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I Was a Sugar Addict…

By |February 7th, 2014|

I was a sugar and a chocolate addict!

I am now happy to say I am a recovered addict.

How Did I Become an Addict?

Becoming an addict began in my mother’s womb. Sugar and chocolate were already my mother’s addictions.  At a date with my father she invited him for hot chocolate filled with sugar. He was not impressed!  My father was an alcoholic!   It truly was good luck that I did not become an alcoholic. (but that is another story).

There is no blame towards my mother at all. She was innocent in her love of sugar and chocolate and gave it to me every chance she could.  There wasn’t the same level of nutritional awareness at that time as there is now.

Sugar As A Cure For Dietary Deficiencies!?

Mom used sugar and chocolate to get me to consume foods she was told were good for me.  One of those foods was milk. As a little girl I did not like it, so she bought me chocolate milk filled with sugar. This reinforced my growing sugar addiction.

Another ‘good’  food I didn’t like was eggs. To solve this problem she made me a sweet egg nog. This had both milk and eggs AND sugar.

Yuk! I remember not liking it at all.  Now I feel nauseous just thinking of it.

Mom did not know that milk and eggs do not agree with everyone.  They certainly did not agree with me!   Right after that first and only egg nog I got very sick with a cold and was in bed for a week coughing up mucous.  No one realized the link and only much later in my life did I realize that my body did not do well with dairy and eggs.

girl with cupcakes

Sugar and Junk Food for Fun

My mom was a fun lover.  Once a month she would organize a fun supper.

Here is what my sister April says:

“My mother would sometimes give us money to go to the nearby store to buy supper. We were of course overjoyed as this meant that we would be able to choose anything we wanted to eat.  These suppers usually consisted of a pop, a chocolate bar, and either a bag of chips or a Fudgesicle.  We loved those junk food dinners then, however, in retrospect, they certainly were not the healthiest of dinners.”

Lots of sugar to feed the growing addict in me!  The bonus for me, was that as the eldest, there were no dishes to do.

Sick As a Child

My childhood was full of flues and colds – caused by three factors.

1. Sugar weakened my immune system
2. Dairy products clogged my respiratory system.
3.  My tonsils being removed.  Doctors did that for children with recurrent sore throats back in the 50’s.  Now health experts know that is detrimental for the immune system.  It is not surprising that a few years after having my tonsils out, I was in the hospital

The Addiction Progresses

I did not realize how much this one habit was ruining my health.  All through my teens and beyond, I was sick with colds and flues and eventually Fibromyalgia and Severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

I was a ‘health nut’ eating lots of whole grains, nuts,  herbs, fresh vegetables and fruit,  but I continued to eat chocolate bars, cookies and cakes.

I justified it by eating  sweets made with ‘healthy’ ingredients like whole grains, sucanat, honey, maple syrup, etc.  I still had my addictions to Coffee Crisp chocolate bars or […]

Food Cravings VS Addictions VS Habits

By |February 7th, 2014|

Have you ever had cravings for chocolate or ice cream that would not go away?
Have you ever started eating cookies or potato chips and could not stop till you ate the whole bag?

Afterwards you feel like a failure because you did not control your craving.
You are not just being weak.  There are many reasons why this is happening.

 Cravings VS Addictions!

It is easy to think we are not addicted and simply overwhelmed with cravings.
A craving is a strong desire to consume a particular substance that we sometimes have control over and sometimes don’t. (my definition)

An addiction is a persistent, compulsive dependence on a behavior or substance that interferes with your life despite the known consequences. (again my definition)

 I was a sugar addict and a chocolate addict!  That being said, sugar did not devastate my life the same way as heroin or alcohol could. I was not breaking into candy shops at night to steal sweets or spending every last penny to pay for a daily chocolate fix but it did affect my life.

I am happy to say I am no longer an addict.

 5 Reasons Your Addictions Are Not All Your Fault:

  1. When the body is deficient of the nutrients it needs to function, it will reach out for anything to get any form of nourishment. You cannot blame the body for being so hungry.
  2. If you have candida, bad bacteria or parasites; they are always very hungry and want quick nourishment right now!  They love sugar and refined starches the best.
  1. When you crave foods like cereals, grains, and sugar, you maybe addicted to them according to James Braly, MD, York Nutritional Laboratories and author of Food Allergy Relief.
  2. Food additives like MSG are often added to make you addicted to the foods that they are put in.
  3. The processed food industry spends huge sums of money to get us addicted to their food.  It is easier to get existing customers to eat more than to create new customers.

