It has been admitted by nutritional experts, even those who are paid by the sugar industry, that high levels of sugar in food is not only causing obesity, tooth decay and disease, but it is also addictive.
Sugar is an ingredient we are all familiar with. Many of us will add it to drinks and baking without a thought about the effects it has. Sugar after all is a treat, something sweet that makes us feel good when we eat or drink it, and it has been used for generations so it must be safe, right?
Sugar is obtained from sugar cane and sugar beet in a process where the naturally occurring sugars are removed by crushing the plants, boiling and then purifying into a concentrated crystal form by evaporation. The process has been used for many years changing little other than in it’s scale as the use of sugar has increased, and it’s use has increased greatly.
Sugar is now an ingredient in many foods that we would not normally consider to be highly sweetened such as bread or tomato soup, the latter containing as much as 4 teaspoons per serving. The issue with this is that the sugar is causing the food to be sweeter than it would normally be, giving everyday foods the ability to give the good feeling that would normally be obtained from a sweet treat. This is done to encourage consumers to favour a particular brand or product as less sweetened brands will be perceived to have less taste. Levels of sugar in these so called savoury foods has doubled in the last few years.
Sugar gives a feeling of euphoria meaning that it can become addictive, especially when it is administered daily in so many different foods meaning higher doses are needed to have an effect. Sugar has also been compared to drugs such as cocaine. In 2009 A French study found that rats, who were already addicted to cocaine, were eight times more likely to chose to consume sugar than cocaine.
Addictive and linked to many diseases
Quitting a sugary diet can cause low mood and cravings which have been reported as being as strong as the cravings addicts feel for alcohol or cocaine. This is because sugar triggers the release of opioids and dopamine in the brain causing euphoria and giving a sense of reward and pleasure. Because of this the brain sends messages for more and more sugar to continue the pleasure, this can also need to seeking greater pleasure from other related drugs such as alcohol.
By steering clear of eating sugar by omitting it from food and being vigilant of what products we buy, we can avoid the issues of addiction, diabetes, tooth decay, obesity, heart problems, liver failure and eye disease that are common with high sugar diets. The benefits of a balanced diet of natural ingredients has been known for a very long time however, sugar has always been marketed as a natural product making many consumers believe that it is safe.
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