Sugar is the sociopath of foods. It acts sweet…. but it’s really poison.
I have shared quite a bit about my emotional journey over the past few years; and how I dug myself out of a pit of unhappiness – an unhappiness that stemmed from self-doubt, insecurity and very little self-love. I have also shared a little bit about my unhealthy relationship with food over most of my adult life. My journey to physical health ran concurrently with my journey to happiness; but it is only recently that I realised that these two journeys supported each other as I learnt not only the impact of my emotions on my eating; but also, the impact that eating had on my emotions.
A couple of weeks ago I looked at the impact of emotions on eating; but today I’d like to look at the other side of the coin; with a specific focus on the impact that sugar had on my life.
I have a little bit of a sweet tooth – I have mentioned my penchant for ice-cream and chocolate; but this waned in comparison with my craving for savoury items, particularly salty starch foods, like chips and crackers. I didn’t realise that the cravings were actually one and the same as simple carbs get metabolised like sugar and have the same impact on our bodies.
What I didn’t know was that sugar not only has a detrimental impact on our bodies’ physiology; but also on our brain function; resulting in increased hunger, migraines, constant cravings, feelings of sadness or depression, and lethargy. These are all symptoms that I constantly experienced and drove my feelings of inadequacy in further.
I needed to break the cycle – looking only at the emotional causes was not sufficient; I needed to control what I put in my mouth. But, what I was eating was highly addictive; and could eventually shorten my life
Sugar releases the same opioids and endorphins that love does. That’s why breaking up with sugar can be very difficult.
Top points from the podcast
The excessive intake of sugar can contribute to the following health conditions:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Premature Aging
- Weakens our cognitive functions
The sugar that we add in to our coffee or tea is the least of our worries – the real challenge is the hidden sugars in our processed foods. Sugar is often added to processed food in order to make it more palatable. Producers of the foods, use a number of alternative names on the labels so as not to specifically label it as having sugar. There are over 60 different names for sugar.
Sugar is eight time more addictive than cocaine.
How do we break the cycle?
- Eat fresh whole food that you find in the refrigerated section of the supermarket. The more processed a food is the more likely it is to contain sugar.
- Arm yourself with healthy sugar-free snacks for when a craving hits.
- Be persistent – you need to get through the first two weeks. Often in the first two weeks you may feel sluggish even having some flu-like symptoms; but if you can persevere through that you will be rewarded with an abundance of consistent energy.
- Drink lots of water – thirst is often mistaken for a craving. So when a craving hits first drink water and if it continues then eat a healthy snack. Read more about the benefits of water here and here.
- Sleep at least seven hours a night. Sleep regulates a number of the bodies hormones; particular those that impact our hunger and our ability to feel full. So inadequate sleep could increase your cravings. Read about the importance of sleep here.
I give you bitter pills in sugar coating. The pills are harmless; the poison is in the sugar.