Causes of Cravings or Addictions

Chemical:
One view of cravings or addictions is that they are simply chemical in nature.
Chocolate and sugar for example, gives us a rush of serotonin and dopamine, the same kind of rush you get from street drugs.  We could achieve that same chemical result with healthier means. (see below)

Emotional:
Cravings are often linked to strong memories of past pleasure.  We want to re-experience that emotional feeling.  For example when you were a child, your Mommy may have fed you cookies when you were sad.  You are now trying to re-experience that safe comforting feeling from your childhood.

Spiritual:
Many people view addictions as an indication of a deep rooted void in life that needs to be filled. This will never totally work.  One really must be willing to work on themselves.  AA, for example, is a deeply spiritual program that has helped millions.

 Top Food Addictions.
These are some of the top food  addictions and cravings from our recent poll. Participate in the poll yourself and find out how you match with others.

  1. Sugar
  2. Salty Snacks
  3. Chocolate
  4. Caffeine
  5. Fatty foods.

To overcome my sugar addiction I learned how important it is to:

We may not be at fault for our addictions but we are responsible for dealing with them.
That means being strong and not giving in easily.
It is all about creating new habits which truly take time.

“Everything is habit forming, so make sure what […]

Is Sugar the New Tobacco?

By |January 9th, 2014|

 pretty cupcakes

‘Sugar is the new tobacco,’ said Simon Capewell, professor of clinical epidemiology at the University of Liverpool.

Being an ex-sugar addict this news caught my attention right away and love what is happening in Great Britain. I am proud of them.

‘Action on Sugar’  has formed a campaign to tackle obesity and diabetes in the UK.  They are putting pressure on the government and industry to reduce the sugar content of food and drinks by up to 30%.   The idea is to halt the obesity epidemic and reduce chronic disease in a practical way that will work and cost very little.

“The science says that sugar is dangerous exclusive of its calories,  just like alcohol, the alcohol of childhood”. says chair of Action Againt Sugar Professor Graham MacGregor.

Marketing ploys to cut calories is not working. Industry must lower sugar content of processed foods, UK doctors are saying.  Action on Sugar says asking firms to make voluntary changes has failed.  Political attempts such as New York’s fat tax on non-diet soft drink often fail because of powerful  resistance from the food industry.

What they plan to do is educate people about ‘hidden sugars’ and get manufacturers to reduce the ingredient over time. The goal is an eventual sugar reduction of 20% to 30% in three to five years. Done slowly like this consumers will not notice the difference in taste.

 “Added sugar has no nutritional value whatsoever and causes no feeling of satiety.  Aside from being a major cause of obesity, there is increasing evidence that added sugar increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and fatty liver.” says Dr Aseem Malhotra, cardiologist and science director of Action on Sugar.

 Action on Sugar has a goal to tackle the obesity epidemic both in the UK and worldwide.

“the cost of obesity to the NHS is approximately £1 billion a year, with an additional £2.3 to £2.6 billion per year to the economy as a whole. If the current trend is not halted, by 2010 the cost to the economy alone could be £3.6 billion a year, and by 2050 it could be £45 billion a year, according to experts.”  Medical Research Council

Some of the big sugar culprits are:

  • Coca Cola or Pepsi – 1 can has 9 teaspoons of sugar.
  • Flavoured water – Glaceau Vitamin Water has four teaspoons of sugar in a 500ml bottle. 
  • Sports drinks – 32 ounce Gatorade has 14 teaspoons of sugar. 
  • Yogurts – even zero-fat yoghurts can contain five teaspoons of sugar.
  • Ketchup – 3 tsp of ketchup has 1 tsp of sugar.
  • Ready meals – Sharwood’s sweet and sour chicken with rice 6 teaspoons.
  • Heinz tomato soup has 4 teaspoons
  • Mars bar has 8 teaspoons of sugar
  • 2 Slices White Bread contains 6 teaspoons of sugar

Studies link Sugar to Obesity and Diabetes
A Harvard medical school study showed that the sugar in one can a day is enough to add four kilos or ten pounds of body fat a year. Drinking more than one can a day increases the chance of obesity by sixty percent.

woman eating donutHow much sugar do we consume?

  • The average British person consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar a day. 
  • The average American consumes 22.2 teaspoons of added sugar each day.
  • The average Canadian consumes 26 teaspoons of sugar per day! 

This latest news from Britain makes me wonder why we are not doing what they are here in North America.  Being overweight and obese is even bigger over here. 

What is the Healthiest Sweetener – Diana Compares 5 Sugars

By |March 30th, 2012|

Sugar! Yes – this is one big topic for many of us and certainly has been for me all of my adult life. I am a confirmed sugar addict.

In the following video, I compare stevia, brown rice syrup, honey, molasses, and agave, and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each. I also deal with specific questions.

