Give Me My Sugar!
Have you ever tried to stop eating sugar for a day? Did you think of sugar all day long? Do you crave sugary foods even when you are not hungry? I hear you and understand exactly where you are. We are not alone…the average American eats about 130 pounds of sugar a year. Wow! And that is average so we know there are people who are eating a lot more.
What is the deal with sugar that makes us want to eat so much? The Connecticut College in New London, CT thinks it is addictive as cocaine and morphine based on a study they did on rats that showed that the rats went for the Oreo cookie rather than wanting cocaine or morphine. I guess sugar is the drug of choice even for rats.
A sugar addiction can really be blamed on dopamine which is a chemical in the brain that is secreted when someone eats sugar. The more sugar you eat, the more you will want it. Dopamine is said to be the pleasure chemical, the love potion and the gangster that takes over the streets of your body with addictions.
Sugar causes the release of dopamine, causing the consumer to develop an insatiable craving for sugar. It makes it pleasurable to eat it so people tend to eat lots of it. Once you consume it in any form, it is broken down into simple sugars before it is absorbed into the bloodstream from the digestive tract. The two simple sugars involved here are glucose and fructose. If you are not active or have a need to physically exert yourself throughout the day, the sugars are stored and eventually turn into fat. So we eat a lot of sugar because it makes us feel good and then we store the sugar and it turns to fat. Hmmm, that is some kind of a mean joke.
So How Much Sugar is Okay?
If you review the advice of the World Health Organization, they suggest 25 grams a day which is equivalent to 6 teaspoons a day. It doesn’t matter what form you are eating the sugar in…it could be honey, white sugar, brown sugar, fructose, guava syrup, brown rice syrup, or a big ole donut…sugar is sugar. Fruit is healthy for you, but if you eat a lot of it, you may be over eating sugar as well. An apple can have upwards of 28 grams of sugar depending on the size of the apple. So if you add up all the sugars that you eat in a day, including sugars in vegetables, fruits, breads, cereals, etc…how much are you eating? I would guess it is way over 25 grams a day.
So why do we need to stop eating sugar? Sugar can lead to obesity and diabetes which are two of the leading diseases in America. Sugar causes brain fog and it also hampers energy levels. Have you even experienced that 3PM lull after you ate a big lunch? Sugar is used for quick energy, but when that is gone, you are running on fumes and that leads to the cycle of eating sugar to get energy and then having no energy and eating it again to get more energy. A vicious cycle no less.
Anyone seeking to stay healthy should consume sugar in moderation or avoid it all together. The key to avoiding it is too stop eating it and suffer through a week of sugar withdrawals. I have done this myself and it can be a challenge, but well worth it to get away from sugar controlling you. Sugar may provide temporary pleasure, but the negative affects in the long term are not worth it.
Comment below and tell me your stories of cutting sugar out of your life. How did you do it and what advice can you give others?
Thanks for Reading…In Health and Happiness,
Pia Civiletti, The Sassy Italian Lady