19 Apr 2012
- Written by Dr. Timothy Moore Ph.D
Are you a sugarholic? Do you find yourself craving sweets all the time and sneaking around to enjoy your favorite desserts, such as donuts, candy bars, ice cream, cakes and pies?
The aforementioned sweet treats are loaded with sugar and often difficult to resist. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Americans consume 156 pounds of sugar each year. Just imagine – that’s 31 five-pound bags of sugar per person.
Much of the food that we eat today, and particularly the food that we crave, contains a boatload of sugar that tantalizes our taste buds and keeps our palate moist with anticipation. Soft drinks are syrupy sweet, for example. But candy, peanut butter, taffy, donuts, ketchup, alcohol, pasta sauces, salad dressings and bread are chock-full of sugar.
You might have heard, as I’ve learned over the years, that too much sugar is bad for your health – that it can cause the body to break down. But is the consumption of sugar that addictive and hard to overcome? The frequent craving for sweet treats is the answer to that question.
I don’t know one person who doesn’t enjoy something sweet after a meal. Children, however, are naturally inclined to eat their dessert first before eating a full course meal that’s laid out before them. I’m just wondering: Are children susceptible to sweet treats before they leave their mother’s womb or shortly after their taste buds are able to discern the sweet substance?
You’d be surprised to learn that traces of sugar can be found in milk given to newborns. So by the time a child is able to feed himself/herself, an insatiable appetite for sugary food is well established. Hence, the general choice of something sweet rather than a plate of vitamin-enriched broccoli, for example.
The sweet goodness takes on many forms: refine sugar, sucrose, honey, fructose, glucose, dextrose, maltose, raw sugar, turbinado sugar, maple sugar, brown sugar, dextrine, barley malt, rice syrup, corn sweeteners and corn syrup. The consumption of these sweet substances can enter the blood stream very quickly and eventually wreak havoc on the body.
Some health issues include allergies, itching eyes, a constant runny nose and a sore throat. These are warning signs that your body chemistry is unbalanced and that you’re traveling down a very dangerous road that’s littered with dietary potholes.
Are you listening to your body or waiting for a sign? Other problems can arise too from consuming too much sugar, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, adult-onset diabetes, hypoglycemia, obesity and aging. If you’re eating processed food, you won’t be able to avoid the constant bombardment of sugar.
Remember, sugar is very pervasive in society and found in every type of processed meals that you can imagine. It is very addictive and latches onto your taste buds and won’t let go. You can’t escape its tenacious grip unless you make up your mind to completely let go.
If you’re craving sugar and trying to break free from it, do not eat anything with refined sugar in it. If you can’t do it, you’re one of many who haven’t been able to yield to temptation. Also, if you can’t go a day or two without consuming food with some form of sugar in it, you’re a sugarholic.
Here’s a tip: Since most food is prepared with sugar anyway, don’t add more sugar. It won’t hurt if you toss the sugar. Believe me, you won’t miss it. But for those who have children and add sugar to their meals, remember this: one in three children is obese and diabetic. So is it really worth giving them sugar?
If you think you can’t prepare a meal without sugar, I’m a living witness that you can. So don’t throw up your hands and quit before you begin. You still can prepare great tasting dishes that will whet your appetite and keep your taste buds craving for more.
And you’ll be much healthier for it!