I just read an interesting article about how sugar is the world’s most popular drug. Those of us who are health conscious and try to eat less-processed food, carbs, and sugars, know that the food industry has been putting corn syrup and sugar into our foods for decades. We know that we have to read the labels to understand what we are ingesting because what we eat affects our health. Ever since processed sugar was introduced into our diets back in the 16th century, its intoxicating effects have created addictions to pastries, candies, and other sweets. Some claim that they need sugar to overcome caffeine and nicotine addictions. Even babies and children prefer sugar and go through withdrawals when they come down off of sugar highs.
While it’s difficult to prove that we are addicted to sugar and that this addiction is also a contributing cause of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, removing it from our diets can change how we feel. When I was in my early 20s and 30s, I remember becoming addicted to sugar around Halloween. I would have bags of my favorite candies in the kitchen and I couldn’t help myself when I passed them. I just HAD to have 1 or 2 pieces – after all, they were small. Right? And, I would have another couple of pieces the next time I walked into the kitchen, and then I would make trips to the kitchen just to get the candies. And, then I’d raid my daughters’ Halloween candies that they kept in their rooms. This would go on until after Thanksgiving because I would start baking apple pies, pecan pies, and pumpkin cakes. Yup, it was a tradition, therefore it was okay.
It wasn’t until after Christmas that I realize I had gained weight and felt bloated. Then, like the rest of the nation, I went on a diet. When I stopped eating candy, desserts, and carbs, I lost weight and I felt so much better. Strangely, I also noticed that I stopped craving sugar. So not eating sugar made me need it less. Hmm.
Now that I know that processed grains (flours) are really sugars, it makes sense to me that when I eat bagels, croissants, or pastas, I feel the same highs and lows as if I ate a candy bar. So, yes, I was addicted to sugar, and I never thought of myself as an addict because I don’t drink or do drugs. So no more sugar or grains for me!