The first time I heard the statement that “sugar is more addictive than cocaine” it struck me that this was actually a pretty bold claim. Nobody can deny that cocaine has some very serious potential dangers, addiction included. But there are other drugs out there which are considered to be far worse and carry much greater risks, even death. So how could sugar possibly be on a par with crack for example?
What really worried me was the fact this claim wasn’t an exaggeration; it’s actually closer to reality than perhaps most people think – and not in a good way!
This whole issue has been bothering me greatly for some time now, so I decided to do a bit of digging. Here is what I found.
More Deadly than Cocaine
I did a simple search online to find out how many deaths per year are directly attributed to the use of sugar and cocaine. Shockingly, it turns out that deaths from sugar outpaces those from cocaine by about 800%! It’s not even close! Check it out for yourself:
One thing you need to know about death statistics: there are very few ways in which official figures can be counted with absolute accuracy; therefore, any report should always be taken with a grain of salt. If two substances have similar stats but one is much more widely used than the other, then chances are good that the higher figure represents an under-reporting of fatalities. This applies here.
On July 1st, 2010, the journal Open Heart published a study by James J. DiNicolantonio, Phar.D., which showed that there are 1.1 deaths per 100 people directly attributed to cocaine use; but looking at this year’s stats in comparison to those of 2009 it shows that an estimated 60,000 Americans will die between January and December as a result of sugar consumption!
I don’t know about you, but I find these results terrifying. The fact is we have all been so led down the wrong path by huge corporations and government officials who profit greatly from keeping us in total ignorance of how our food affects us… and what’s scary is they’ve had no problem hiding the truth from us for decades! But as more people wake up to the lies and corruption, change is coming.
For years, I never thought too much about sugar or what it does to your body. In fact, I knew very little about how food affects the human body. But all of that changed when I was lucky enough to get a job working at one of the largest health and fitness retailers in Canada. It was there that I picked up my first real health books: ‘ The Body Fat Breakthrough ‘ by Dr. Eric Braverman and ‘ Bigger Leaner Stronger ‘ by Michael Matthews were some of my main resources for learning how food works inside our bodies at a level which had previously seemed impossible for me to obtain…and within just a few weeks they opened up an entirely new world of understanding for me. Along with watching what I ate, my workouts quickly became more effective and I started seeing noticeable improvements in both my body composition and overall energy levels.
It was shortly after this that the term ‘sugar addiction’ really got to me. Everything seemed to fall into place as far as how my eating habits had been negatively affecting my health – but there was one huge problem: quitting sugar cold turkey is virtually impossible! Going from eating a lot of candy, sugary cereals, and other highly processed foods can have dire repercussions on your blood sugar levels if you just stop abruptly (something I’ve personally experienced). If these changes are done too fast then it can lead to serious mood swings, fatigue, brain fog, and even headaches!
This is why I’ve decided to write this article: by providing you with some of the most important facts which have been intentionally kept from us, hopefully you’ll be better equipped to make choices that will improve your health in a comprehensive and sustainable manner. The first step is always the hardest (at least for me it was), so my goal here is to provide you with all the information I’ve collected over the past year or so; then it’s up to you what path you take…I hope this helps.
What Sugar Does to Your Brain and Body
If there are two things that can’t be denied about sugar, it’s that it tastes great and has unbelievable addictive properties. One big reason for this goes back many thousands of years…
When humans were evolving, the sweetest food they could possibly find was fruit. This is because of it’s extremely high sugar content; so much in fact that if you went into the jungle with a limited source of food and there were two options: a small pile of oranges or an even smaller pile of cactus – you’d likely go for the oranges (in this situation, I would too!). When our ancestors heard these fruits falling from trees (an obvious indicator of ripeness), chances are good that your great-great-grandfather would have stopped to check them out. It wasn’t very often that something naturally flavored like this fell from the sky!
The thing about fruit however is that the riper it became, as the sugar content gradually reached it’s peak, the more likely your great-great-grandfather would become attracted to them…and this is a very important point!
