The most addictive drug in your home may not actually be in your medicine cabinet. These days, one cannot turn on the television without hearing about the unfortunate opioid crisis plaguing our society. Many Americans know firsthand just how devastating drug addiction can be, no matter its form, and the damage inflicts not only the addict but also their loved ones.
There is a more insidious drug out there, however, that is fueling another crisis in our society and it lurks in almost everything we consume. That drug is sugar.
Sugar addiction is a primary cause of our society’s obesity epidemic today. Beyond that, excessive sugar intake has been linked to a multitude of health issues, such as:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Food addictions
- Insatiable food cravings
- Mood disturbances
Our body’s gut flora (digestive enzymes) community plays a direct role in defending against pathogens by fully colonizing the space, making use of all available nutrients, and by secreting compounds that kill or inhibit unwelcome organisms that would compete for nutrients with it. Excessive sugar consumption causes disruption of the gut flora and allows competing organisms to become established that otherwise are kept in abeyance.
So who’s to blame for this sugar epidemic? With the opioid crisis, many people point the finger at the pharmaceutical companies for knowingly and actively promoting highly addictive narcotics (merely for the sake of profit), leading to drug addictions for many.
But one of the ways that the sugar addiction epidemic started was with the misinformation perpetuated by food governing agencies and the food manufacturing industry.
It all started with the demonization of fat. The fallacy was that the fat in food makes people fat, therefore low-fat options were healthier, which is of course not true as we know now. Recommended fat percentages were vastly reduced while carbohydrate intake was increased to substitute for the caloric deficit to meet daily recommended food consumption guidelines.
This encouraged food manufacturers to think of creative ways to make traditionally fat-laden foods lower in fat by any means necessary – even at the expense of degrading its nutritional value by adding additives and preservatives (like sugar!) in order for foods to be palatable (and to be marketable). Eventually, the taste of food began to take precedence over its nutritional value, leading to even the carbohydrates being stripped down to its simplest form, sugar.
Sugar addiction is now linked to many individuals, and there is no immunity with regards to age, gender, or socioeconomic class. So how can we reverse this trend? Well, that’s where sugar detox comes into play!
As a holistic nutritionist, one of the most effective ways I treat my clients suffering from sugar addiction is to do a sugar detox. A sugar detox may be the most effective way to reversing the trend of sugar addiction that is circulating in our society.
Many of my clients have successfully overcome their sugar dependence, liberating them to make healthier dietary choices and having an overall healthier life.
What is a consumer to do? Educate yourself about what you’re eating and identify all of the terms synonymous with sugar lurking on food labels. Knowledge is power! The nutrition informational landscape can be overwhelming, so seek advice from a knowledgeable nutritionist whose beliefs are in line with your goal of eradicating added sugar in all forms from your diet!