Author Mara Schiavetti
The river of “de-nial” seems to run in all our veins when it comes to addiction— whether it’s cigarettes, coffee, or refined sugar.
The lie usually begins with ‘I’m not addicted, I just like the taste,” but it doesn’t end there. No matter the justification, the habit may be more harmful than you can imagine. Acknowledging that cravings stem from an imbalance in the diet and lifestyle can actually save your life. Achieving emotional harmony and a body devoid of disease is possible, you just need good information and the right tools.
Lets focus on sugar for now. We love it, we crave it and some of us might even get angry when we can’t have it. Does this behavior remind you of anything? Not surprisingly, this is the classic profile of an addict. Sad but true. In this day and age the mild mannered version of crack cocaine is refined sugar, we just don’t see it that way because it’s in practically every store bought item we buy-- juices, cereals, and packaged foods. Most shockingly of all, it’s legal.
It’s reported to be four times more addictive than
cocaine and it affects the endorphin pathways in the same way as heroin.
The origin of refined sugar can be traced back to its invention in India in the 1300’s. Pharmacopeias of the time considered it a potent drug. Realizing the profit in this highly addictive substance, merchants in the 1600s began to export it to Europe and the America’s. Sugar’s appeal spread quickly, attracting the ever fashionable and exotic Parisians who coincidentally named it, “Crack.”
Sugar gives you an incredible high, but it also creates a powerful low, leaving you wanting even more. It’s reported to be four times more addictive than cocaine and it affects the endorphin pathways in the same way as heroin. If you really think about it, sugar is not a choice. Trying to give up sugar can cause mood swings, depression and fatigue. The most common side affect of sugar addiction is systemic inflammation. It is no coincidence that most modern diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and malnutrition, stem from such inflammatory conditions.
Refined sugar is not a whole food; it is actually devoid of any nutritional value. Like any other refined food, sugar stimulates your metabolism but provides no actual sustenance. After all the effort of digestion, the body expects the sweet payoff of real nutrients. With sugar, however, there is none. So the body asks for MORE. This is how a craving is born.
Ok, so what if we stay away from refined sugars and only eat healthier sweeteners, like agave nectar and coconut sugar? How do these sugars affect the body? The glycemic index for these sugars are slightly lower but, if you are craving agave then you have to ask yourself yet again, “is this a whole food?” The process used for refining agave and coconut sugar involves very high temperatures, which destroys many minerals and nutrients inherent to the plant. Your body goes through the same process as if you were eating refined sugar, just slightly less dramatic. All told—it’s a scary world when it comes to food nowadays, but there are always options. Follow us as we uncover the easiest ways to balance your lifestyle and rid yourself of this life threatening habit once and for all.