This year I have decided to give up sugar! Well at least processed sugar, like sugar in my coffee, so that means no more coffee either, unless I embrace the bitter taste of coffee! Gone also are sweets and biscuits, which over the last two years, I have enjoyed without shame. Sugar is my weakness. It sweetens me, like a sugar coating! Makes life easier. Smooth’s over those bitter moments, which we prefer to brush under the carpet. Working in the area of addiction, brings it own stress. Life brings us challenges that we prefer it didn’t and so we cope and adjust with sweeteners, like drugs and foods.
Day 2 and I don’t like what I am experiencing, low energy, low mood and a lack of motivation. Lucky for me its Saturday and not Monday! I suppose I am going through the withdrawal stage, similar to what addicts go through when they stop using drugs.
Refined sugar is a drug that is similar to opiates in its power to become addicted to it. The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs stated in a study published in 2010 that sugar releases euphoric endorphins in some people’s brains in a manner very similar to that of certain drugs, which are commonly abused.
“Sugar addiction” follows the same pathways in the brain that a habit-forming drug does. Fortunately, sugar cravings can be stopped within a week of withdrawing from the white crystals.
I have found in the past when I came off processed sugar I was psychologically and emotionally stronger and better able to cope with stress and the challenges that come with being alive. I also believe that sugar contributes to diseases that we could help to avoid by reducing our processed sugar intake.
Here is just a sampling of the chronic diseases and conditions associated with overconsumption of sugar:
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Overweight and obesity
Macular degeneration (loss of eyesight)
Fatty Liver Disease
Certain forms of cancer, including breast cancer and ovarian cancer
Elevated cholesterol levels
Pubmed.gov, Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 2010 Jun; 42(2):147-51. “Sweet preference, sugar addiction and the familial history of alcohol dependence: shared neural pathways and genes,” by JL Fortuna.