“Like heroin, cocaine and caffeine, sugar is an addictive, destructive drug, yet we consume it daily in everything from cigarettes to bread” ~ William Dufty, author of Sugar Blues
That is a pretty powerful quote! Sugar causes us to feel euphoric, then without notice we crash. Our blood sugar shoots up, then comes down quickly. Sugar can also cause our body to be deficient in other minerals and nutrients due to the process our body uses to digest sugar.
Sugar is considered an addictive substance for 2 reasons: 1 – Eating a small amount causes us to want more 2 – Suddenly quitting can cause withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, mood swings, cravings, and fatigue. So how do we avoid sugar? Here are a few tips:
- Eat a diet rich in whole foods such as lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables. These foods have naturally occurring sugars which will not cause your blood sugar to crash. They also supply your body with much needed minerals and nutrients.
- Avoid foods that are common sources for sugars like soft drinks, candy, cakes and sweets, and processed foods. If you are wanting foods like waffles or cinnamon toast, make your own at home. That way you know exactly what is going into your food, and you can measure the amount accurately. Try using natural sweeteners like honey, stevia, or agave nectar instead of table sugar (also known as sucrose).
- Be on the look out for sweeteners and their different names. Sugar can be listed as different items on your labels like corn syrup, invert sugar, sucrose, fructose, and high fructose corn syrup. If you aren’t sure about an ingredient that is listed, research it. In the age of smart phones, most of us can research this before even leaving the grocery store.
If you want to remove added sugar from your diet completely, slowly wean yourself from it. If you take sugar out of your diet cold turkey to start with, you can experience detox symptoms that will cause you to fall off the wagon. Try avoiding candy, cakes, and sweets at first. Then cut back on your soda intake, and increase your water intake. Slowly but surely, you will really feel the difference in your energy, mood, and physically as well.