Are You Addicted to Sugar?
If you answer yes to more than ten of these questions, then chances are that you are a sugar addict.
■ Do you put sugar in coffee or tea?
■ Do you drink sodas at least once a day?
■ Do you drink sweetened fruit punches, sports drinks, or juices?
■ Do you use syrups, jams, or jellies several times a week?
■ Did you eat a lot of candy growing up as a kid?
■ Do you crave sweets, pasta, or breads or are they your favorite foods?
■ Do you eat bread, bagels, croissants, muffins, or donuts for breakfast?
■ Do you feel chronically tired or fatigued most days?
■ Do you often eat a dessert after dinner?
■ Do you crave sweets in the afternoon or late at night?
■ Do you buy candy at the movie theater?
■ Do you have headaches often?
■ Do you drink fruity or sweetened alcoholic drinks?
■ Do you keep candy or snacks in your home at all times?
■ Do you eat sweets first at a happy hour or party?
There are so many good reasons to break your sugar addiction, but at the top of the list is that sugar makes you fat and it makes you sick.
How to Break the Sugar Addiction
Are you having a panic attack right now just thinking about giving up sugar? You have to look at kicking the sugar habit as though you are ending an addiction. The key is to understand where your sugar is coming from and then find alternatives to eating so much sugar in your foods.
Start by making yourself aware of everything that has sugar in it. First, you must know how to find sugar in your foods, as it is cleverly hidden in the labeling. Virtually everything we eat, especially packaged and processed foods—including diet and low-fat foods—has sugar in it.
You will want to read labels to determine the total amount of sugar in the products you buy and to check the list of ingredients for the names of things that are re- ally just sugar in disguise. Refined white sugar, or table sugar, which is sucrose, is the form of sugar that is most familiar to people. However, the other sugars that are commonly found in food are listed on labels as high-fructose corn syrup, glucose, fructose (fruit sugar), dextrose (corn sugar), maltose (malt sugar), lactose (milk sugar), corn sweetener, raw sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, molasses, and maple sugar.
Begin by looking at your drinks and the packaged goods in your refrigerator and pantry. Get rid of those foods that have a high sugar content (5 grams of sugar or more per serving).
Sugar is measured in grams, and 4 grams of sugar equals one teaspoon. So if your soda has 40 grams of sugar, that’s about ten teaspoons of sugar in just one soda. You can see how so many people end up eating so much sugar every day. I used to think I was consuming a healthy breakfast by eating oatmeal. However, it wasn’t regular oatmeal but the sweetened, flavored instant oatmeal, like apple- cinnamon oatmeal, and it had about 20 grams of sugar per serving, which is way too much.
Remember, as a guideline, the best way to minimize the amount of sugar in your diet is to choose foods that have 5 grams or less per serving. When the drink or food item has 5 grams or less of sugar per serving size, the body doesn’t over- react to the sugar. This means your pancreas will not have to release too much insulin, which can cause fat storage in the body. (I’ll explain this concept in a later chapter.)
To sweeten foods, it is always better to use stevia or some equivalent herbal sweetener rather than sugar. Stevia is a natural sweetener made from a plant native to South America. Other countries have been using stevia as a sugar substitute for several decades since it is virtually calorie-free and does not affect blood glucose, which makes it a great natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners. When you crave sweets, try fruit as a better alternative.
In fact, it is your best defense against insulin spikes and cravings. Facing these cravings is the beginning of detoxifying and rebalancing your body. The cravings will actually disappear after three to four days. And once you fight these cravings, your cravings won’t be as strong as long as you continue to keep high-sugar foods out of your diet. Sugar will cause you to get fat; feel irritable, moody, and tired; and can cause all kinds of health problems, so commit to breaking your sugar addiction today!