If this is the first time you’ve heard about the fact that sugar has the same effect on your brain as cocaine, you might be living under a rock. Either that, or you’re in denial that the sweet, sticky substance we all love to nosh on is terribly bad for you and highly addictive. As a matter of fact, sugar is my drug of choice, and I’m taking the first step in recovery to admit that I’m still an addict.
And yet, we continue to eat it in mass, ever-growing quantities and stuff our children full of it, beginning in infancy with the introduction of rice cereals and fruit as the main sources of nourishment. We’re creating addicts in high chairs. Childhood and Type 2 diabetes, infertility due to PCOS (which is an end stage symptom of Insulin Resistance), obesity, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s Disease are all on the rise, and yet so many of us refuse to acknowledge the cause, even though all signs point to sugar, or more specifically, simple sugar consumption which includes fruit and some vegetables.
We’re brainwashed from our earliest TV watching days that the food pyramid is good for us, that fruit should be consumed all day, and then when we’re old enough to hire personal trainers, they promise us that we can eat whatever we want, in moderation, as long as it fits our macros. Yet here we are getting fatter and suffering from more and more serious diseases, things our great grandparents never suffered from. Every time someone older than me says, “That didn’t exist when I was coming up!” I think to myself, “Yeah, well, your parents also fed you a whole lot of fat, not a whole lot of sugar, and not that many grains.” because it’s true!
Back when my mom was growing up, they got castor oil for constipation (don’t know if you need me to spell this out for you, but castor oil is fat), they ate lots of meat, their lunch boxes had a sandwich with peanuts and a piece of fruit; and it was a rarity for them to get cookies, crackers, and all the other processed junk we are currently feeding our kids on a daily basis.
Kids are starting life as addicts eating rice cereal and oatmeal fortified with corn syrup solids, and turning into adolescents who are addicts who then turn into adults who are obese and chronically ill and yet we seemingly cannot figure out why.
Our country has become increasingly overweight and increasingly ill despite the introduction of a “heart healthy diet” that is chemically-laden and high in glucose-producing foods.
Did you know carrots and corn are simple sugars? What this means is that once consumed, carrots and corn turn into glucose in your body and stimulate production of insulin. Too much insulin flooding a body turns directly into fat. Your body cannot tell the difference between carrots and a spoonful of sugar, your body just says, “Simple sugar! Let’s make more insulin!” and gets to work. This is also the case with potatoes, all breads – even whole wheat, all types of sugar – refined, unrefined, maple syrup, Aunt Jemima, and honey.
I feel embarrassed that as an educated, intelligent individual, I actually believed that my body was smart enough to tell the difference between white table sugar and honey. Sure, honey has minerals and vitamins and other healing properties, but it’s still sugar, and it still produces the exact same insulin response in our bodies that refined sugar does. And sugar? It’s toxic, you guys. It’s so toxic that it is causing myriad autoimmune and neurological diseases, and very few health care providers are willing to look at the startling evidence. They are even calling Alzheimer’s Disease Type 3 Diabetes because of the stunning correlation between sugar and damage to the brain. For more information on that correlation, from an actual doctor whom you might trust more than you trust me, I highly suggest reading the book, Grain Brain by Dr. Perlmutter. And as a supplement, read Why We Get Fat and What to do About it by Gary Taubes or The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz.
Here’s the thing, even though I’ve done countless research, educated myself beyond belief, I still slip up. I can get on this whole low carb/high fat wagon and stay on for months, but as soon as I take a trip to New York City and am faced with fresh macarons, I go face-down in a vat of sugar and can’t seem to climb out for months. Generally after I’ve gained 30 or 40 lbs and my health is once again suffering.
Why? WHY do I do this? I have absolutely no willpower in the face of ice cream and an increasingly difficult time saying away from this sticky substance we all “cannot live without”.
Because I’m an addict. Plain and simple.
I’m trying to get back to the point where I no longer want it, but I’m currently an addicted addict. I’d like to just be an unaddicted addict. I can’t be in the same room as sugar without going all Cookie Monster on it and my inability to say no is terrifying. I’ve never been addicted to anything illegal, but I am addicted to something that is not only legal, but difficult to get away from, completely socially acceptable, and yet something that produces the same type of damage to your brain and organs that hard drugs do. Some people are able to consume mass quantities of sugar and maintain their physique. There are others like me who literally look at carby foods and begin producing insulin. People like me can’t eat “everything in moderation” because it wreaks havoc on our bodies. We always have a layer of fat that we just can’t get rid of, we don’t look as healthy as our naturally small counterparts who eat the same way we do, and no amount of exercise will ever make us the hardbodies we often strive to be. We become content with saying, “I’d rather have this extra layer of fat than give up carbs and sugar all the time.” What we aren’t considering is that whether we are thin or thick, consuming these things is nibbling away at our organ function and brain power. In the end, whether or not we’re fat or thin, many of us will wind up with dementia, which is why I find it so frustratingly irresponsible every time I meet someone whose personal trainer tells them to eat whatever they want as long as it fits their macros, especially when that person has insulin resistance. People with Insulin Resistance and Diabetes – we’ll be the ones in the nursing homes first if we continue following the advice of people who really don’t know what they’re talking about.
I want to get back to high fat and low carbs all the time, which is why I’m taking the first step in admitting that I’m an addict. I can’t change it without you. And maybe this will help you understand why I cannot EVER “eat it in moderation” or at all, really. It is my drug, my poison, and it is literally killing me – literally – and yet I cannot stay away. So help me? Help hold me accountable? Visit me on Facebook and cheer me on. Follow my Instagram account and hold me accountable. Tweet with me on Twitter and check up on me all day long. Because without a team of people who REALLY understand this disease and are willing to hold my hand through it, without telling me that I can eat whatever I want in moderation, I can’t do it.
So will you be my sponsor?