For a few one bite probably will not hurt however for most one bite will lead to one more and then another and then that will definitely harm you. With a recent study finding sugar as addictive as cocaine and nicotine most of us recognize that once we have tasted the sweet deliciousness of our hearts desire we want more and more and more. Unlike the alcoholic or drug addict where sobriety is a choice of consuming absolutely none, food is not something we can abstain from (you would not last long!) although you could choose to give up sugar which I highly recommend. Nancy Appleton, PhD, the author of “Suicide by Sugar -Why Our Sweet Tooth May Be Killing Us” (great book) has on her website 141 Reasons Why Sugar is Ruining Your Health.
Eliminating sugar is desirable when you understand how toxic and addictive this substance really is and the havoc it can wreak within your body causing obesity, hypoglycemia, migrane and acne to name just a few (all covered in Appleton’s book mentioned above). When you learn recipes and ways to make delicious healthy sweet treats and desserts that support your health and well being rather than harming you and making you gain weight then it is a choice you can be happy with.
It is also worth noting it is not just sugar that damages your health but also anything that has a high glycemic index and therefore creates a high insulin response in the body such as bread, pasta and white flour products. You often will eat something that has a combination of sugar and flour so you get the double whammy of sugar and sugar and of course gluten which so many people are sensitive to. All these ingredients are addictive. Who can eat one cookie or one slice of pizza?
One of the biggest challenges I have had with my diet is giving up bread. I am English and there was nothing I liked more than a piece of wholegrain toast with butter and jam or honey with a cup of tea – Yummy! However I wanted more than one slice and then I would want it the next day and the day after that. My body did not like it and I would put on weight without fail. It took me a long time to really get myself off wheat and grains and do I miss it? sometimes – yes – however I love the serious advantages of not consuming it and the lack of brain fog and weight gain. Another great book is “Life Without Bread – how a low carbohydrate diet can save your life” by Christian B. Allan, Ph.D. and Wolfgang Lutz, M.D. I have witnessed many clients health be absolutely transformed by coming off all grains. Many people who are gluten intolerant just choose the gluten free route still eating grains and they often get great results however they do not compare to those choosing to eliminate all grains.
It is all about making choices in order to support your health and prevent disease. You have to ask yourself how important your quality of life is, how important is it to you personally to be healthy and feel vibrant and happy? In order to achieve the highest quality of life one has to make a conscious effort and put in the work and investment. We are all a work in progress on many levels! The pay off is huge for yourself and your loved ones.
It is important to realize that by taking out a lot of starches and hopefully all sugars you must replace them with plenty of good fats, pastured meats, wild fish, eggs (from pastured chickens) greens, nuts and berries. For more info on how to eat see other posts and book recommendations.
It is not easy to give up sugar however it is quite astonishing how when you do not consume it for a while, even a couple of weeks, how sweet and nasty things that you loved before taste. One of the things I love about the Dr. Simeon’s program is that it gets people off sugar for 6 – 9 weeks and then they find their tastes have completely changed and it makes a great beginning to changing their lifestyle habits. It does get easier and easier the longer you do not consume it and then you might decide to have a little on a special occasion and you realize you just did not enjoy it. You may also be one of those people when just one bite will send you down the rabbit hole!! Make it TODAY that you decide to finally kick your habit. Best not to go cold turkey but start by halving your sugar intake and then just having a mouthful or two and then having no sugar and making some home made treats using stevia (you can buy Truvia from most stores now). If you have a serious addiction then you might have to seek out a Twelve Step program.
And especially for the ladies, both fructose and sucrose have been linked to wrinkles as cellular metabolism breaks down which leads to oxidation damage to the collagen in your skin.
It is any form of sugar that affects our health as a lot of people think that fruit sugar (fructose) is fine as it is from fruit (all natural – isn’t it!) – too much sugar from sweet fruit can still be too much sugar for sensitive individuals, it is a better choice to select low glycemic fruits such as berries and apples. Whether it is fruit sugar, agave, honey, date sugar, high fructose corn syrup, lactose, maltose, maple syrup, rice syrup and others – they are all sugar and all affect your health.
How much sugar do you eat? Have you tried giving it up? If so how did you get on? Let me know.