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Addicted: Why Breaking a Love Affair With Sugar is Hard To Do

Bowl of sugar cubes Bowl of sugar cubes

The most disturbing thing about sugar is that its ubiquitous negative influence can be seen and felt, yet its power is aggressively denied and fervently ignored by those who consume it. When the subject of sugar comes up, it is with an eerie quality to see how sugar rarely needs to defend itself; it has a mass of people resolved to fight for its staying presence in their lives. Sugar pretends to be innocent – "sweet" it boasts, but its deceitful nature is evident. Our society's relationship with sugar is like that of a drug addict, strung out on their latest hit. Like the addict, we reject the truth and fail to see the white crystal for what it truly is.

The connection between sugar and diseases like diabetes is well known. But for reasons unfounded, people continue to dismiss the facts about sugar's effects on their body as frivolous, or worse, threatening to their way of life.

"Sugar is not an energy food," Jeanne Marie Martin says, author of For the Love of Food. Nor does it provide any nutrients to the body. Because it has no "food value" and no ability to nourish, refined sugar offers the body nothing except a rapid entry into the bloodstream and short, unsustainable bursts of energy.

Some people claim their need for sugar is a consequence of a natural sweet tooth; they need it and can't help the way their bodies respond to the stuff. What they do not know is this craving is their body crying out for the essential vitamins and nutrients it needs – and has been lacking – in order to function.

By design, the body is able to make its own sugar, from fruits and even whole grains.* Therefore, the body has no need for refined sugar (or even natural sugars). By default, we can live and thrive without consuming it. On the other hand, those who are inclined to relish in the familiar and savory sweetness may opt to use raw honey as their new and natural sugar source.

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Sugar is poison. That's the uncomfortable fact. Despite the research, reports, documentaries, testimonials, and books, accessible to us, alerting us to this chemical's destructive power, we bury our heads in the sand, raise a hand of disinterest at the knowledge, and pledge an ever more fervent allegiance to our addictions. For that is what we truly are – addicted.

*Jeanne Marie Martin, For the Love of Food, The Complete Natural Foods Cookbook

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Last modified onThursday, 02 July 2015 03:47