Sugar, the new Cocaine

Have you ever stuck your hand in an Oreo cookie bag with the intent of only eating one and before you know it the entire row or package is gone? For me, when I was in college is was Starburst. I would head to the library to study with a package of starburst and a Diet Coke. Before I knew it I was sweating and the entire package was gone.

According to the documentary, “That Sugar Film” in the 1950’s the Low Fat Craze took over the American Diet. Manufacturers of food had to substitute high fats to accommodate this new craze with low fat sugars.

Have you ever experienced the sugar dragon? I have! The sugar dragon is referred to as your brain’s unrelenting demand for sugar, junk foods, or simple carbs. The more you feed it, the more fire it breathes and the stronger it gets. The only way to slay your Sugar Dragon is to starve it, which is why the Whole30 Program allows for no added sugar, not some, not less, but none. Good news is, if you follow the Whole30 Program or eliminate sugar from your diet, your Sugar Dragon’s fire breathing days are numbered!

One of the biggest challenges is identifying where these sugars are hidden in the foods you purchase. Sugar comes in many different forms and names. Here is a list (not inclusive, but a good start): Barley malt, Cane sugar (even if it says organic), Corn Syrup, evaporated cane juice, fruit juice, fructose, galactose, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, lactose, maltose, maltodextrin, mannitol, sucrose, sorbitol. Other sweeteners include coconut sugar, raw honey, date sugar, luo han guo (monk fruit), stevia, maple syrup, Xylitol. All of these are not approved by the Whole30 program. If you read your labels when grocery shopping, you have realized that sugar is hidden in almost everything. Why? Because it is more addictive than cocaine, so studies have shown on mice. The only way companies make money is if you purchase their food. What’s the best way to get you to purchase their product? Leave you addicted so you have to come back for more. Check out this article published by the Huffington Post on rats that prefer sugar over cocaine and this You Tube video on rats who are more addicted to sugar than cocaine.

So how do you rid this harmful ingredient from your lifestyle? Does it seem impossible? It may, but I am here to tell you that it is possible and you can be in control of the foods you eat.

5 Tips for Slaying the Sugar Dragon:

1-Be aware - read your labels and be knowledgable on the foods you are consuming. Simple rule, if you can’t pronounce it, don’t consume it.

2-Clean out your pantry - Have a pantry pitching party. Toss anything in your cupboards that contains any of the ingredients above. If you have it in the house, believe me you will be tempted to consume it when the going gets rough and the Sugar Dragon decides to flare it’s temper.

3-Plan and Prepare - just like anything that is worth it, you need to be dedicated, plan and prepare to execute. Meal planning and grocery shopping are a must. You must make it priority. It’s doesn’t have to be complicated, but you must have lots of healthy fruits, vegetables and nuts on hand to consume so you are not tempted to grab a sugary sweet.

4-Have an accountability partner or join a group like my Team Joy Whole 30 Support Group. You can and will be more successful if you have a support group to share tips, tricks and offer up prayer when you are struggling.

5-Commit to 30 days. It takes 30 days to form a habit and break old habits. You can do anything for 30 days if you put your mind to it. 2 Timothy 1:7 For the Spirit of God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. All good things take commitment, dedication, and obedience. Healthy relationships, financial freedom, raising children, getting an education, spirituality and the list goes on. I believe wellness falls into this category as well. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it!