Sugar – The Other White Powder
By Phyllis Guy ~
Officer Johnson (Fake Name) walks down the sports drink aisle of her local supermarket. Still dressed in her blue uniform, Jeffco PD badge on her chest, she examines the electrolyte juices in front of her. She has had a long day, filling out paperwork for a recent cocaine arrest. What she doesn’t know, is that as she pulls a bright plastic bottle off the shelf, she is purchasing a drink, which contains an even more addictive white powder.
We are a society that is overfed and undernourished…
Sugar is a part of our everyday lives. We eat it in every meal, and almost every food. The average American eats 160 lbs of sugar a year. People are aware of the negative health effects of consuming such large amounts of sugar, but they still do. That is because sugar triggers the same chemical reaction in our brain as cocaine.
Ahhhh, lovely sugar. So delicious. So toxic. Sugar really is more addictive than cocaine. That’s why I call it “the other white powder”. Ask anyone who has ever tried to reduce or eliminate sugar from their diets and they will likely agree that it is extremely difficult to remove or even reduce, not only because of its addictive properties but because it’s in EVERYTHING that is on the grocery store shelves…or so it seems.
The addiction stems, not so much from the physical addiction, but from the psychological or brain chemistry of sugar. Each time we eat sugar, it releases the feel-good hormone dopamine. The more sugar we eat, the more it takes to feel the same pleasure. Besides, if you try to reduce or eliminate sugar, this dopamine drops like a rock and you crave the stuff like crazy.
Back in 1770, Americans consumed, on average, only 4 pounds of added sugar per year. Today that number has increased to a whopping 160 pounds.
Sugar is the #1 chronic inflammatory substance at the cellular level. Chronic inflammation is the culprit in at least 80% of modern day diseases, like heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and so much more.
Alzheimer’s is now being called Type III Diabetes or Diabetes of the Brain. Anyone with diabetes has a 50-60 percent greater chance of developing Alzheimer’s.
We all have this substance in our brains called Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). A protein that keeps the connections of our brain cells healthy and humming along. If BDNF is depleted, we experience things like brain fog, forgetfulness, and yes…dementia. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4056186/)
Excess consumption of sugar is a major factor in the depletion of BDNF. People that eat too much sugar have lower levels of BDNF and research has found that people with pre-diabetes and diabetes have very low levels of BDNF. There are many lifestyle factors that have a profound effect on brain health, such as exercise, stress management, relationships and more. What I have found to be the most effective strategy for your brain health is getting off the sugar train. Because it has become a runaway train on the track to disaster…a steep cliff. If you focus on the health of your brain, the body will follow…you may even lose some weight.
One of my clients, after completing my Sugar Detox program, reduced the severity of her diabetes, reduced her insulin injections and significantly lowered her chances of developing Alzheimer’s.
Getting support from a group or a coach is the most important thing you can do to get off the sugar train. Changing food habits is one of the most difficult habits to change. So don’t beat yourself up if you’ve tried over and over again to get break up with sugar. It’s not your fault. Your body is doing exactly what is designed to do.
Reach out to me if you or someone you know would like support getting healthy and getting your brain back.
Phyllis Guy – Changing Lives One Bite at a Time
She is the owner of Natural Body Wisdom (www.MyNaturalBodyWisdom.com)
She is a certified Mind Body Eating Coach and specializes in reducing sugar cravings and dealing with emotional eating. She is offering a complimentary “It’s Not Your Fault” Discovery Session to all Prime Time for Seniors readers. Give her a call at 303-358-2045 to schedule your 30-minute session.