Throughout history, man has eaten natural fruit; rarely does he eat processed foods which are covered in refined, white table sugar. A lot of people will look at me like I’m crazy when I say that modern day humans are simply not genetically suited for eating these kinds of foods and that is why they make us feel so bad! Unfortunately, our body hasn’t had time to adapt to this new way of living (especially since the ‘high fructose corn syrup’ craze really took off back in the early 1990s) – we’re literally running on caveman instincts…but you can learn how to overcome this by understanding the true nature behind sugar.
The reason fruit tastes good is because of its high amount of natural sugars; if there were no sugars, then it would taste bad! For example, most people describe a tomato as tasting ‘sweet’ and some have even said that they assumed their tongues were broken until they found out what was really causing this strange sensation. But why?
Tomatoes contain many different types of acids which cause this sweetness – similar to the way lemons, limes, and other fruits do. After years of eating sugar-covered candy bars and processed foods, however, we’ve forgotten what ‘sweet’ really tastes like; then when something like a tomato comes along, our body says “there’s that sweet flavor I used to love so much!” – but in truth it’s not any sweeter than anything else, it just tastes more familiar!
Back to Sugar and How It Affects Your Brain and Body…
There is an absolutely enormous amount of evidence pointing towards refined sugars playing a significant role in the rise of Alzheimer’s disease. If you take a look at the Heart-Brain Institute, http://www.heartbraininstitute.org/research/what-causes-alzheimers/the-dietary-link.html , there are links to a number of different studies done that show a link between Alzheimer’s disease and refined carbohydrates.
One article titled ” Diet, Fructose, and the Pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease “, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10601448 , while being extremely technical in nature does an excellent job explaining how high fructose corn syrup consumption has been linked with higher glucose levels which is step one when trying to understand the effects on your brain…from there, it only gets worse!
Click here for the full text PDF: http://neurosciencenews.com/alzheimers-disease-fructose-2515/ .
In another article called ” Sugar Addiction: A Biochemical Perspective “, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20708335 , it points out that animals which are ‘sugar dependent’ are more likely to engage in drug seeking behavior; over time, they will need higher and higher doses of sugar in order to get the same effect…and we’re no different!
To make matters worse, you’ll also find evidence pointing towards the fact that artificial sweeteners like aspartame and saccharin have been shown to cause harm when consumed (whether by themselves or mixed with real sugar). One such article is titled ” The Brain and Sweeteners – Facts About Aspartame & Saccharin “, https://thelastpsychiatrist.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/the-brain-and-sweeteners-facts-about-aspartame-saccharin/, which I highly suggest reading!
How to Kick the Sugar Habit
So how do you get your mind and body back? It’s going to take some willpower but is surprisingly easier than you think…you just have to follow one simple principle: eat real food! Start by getting rid of soda pop, candy bars, cereal, with ‘added sugars’ – anything that comes in a box or bag with multiple ingredients should be thrown out as well. Slowly replace it all with fresh fruit (preferably the kind you can pick from your garden without worrying about if it’s expired!) and vegetables.
When you’re craving something that’s unhealthy, try cutting up a fruit or veggie instead. Better yet, make your own healthy version of the unhealthy stuff like this homemade pudding recipe: http://iqtheboss.com/recipe-for-homemade-chocolate-pudding/ .
Most importantly – don’t go cold turkey! Make gradual changes to your diet while keeping track of what you eat using an app like http://crackedlabs.com/app ; if you notice yourself falling back into old habits, give yourself a 1 day break and start fresh again tomorrow! I’ve noticed it’s a lot easier to not eat something when you know the negative effects it can have on your body so if you’re having trouble getting rid of refined sugars, just remember that and try again tomorrow!
If you’re looking for more information about how sugar affects your brain (or if I haven’t convinced you yet), check out this excellent educational website called The Sugar Addiction program: http://www.sugaraddictionprogram.com/ , it has everything from testimonials from people who have gone through their 7 step program, guides on what foods are okay to consume and which ones to avoid as well as a number of success stories – all in an easy to read format!
Articles like these can change lives – they just have to be read, understood and acted upon!