White Sugar? Just Don’t Do It.
Perhaps you’re of the mindset that a little bit of everything in moderation is the way to go.
I could not possibly disagree enough.
For purposes of this blog post, I’m not going to address why just a little bit of products made with any grains, dairy or legumes are a bad idea.
I’m going to keep it short and sweet (busted- bad pun) and get right to the point:
Even a little white sugar is too much.
Incidentally, I’m not suggesting the ‘sugar-free’ route, either. Why someone would intentionally ingest aspartame, sucralose or saccharin is beyond me.
Just cut it out.
When clients share that they feel they have a sugar addiction, and then downplay it by saying, “well, it’s not really an addiction”, I feel compelled to validate their first statement because sugar does, in fact, have drug-like effects on the brain.
It is not a matter of being weak minded or lacking in will power. Yes, one can choose to, or not to, eat sugar, but once it’s in your blood, the drug-like response is inevitable.
Do you find that if you have ‘just one cookie’ or ‘just a bite of candy’ that it never ends in that one taste and instead, you end up on a sugar roller coaster for a much longer period of time, from a day to several days or longer, until you finally opt to go cold turkey and cut it out? Do you have that first morsel and then, at that moment in time, feel that it’s actually a good idea to have some more?
Your rationale changes temporarily and yes, at that instant in time, consuming more sugar is exactly what you think you need to do.
Your insulin response takes effect, causing your blood sugar to drop, resulting in you thinking you need more sugar, which you eat, and then peak again, and then the insulin does its job again… and the cycle goes on and on and on until you pull the plug, if you have the knowledge and good sense to do so.
Or, maybe you don’t choose to stop the cycle and you wait until your body is so badly damaged that you’ve created a situation which needs medical intervention (as in diabetes, obesity and so on). For some, being told that they’d better make some serious changes is enough of a wake up call, and finally, food and moving are finally addressed.
For others, taking insulin shots and/or other meds given by your doc is seen as the solution. Diet remains poor, exercise is still nonexistent and the body gets further away from health and one step closer to death.
I’ve made this analogy before, but often with a bit of hesitation due to not wanting to offend people, but to be honest, I’m over it. Here it goes: if you have ever known someone battling a drug or alcohol addiction, would you ever have suggested to them that they’d be fine if they had ‘just a little heroin’ or ‘just one sip of wine’?
Sugar is no different. Sugar is a drug. A potent, powerful and toxic drug.
“Oh, but the consequences of doing drugs are far worse than those faced by a sugar addict”, you might be thinking.
Really? Take an example of someone with a drug addiction who is so far gone that their only goal each day is to procure drugs, get high, and do it again the next day. Not a violent person, no harm done to anyone other than him or herself.
Now, in comparison, consider a sugar addict who opts not to take responsibility for their eating habits and becomes obese, then diabetic, then hypertensive and so on, and so on and so on.
I’m not making light of either scenario and, having had people quite close to me battle drug addiction, I’m not wishing that on anyone.
My point is simply to illustrate how potent white sugar, and products containing it, are.
It’s real, it’s valid and it’s not an exaggeration to say it’s toxic.
Just get rid of it. Yes, it will likely be hard for a short period of time; you may have headaches or feel irritable while your body is adjusting to not having its fix (need more evidence that it’s a drug?), but see it through and in a very short period of time, you will start to feel better.
This one step is a huge part not only of properly following the Paleo diet, but also just a simple, common sense part of being healthy!
It’s not remotely hard to understand!