October 21, 2013

cupcakes & cocaine

sweet tooth

Ever wonder why no organic merchant sells white sugar or any food containing sugar?
If I said to add cocaine instead of sugar to your morning coffee, or that injecting cocaine into your kids vein was the same as giving them any well commercialized kids cereal, you’d probably be horrified with me, right?

christian bale

But that’s the exact reality we face today. Sugar is the cocaine of the food industry. White, refined sugar is one molecule away from being the exact same chemical composition as cocaine. The chemical formula for sugar is C12H22O11 and C17H21NO4 for cocaine. The only difference is that sugar is missing the “N” (nitrogen) atom, but sugar is actually a purer, more refined substance than cocaine.

And in one study rats even preferred the reward of sugar over cocaine when presented with both.

mark walberg

In addition to being extremely addictive, refined sugar is a foodless food, with absolutely no value. During the refining process potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, phosphate, and sulfate are removed; vitamins A, D, and B, vitamins are destroyed; amino acids, vital enzymes, unsaturated fats, and all fiber are gone. As a final insult sugar is bleached snow-white usually by the use of pork or cattle bones.

white sugar is the purified sucrose extracted out of say beans or sugar cane. It’s a pharmaceutical sugar – well, white flour is a pharmaceutical carbohydrate in the same way that cocaine is extracted out of the coca plant, so you have the native cocaine in the matrix of the plant itself or you have the pharmaceutical version. To me, white sugar, cocaine, white flour, they all fall in the same category of a whitened, extracted, purified substance drawn out of the plant kingdom – all of them create imbalances in the body and lead to all kinds of problems – daniel vitalis, hungry for change

I’m the first to admit that I love sweets. Cakes, cupcakes, cookies, chocolate. Give me one piece, give me five. Am I just gluttonous? Maybe. But something more powerful is actually driving the craving.

When your body ingests sugar it’s like Christmas Day for your brain. Eating a piece of cake is a piece of cake for you body to digest (ha!) because it’s composed of simple sugars that require little effort by the body to break down.

Glucose (what sugar is broken down into) floods into the bloodstream, dopamine (the feel good hormone) is released along with extra insulin from the pancreas to turn glucose into glycogen – which the liver and muscles store as a source of backup fuel when the body needs a quick boost of energy. After the rush, your blood sugar levels crash, triggering the release of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Stress hormones raise our heart rate and make us ready for a ‘flight or fight’ response. When the body realizes there’s no danger present it’s left feeling nauseated.

Not exactly good times, but sugar has clearly become a national obsession.

  • The average american consumed 45g of sugar every 5 days in 1822 compared to 765g in 2012.
  • The average American consumes about 130lbs of sugar a year or 3,550lbs in a lifetime.
  • The America Heart Association recommends no more than 9.5 tsp of sugar per day…the average child has 32tsp.
  • Americans drink 53 gallons of soft drinks each year

the mixture of caffeine and artificial sweeteners contains a unique blend of exitotoxins that kills off brain cells, but before they die, they get a buzz of excitement. So it makes you want more and more…and more. Like a drug. People who consume artificial sweeteners become more and more addicted to them over time.” – Christiane Northrup

Refined sugar is linked to:

  • obesity
  • diabetes
  • skin irritation
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • high blood pressure
  • stiffening of arteries
  • nervous tension

mother of god

Unlike cocaine, sugar is a socially acceptable addiction. We think nothing of giving ourselves, and our kids, a diet rich in refined sugars, but how often do we stop to think about what it’s actually doing to our health?

Sugar manufacturers, motivated by money, will aggressively defend their product to keep it on store shelves and convince you there’s nothing unnatural about sugar.

leo blood diamond

However, everything natural about sugar has been removed, leaving you with a deadly substance that is keeping a nation fat, tired and sick.

Want to kick the addiction? Here are a few tips to help get you started:

  1. know what you’re eating. sugar is everywhere – especially in restaurants where the easiest way to make a dish more tasty is to add sugar. And, not only do you have to watch out for sugar, but high fructose corn syrup as well. When large amounts of HFCS enter the liver, and it’s already full of glycogen, it gets turned into fat. So products that are “low-fat” or “fat-free”are likely loaded with sugar/HFCS…which will actually keep your weight on.
  2. find substitutes. use maple crystals for white sugar, sucanat for brown sugar and honey for corn syrup
  3. stock up on protein and fat. avocados, beans, coconut oil, nuts, seeds will keep hunger at bay and control blood sugar spikes and crashes

And finally, stop eating sugar. I’m serious, go cold turkey and you body will adjust faster.

sherlock

References

  1. http://tugunchiro.com.au/articles/sugar-is-one-atom-away-from-cocaine.html
  2. http://scientopia.org/blogs/scicurious/2010/08/09/sugar-and-cocaine-episode-two/ 
  3. http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2012/08/30/how-much-sugar-are-americans-eating-infographic/
  4. http://authoritynutrition.com/9-reasons-to-avoid-sugar/
  5. http://www.peta.org/about/faq/Are-animal-ingredients-included-in-white-sugar.aspx
  6. http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj97mar/973sugar.htm
  7. http://usablog.metabolic-balance.com/post/20022312954/and-you-look-at-the-amount-of-sugar-in-a-childs
  8. http://healthycrush.com/hungry-for-change-filmmakers-the-truth-about-dieting/

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  • Fantastic post, Sonja! Well researched as always. Plus I am still mystified how you find the perfect images to support your points 🙂

    • thanks m’lady! And I take a lot of pride in those accompany gifs 😉

  • Margie

    This well researched post on the very down side of sugar has to be a serious eye opener for everyone, and most especially for those who do not pay any attention to how much sugar they actually consume. Eliminating it from your diet has never been more desirable ( or easier ) than after reading this informative piece.
    Great work, Sonja!!!