The Science of Sugar

The average American consumes around 152 pounds of sugar each year. In addition to the obvious culprits (soda, candy, cookies, snack cakes and the like), refined sugars are hidden in a plethora of unexpected places. Salad dressings, sports drinks, breads, cereals, and crackers are among these. Even foods advertised as “healthy and natural,” such as yogurt and granola bars, are loaded with sugar. *INCONCEIVABLE*, right?

The modern medical industry, and as a result the population at large, sees only a single problem with refined sugars: their high calorie content. What many fail to realize, though, is that sugars are highly addictive substances. In fact, refined sugars are eight times more addictive than cocaine. A clinical study performed on rats more than affirmed this fact. Given the choice between cocaine and sugar, every rat, even those already addicted to cocaine, chose sugar. A study at Harvard University, this time on humans, was even more revealing. On consecutive days, men were given two different milkshakes. The milkshakes had the same flavor, consistency, and protein/carb/fat/calorie ratio. They only differed in their refined sugar content. When the subject consumed the milkshake with a high sugar content, their nucleus accumbens (the addiction center of the brain), lit up in a fashion greater than the common reaction to cocaine or heroin.

Sugar is not only addictive, it is a major source of debilitating health problems including, but not limited to, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, kidney stones, various autoimmune diseases, ulcerative colitis and liver failure. People are slowly and ignorantly poisoning themselves with sugar. Unbeknownst to most, bacteria, infections, and even cancer feed on sugar, and are essentially powerless without it.

Consuming white sugar has truly proven itself to be one of the “classic blunders.” (It happens to be just below entering a land war in Asia and getting involved with a Caecilian when death is on the line.) Are a lifetime of severe addiction and adverse health problems worth the momentary, esthetic pleasure that comes with a slice of ciabatta bread or a salted caramel cupcake? In my opinion, no…not really, but make no mistake, quitting sugar is no easy feat. It takes time and discipline to be a stickler for labels, constantly scan ingredients lists, and sit by as your friends and family eat something you wish you could. At times, shutting down your sugar addiction may seem drastic or even impossible, but investing in your health can never be anything but positive.

References:
Doctor Mark Hyman “Confessions of a Sugar Addict”
Natural News
Natural Medicine Journal

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