Sugar Addiction is Real

What is an addiction? Merriam-Webster defines an addiction as follows:

noun \ə-ˈdik-shən, a-\

: a strong and harmful need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something (such as gamble)

: an unusually great interest in something or a need to do or have something 

:  the quality or state of being addicted

:  compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal;broadly :  persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful.

If you, like millions of others, find that sugar creates a persistent and undeniable need for more sugar, you are likely addicted. Both in the biological and psychological realms.

Sugar is a major part of our western food industry, our western food traditions, and it’s hard to avoid. But for many of us, any sugar leads to persistent cravings for more sugar, and therefore we are for all intents and purposes addicted

I have offered other blog posts about the problems of staying away from sugars, especially in regard to weight loss, but more important are the harmful affects of glycation that sugars cause at the cellular level.

There are many reasons to get control of sugar, but as we grow older we more than ever appreciate that part of what we think of as “natural” effects of aging, are in fact the results of decades of poor diet. Sugars and starches from grains, are the worst offenders. Dementia, Alzheimer’s, declining joint functions related to arthritis, bone loss, fuzzy thinking, wrinkling  and thinning skin, and so forth.

If you find that it is next to impossible for you to stay away from sweets, then consider that abstaining is the best way. We can’t have just a little of these sugars/starches without the concomitant insulin reaction that we know as cravings. If you stall or struggle at weight loss, chances are high that the problems stem with what you are eating. Eating sugar or starchy foods creates a vicious cycle of cravings. The only way to stop an addiction is to actually STOP what causes it.

No one likes to think s/he can’t control a substance, but most people who are plagued by the addictive nature of cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, gambling, shopping, and sugar, among others, know that there is no such things as “a little.”  To be free of any addictive substance or behavior means abstaining.

Yours in reality,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

So Much Good Information

I have been lazy about keeping this blog updated in part due to spending a lot of my small amount of free time reading all the good information that is coming to light about low sugar, low carb, paleo, ketogenic eating, along with the recipe sites I enjoy. The word is finally getting out that we were duped into believing we could eat all the processed foods, meaning sugar, starch, and fat combinations, without having to deal with consequences. Look around you to see how wrong that was. Prior to the 1980s, it was unusual to see a very heavy person, and especially a very heavy child, now it is commonplace, and all too sad for those who have to deal with the often devastating consequences.

Just to get back in the groove, I am giving you a few of the sites I enjoy the most:

http://authoritynutrition.com

http://www.marksdailyapple.com

Elanaspantry.com

http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com

http://mariamindbodyhealth.com

reddit.com /r/paleo or /r/keto or /r/low carb

Also search on the New York Times webpage for some of the latest information, of course you can do the same on any major newspaper, or just Google. Isn’t life good in the information age?

Yours in learning,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

Dr. Aseem Malhotra’s Introduction at “The Cereal Killers” film Premier

How good it is to see more and more documentaries showing the grave dangers of our overly processed, high sugar-starch diets.  Processed foods, faux foods, genetically modified foods, sugars and starches in our diets at rates which would have made a person in 1900 immediately ill.

 The message is slowly getting out that we are killing ourselves with our food choices.

VIDEO: Dr. Aseem Malhotra’s Introduction At The Cereal Killers Premier in London: http://youtu.be/mUexSrhFJbs

Frequency of Eating

The past month I have been reading many studies and blogs regarding the frequency of eating in relation to fat storage, and concluded that it is best for anyone with struggles in losing weight, especially people like myself who were/are insulin resistant, to avoid eating too many times a day. Apparently the more often we eat the more fat is stored versus being burned for energy, so if you are a snacker which I have been much of my later adult life, you may want to try a week or two of eating only at 2-3 set times during the day, and taking care not to overeat at those times.

For many years, and even now, a great many health organizations, nutritionists, and doctors suggested frequent smaller meals to keep the blood sugar a bit more level, but for some of us this is simply an invitation to eat too much over the course of the day. While we in the hflc community know that the old calories-in-calories-out rational of weight gain or loss is outmoded, and simply wrong, it is still true that if you take in more than your body requires for basic functioning, then your body will store the excess as fat.

For a good review of the latest study out of the Netherlands on feeding frequency:

http://suppversity.blogspot.com/2014/03/human-study-links-high-meal-frequeny-to.html

Yours in learning,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

Allergy to Sugar?

While not common (some experts say it is not possible) it seems there are some people who are allergic to sugar, or have symptoms very like allergies to various forms of sugars. I know my mother was highly allergic to honey, which is also not all that common. Of course, many people are allergic to grains, especially gluten grains, which might appear to be an allergy to sugar, when the allergy is really the foundation the sugar may be laid upon.

