Do you have a sugar addiction? News about the obesity epidemic is all over the place. But what if we’ve been looking in the wrong direction for our solution? Rather than emphasising fat reduction in food, should we be turning our attention to the sugar epidemic?
It’s time to reveal the bitter truth about our obsession with sugar and sugar addiction.
The Wrong Culprit?
The connection between low fat and losing fat is a natural one. Since the 1970’s marketers have been doing a great job in driving home that connection. The only problem is that the low fat revolution hasn’t made us any less fat. In fact, it’s ballooned us out to epic proportions. How come?
Taking the fat out of food makes it taste a bit like cardboard. Something has to be added to put the flavour back. And that something just happens to be sugar. That’s why all those low fat foods are packed full of the stuff. The food tastes great – in fact we can’t put it down.
That’s because sugar is addictive. It triggers the same reward centres in the brain as nicotine and cocaine. The more we have, the more we need, leading to the phenomenon of tolerance, which is the first step on the way to sugar addiction.
The Problem with Sugar
The result of our sugar addiction is that our metabolisms have been messed up. It has driven up our insulin levels, which results in increased fat. The higher your insulin the more likely you are to store fat.
Sugar is a simple carbohydrate made of two molecules – glucose and fructose. This bond is broken in the gut before they are absorbed. Glucose mainly drives fat storage under the skin, while fructose deposits fat around organs, such as the liver.
Extra liver fat leads to insulin resistance. Because the liver doesn’t work correctly, the pancreas has to make extra insulin. This also causes hypertension, impaired brain function, increased cell proliferation, which may cause cancer and It can also cause heart disease.
To make matters worse, sugar does NOT make you feel full. In fact, its will make you hungrier rather than satisfied. You brain does not register that you are not hungry due to sugar (fructose) affecting a hormone called Leptin. Sugar (fructose) also doesn’t allow your Grehlin (hunger) hormone to work as it should, this means you can and will eat more.
Just look at the fast/junk food outlets such as McDonalds and Burger King, they aways ask if you would like to upsize. If you thought about it – thats a HUGE meal! A litre of Soft drink, a Burger PLUS large fries. How can all that possibly fit into your stomach? There is a LOT of sugar in there so your brain doesnt register your are full.
To Juice or Not to Juice
By juicing your fruit, you are removing the fibre, which fills you up. That means you can take in a whole lot more fructose than with whole fruits.
It would pay then to stick with whole fruit, as it will prevent you from over-indulging in fructose. Too much fructose not only mucks up your liver, it also plays around with the hormones that control your appetite.
If you do enjoy juicing your fruits and vegetables, opt for a Cold Press Juicer type appliance that will juice your whole fruit and veg so that you still enjoy all the nutrients and the fibre that nature intended.
The bottom line is that it’s not the amount of fat in our diets that has led to the obesity and metabolic health epidemic with which we are now confronted. It is the fact that most of us have been conditioned into a sugar addiction.
Most dieticians tell you to watch your calories. After all, it comes back to the old calories in, calories out equation.
The problem is that not all calories are equal. Carb calories have a much lower thermic effect than protein calories for example. Getting off the sugar addiction will lower our insulin levels and allow us to lose fat, feel better and have more energy.