Mind technologies such as NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), hypnosis and EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) have been shown to be extremely successful in helping curb sugar cravings and in building healthier eating habits.
If youareeatingthefoodthatisappropriateforyourbiochemistry,itwillpushyourbodytoitsidealweight,andyouwillseethatfoodcravingshavetodisappeartoalargepart. This is because you are giving your body the fuel it needs, so you will feel satisfied throughout the day and be much less tempted by sugary or fatty foods.
Remember that sugar is not only found in candy, but also fruit, some salts, peanut butter, canned vegetables, bouillon cubes, medicine, toothpaste, vitamins… and almost all processed low-fat or fat-free products!
Ditch it and improve your physical and mental health.
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