Are You a Sugar Addict?

By Judy Davie, The Food Coach

My macrobiotic cooking teacher moved to the States two years ago. We met briefly during a quick Australian holiday where over an herbal tea she announced, "Americans are all suppressed, repressed and depressed through sugar addiction. It's a drug that's harder to come off than heroin". While this dramatic statement conjured up amusing images of a John Grisham movie with Harrison Ford trying to crack the lid on the American Government controlling the population by lacing every packaged product with sugar, there were some alarming chords of truth to it.

There is no question that sugar is addictive and if consumed in excess it controls our energy levels and moods. Unnatural highs followed by sudden lows, rapid energy bursts followed by feelings of overwhelming exhaustion are just some of the effects of sugar. The cycle of sugar induced energy peaks and troughs is one that many of us are on - in particular children. For too many years we've unwittingly munched our way through boiled and gelatinous lollies, soft drinks, low fat biscuits and muffins and a range of other packaged products packed with sugar. Unfortunately it's not just in the US. Worldwide, the percentage of total calories that came from sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and other caloric sweeteners in 2000 was 32 percent higher than in 1962.

If you eat sugary things to make you feel better, you are actually making your "sugar addiction" condition worse. Try to slowly wean yourself of sugary products by firstly cutting down your intake from all products with hidden sugar in it. Reduce the amount of alcohol you consume. Consciously reduce the amount of sugar you put in hot drinks and other home made products. Avoid all soft drinks and drink water instead. Try to curb your sugar habit by eating naturally sweet foods in your main meal, like sweet potato, pumpkin and onion and end the meal with natural sugars from fruit.

Some sugar offenders:

  • Fizzy Cola and Soft Drinks
  • Oreo Cookies, Cream Biscuits and Iced Cakes
  • Low Fat Muffins
  • Caramel Popcorn
  • Natural Jelly Lollies
  • Breakfast Drinks

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