Phase 1, Step 3: Food (But before we talk about food let’s talk about sugar)

step 3

EATING TOO MUCH SUGAR

When Nasrudin was a magistrate, a woman came to him with her son.
“This youth,” she said, “eats too much sugar; I cannot afford to
keep him in it. Therefore I ask you formally to forbid him to eat
it, as he will not obey me.”

Nasrudin told her to come back in seven days.

When she returned, he postponed his decision for yet another
week.

“Now,” he said to the youth, “I forbid you eat more than such and
such a quantity of sugar every day.”

The woman subsequently asked him why so time had been necessary
before a simple order could be given.

“Because, madam, I had to see whether I myself could cut down on
the use of sugar, before ordering anyone else to do it.”

kind judge

The story reminds us that we cannot stop eating sugar easily, and those who pretend they can are liars or in denial.  In fact there is now scientific evidence that the more sugar we eat, the more we crave for it and need it every day.   Evidence that Intermittent, Excessive Sugar Intake Causes Endogenous Opioid Dependence  a  recent  research by a group of eight  professors at Princeton University and Los Andes University,  Venezuela,  concluded that an excessive intake of sugar caused behavioral and neurochemical signs of dependence and withdrawal similar to a dependence to opium and nicotine. Signs of Anxiety, change of body temperature, confusion were observed.

In 1975, William Dufty wrote Sugar Blues.  He published this book because he became a sugar addict and kicked the habit. It is an inspiring and frightening book about the effects of sugar:  sugar does not bring nutrients, it is addictive and is linked to many diseases.  Dufty warns about the rise of diabetes, and its correlation with soft drinks and sugar in snacks. The epidemic of diabetes  He describes how the tobacco industry introduced sugar in cigarettes, which increased dramatically the incidence of cancer for smokers.  It is now recognized by traditional oncologists that “cancer loves sugar.” 

Americans were sold on the idea that fat in food was responsible for their weight. In fact, fat like protein has a satiating effect. I never saw a bulimic eating one chicken after another. It is a “sweet” deal for the food industry. They  get  the same amount of money from low fat milk and sell the cream they took out of the milk for a high price.

Sugar in the other hand is cheaper than any food it is added too, and since it is addictive, it brings people to eat more.  When we eat a chocolate cake we have, at least, some pleasure. But when sugar is added to the meat, or the mayonnaise, we only gain a wider waist line. Companies are getting us sick but they are  protected because sugar is not considered as a toxic substance by the FDA, and we reproach ourselves this single piece of cake. . .

Sugar lurks in food in 50+ different forms

There are many words used by the Food Industry mainly to disguise the presence of sugar and hide the percentage. Put together the added sugars  would be listed  the first ingredient, included in many “health foods” like protein bars and cereals.

Here is a list of sugars by http://naturalbias.com/types-of-sugar-by-name/ : Dextrose Fructose Galactose Glucose, Lactose, Levulose, Maltose, Saccharose, Sucrose, Xylose, Mannitol, Sorbitol, Xylitol, Beet Sugar, Brown sugar, Cane Sugar, Confectionary Sugar, Corn Sugar. Corn Sweetener, Corn Syrup, Dehydrated Cane Juice, Dextrin, Fruit Juice Concentrate, Granulated Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Honey, Invert Sugar, Isomalt, Malt Syrup, Maltodextrin, Maple Sugar, Maple Syrup, Molasses, Raw Sugar, Rice Syrup, Sorghum, Treacle
Turbinado Sugar.

 Recovering from sugar addiction.

It is possible.  It takes a minimum of five days for the body to recover. My experience as a psychologist is that it takes two to four weeks for losing the habit to look for something sweet to eat when anxious. After a month of abstinence  you will be able to eat something sweet once in a while, like thin people do.

 The most difficult part is to eliminate the hidden sugars from your diet. We need to read the labels, and make no compromise.

It is still possible to find food without sugar but we have to look for it. I found only one brand of mayonnaise without sugar available at Trader Joe’s, but no bread without it. I have to go to the New Life Health Center. I found recently that sweetened water was added to raw meat sold in grocery stores. The % of carbs indicated is 0, simly because the serving size is very small  and the %  has been rounded to entire numbers. 

american-sugar-consumption

An interesting documentary to watch The Bitter Truth: www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM by Dr. Lustig, Professor of endocrinology. It can help anyone with a sugar addiction.

 We, consumers have a lot of power. If we don’t buy the food with added sugar, we can reverse the process, eat less sugar and influence the food companies. In fact it has already started. 

 In the article, Consumption of added sugars decreasing in the United States, the researchers note a decrease between 2007 and 2008 but it conclude that it is mostly because of a decrease of consumption of sodas. We still need to ban the sweetened food from our homes.

.* (Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 September; 94(3): 726–734. Published online 2011 July 13. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.018366PMCID: PMC3155936,)

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4 thoughts on “Phase 1, Step 3: Food (But before we talk about food let’s talk about sugar)

  1. Gabrielle

    Very interesting article Annick. I used to eat lots of sugar. In my family, when I was young, we used to eat ultra sweet desserts every meal. I think it was my mom’s way to express her love. Fifteen years ago, I saw my mom and two aunts, one with severe diabetes, eating a huge piece of a very sweet pie and I was stucked by the idea that if I kept eating sugar, I would be like them at their age. Eating sweet was bad for them, it was for me. This consciousness just made the change. I rarely eat sugar and never cook desserts, even when I have people for dinner. However, I am far from perfect in my relation with food. Quantity is still an issue!

    Reply
    1. Dr. Annick Safken Post author

      When I moved to America in 83, I did not like the pastries. They were too sweet..There is so much sugar on the pies, that you cannot taste the fruits. And I don’t know who invented the icing on the cake…it is pure sugar with coloring. I think we can enjoy a pie once in a while with a third of the sugar the pies you buy at the store have. They taste better. You are right about being conscious. What gets me is how processed food has become increasively loaded with sugar for profit reasons and how people are being shamed for being overweight. It is just hypocrisy.

      Reply
  2. Nan Rubin

    Annick – For those of us with a sweet tooth, are there natural sweet “treats” you’d recommend to help us transition away from sugar? I do not want to give up the pleasure of sweetness on my palette entirely!

    Reply
    1. Dr. Annick Safken Post author

      Sorry, I missed your post.
      Well, I am partial to French pastries, because they are less sweet. I did not try the French Bakery in Tucson, Ghinis, for a while, and hope they did not adjust to the North American habit. I see a field trip is required. Do you want to participate? Does anybody from Tucson want to participate?
      I am also partial to chocolate. I only buy the best: 85% cacao. More pleasure, less sugar, and only need a square or two, to be fully satisfied. Besides chocolate, I eat plain yogurt and add berries.

      Reply

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