As with many allergies, people often strangely crave the very thing that cause them problems. Why, no one seems to know. Here are a few studies I found relating to sugar allergies:

http://nancyappleton.com/allergies-disease/

http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/PedEndocrine/EatAsIfYouAreAllergicToSugar.pdf

http://mossig.net/sugar-allergy-symptoms-what-you-should-do-to-avoid-them/

http://www.mnn.com/health/allergies/photos/10-common-allergy-myths/allergic-to-sugar

Ever More Studies are Showing that Sugar Affects the Brain Like Opiods

Those of us who have struggled with sugar don’t need a study to tell us that there is something different about sugar than other foods. Dr. Yudkin in the 1970s showed the addictive properties of sugar, and was bold enough to say that had sugar been discovered now it would be a controlled substance. Below is a link to yet another study that lifts up the problem with over use of sugar.  While some people can handle sugar and not allow it to become a dependency, just like there are people who can smoke and drink without becoming dependent, there are some people who find they cannot stay away from the powerful draw of sugar. What starts as some overeating can eventually lead to binges, so there is a progressive element to sugar addiction that’s also present in alcohol abuse.

No one likes to think they are addicted to anything, but for those of us who have found ourselves constantly craving more sugar-starchy food even though we have just eaten a big meal know that there is something we have ceased to be able to control when it comes to those highly refined carbohydrates.

Once we accept we can’t have a little and go our merry way, the healing begins. For me it is strict abstaining from sugars, most starches, and artificial sweeteners.  Sugar was the only thing in my life I could not control, and while it may not be how I expected to  find myself as I aged, at least now there is a plethora of information to support why we struggle with this substance, and why we need to avoid it long before we find ourselves under its control.

Yours in learning and acceptance,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

Here’s the link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=12055324&ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

Obes Res. 2002 Jun;10(6):478-88.

Evidence that intermittent, excessive sugar intake causes endogenous opioid dependence.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The goal was to determine whether withdrawal from sugar can cause signs of opioid dependence. Because palatable food stimulates neural systems that are implicated in drug addiction, it was hypothesized that intermittent, excessive sugar intake might create dependency, as indicated by withdrawal signs.

RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES:

Male rats were food-deprived for 12 hours daily, including 4 hours in the early dark, and then offered highly palatable 25% glucose in addition to chow for the next 12 hours. Withdrawal was induced by naloxone or food deprivation. Withdrawal signs were measured by observation, ultrasonic recordings, elevated plus maze tests, and in vivo microdialysis.

RESULTS:

Naloxone (20 mg/kg intraperitoneally) caused somatic signs, such as teeth chattering, forepaw tremor, and head shakes. Food deprivation for 24 hours caused spontaneous withdrawal signs, such as teeth chattering. Naloxone (3 mg/kg subcutaneously) caused reduced time on the exposed arm of an elevated plus maze, where again significant teeth chattering was recorded. The plus maze anxiety effect was replicated with four control groups for comparison. Accumbens microdialysis revealed that naloxone (10 and 20 mg/kg intraperitoneally) decreased extracellular dopamine (DA), while dose-dependently increasing acetylcholine (ACh). The naloxone-induced DA/ACh imbalance was replicated with 10% sucrose and 3 mg/kg naloxone subcutaneously.

DISCUSSION:

Repeated, excessive intake of sugar created a state in which an opioid antagonist caused behavioral and neurochemical signs of opioid withdrawal. The indices of anxiety and DA/ACh imbalance were qualitatively similar to withdrawal from morphine or nicotine, suggesting that the rats had become sugar-dependent.

PMID:

 12055324

[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=12055324&ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

Detox/Cleanse

There is a lot of nonsense out in the webosphere about cleanses and detoxing, but the one organ that can benefit from the occasion house cleaning is the hard working liver. There are lots of reasons for doing a cleanse or detox particularly if you drink a lot of alcohol, caffeine, or eat many carbs.  My spouse and I occasionally do a two week detox, which is simply eating a low carb, high fat clean diet, and abstaining from alcohol and, hardest of all for many, caffeine. For extra benefits, use protein shakes for two meals a day.

If your caffeine habit is hard core, then you might want to spend a week  slowly reducing the number of cups of coffee you drink (same for alcohol and high carbs–especially after a binge) before total elimination which will help to ease headaches which frequently go along with the detoxing.

The liver is prone to developing excess fat when abused, especially by alcohol and high carbohydrates (worse if they are the junk sugars and starches), which can lead to poor functioning, and in the case of alcohol to the disease cirrhosis.

Plus, you might lose a pound or two if that matters.

Yours in cleaning house,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

Treating Cancer with LCHF/Ketosis

I have long said if I was diagnosed with cancer I would immediately do a water only fast, but a ketogenic diet is probably better, since the muscle mass won’t suffer. This approach is based on the fact that cancer cells require sugars to survive, so on a ketogenic diet they will be stopped from growing.  A young Canadian woman is doing the keto diet to deal with her brain cancer. Here is her blog: http://greymadder.net/

Kids on Sugar

Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt has an excellent post on sugar and kids today:

http://www.dietdoctor.com/adhd-much-sugar

National Geographic Magazine article on Sugar

This is an interesting article on our history of consuming sugar, and the possible evolutionary influences that led our ancestors to eat fruits in the first place, and current concerns.

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/08/sugar/cohen-text