For a more extensive list: 19 Different Sugars But Which are Healthy

Once you admit to an addiction; that is a good beginning.  An honest sugar addict sees that it is important to take practical steps; like not having cupboards full of candies, cookies or cakes made with sugar.  I have not bought white sugar for over 30 years.

I have spent a good part of my adult life figuring out how to have sweet yummies in my life without them being harmful to my well being.

The main one I use is a properly processed Stevia because I know that one is the best for my body as it has no calories and does not put my blood sugar into swings.  There are a few others I use occasionally.

This video is a snippet of what I have learned about a few of the sugars that I use and do not use.  There are other sugars I use occasionally but did not highlight them in this class as we were about to make uncooked sweets like Raw Apricot Coconut Balls and Peanut Butter Bliss Balls.

I had no idea that it was going to be filmed; Randy just showed up with his camera and started filming my class.

More Great Articles on Sugar: 

7 Tips to Reduce Sugar Cravings

Will the Real Food Sugar Please Stand Up!

19 Different Sugars but Which Are Healthy

By |June 10th, 2011|

Not all sugars are equal. Some are very good for you in small quantities, others are less healthy. Which sugars do you consider real foods?

7 Tips to Reduce Sugar Cravings

By |March 31st, 2011|

7 Tips to Reduce Sugar Cravings As a child I was practically raised on white sugar and feel that it had a part in my many health problems which took me decades to overcome. I’m going to give you strategies to avoid sugar and the cravings, but first I must make a few points about why you would want to do such a thing.

Are you Dying to be Thin?

By |September 2nd, 2009|

skinny
Sugar makes you FAT. Many people choose to ignore this fact.   Very many. 

There are more overweight people in the world than hungry people … more than one billion according to the World Health Organization.

Sugar also makes us nervous, depresses our immune system and even cause wrinkles.

So why do we eat the darn stuff … and what are the options? Most of us enjoy sweets.  It is natural to enjoy the sweet taste in naturally-sweet foods like fruits which are also good for us. The problem is that most people do not limit their sweet foods to fruit; too often it is a different sugar fix that many resort to.

 

 

Are you dying to be thin?

In 1879 someone at Johns Hopkins had a bright idea to develop a calorie-free sweetener called saccharin.   Almost 100 years later, in the early 1970s, a warning label was thus required on all foods using saccharin: “Use of this product may be hazardous to your health. This product contains saccharin, which has been determined to cause cancer in laboratory animals.” That was the first artificial sweetener; a chemical duplicating the taste of common table sugar and is many times sweeter.

That was the first artificial sweetener. Because it is big business there are many artificial sweeteners on the market and those attempting to be approved for use. Look at this long list: Acesulfame potassium, Aspartame, NutraSweet, Salt of aspartame-acesulfame, Neotame, Neohesperidin dihydrochalcone, Saccharin, Sucralose and Splenda.

Here is a summary of the five most common ones:

  1. Saccharin – aka Sweet’N Low, Sugar Twin is calorie-free because the body cannot break it down. It was found to increase bladder cancer in diabetics who used saccharin for years.
  2. Aspartame – aka Equal, Nutrasweet is one of the more common artificial sweeteners today. There are over 92 different health side effects associated with aspartame consumption (a few examples: hearing impairment, epileptic seizures, migraines, irritability, insomnia, shortness of breath, loss of hair and increased craving for sweets) and it worsens or mimics the symptoms of diseases and conditions as fibromyalgia, MS, lupus, ADD, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. See this article: “An Overdue Ban On A Dangerous Sweetener.“
  3. Sucralose (aka Splenda ) is a chlorinated artificial sweetener. There have been no long-term human studies on the safety of Splenda; however, issues have been raised about Splenda in a new study from Duke University showing that it will literally destroy all good bacteria in your gut, while increasing acidity which stimulates the growth of harmful bacteria and yeast. Research has shown it to cause Shrunken thymus glands, enlarged liver and kidneys, reduced growth rate, decreased red blood cell count and diarrhea. For more info go to http://www.holisticmed.com/splenda/
  4. Neotame has similar structure to aspartame and appears to be even more toxic than aspartame. According to Dr. Janet Starr Hull it is “It’s Just Aspartame Without the Warning”
  5. Acesulfame-K (aka acesulfame potassium, Sunette, Sweet One, Sweet ‘n Safe) is an unsafe chemical. Compared to aspartame and saccharin, Acesulfame-K is the worst. There has been very little research done but studies have shown that it can produce lung and breast tumors, leukemia and chronic respiratory disease in rats.

Artificial sweeteners can cause weight gain!

Yes it is true…at Purdue University Research on Artificial Sweeteners they found that an artificial sweetener makes your body less able to regulate energy. This explains why when you are eating so little, exercising so […]