Kick Sugar Addiction

 

Brown Sugar

Identifying the Culprit

Knowing if sugar is present in what we are eating is important in order to limit our sugar intake. Yes, you would be surprised to learn the different names for sugar and the amount of it contained in even some of the “health foods” we crave. As a rule, examine your labels and use the list below (common names for sugar) as your guide.

Also, note that the ingredients are listed using their weight. Yes, if the first three ingredients belong to the list “the common names of sugar”, then you may want to think again before consuming that product. My solution is to eat whole foods as often as I can. Yes, I know this is not always practical so here is the much talked about “List of the common names for sugar”.

The common names for sugar are:

  1. Brown sugar.
  2. Raw sugar.
  3. Cane sugar.
  4. Corn sugar.
  5. Turbinado sugar.
  6. Corn syrup.
  7. High fructose corn syrup.
  8. Molasses sucrose.
  9. Dextrose.
  10. Maltodextrin.
  11. Fruit juice concentrate.
  12. Honey.

Overdosing is Easy-Let’s Do the Mathematics

What exactly does 1 gram of sugar means?

  • Four (4) calories. Here is the math: 1 gram of sugar = 4 calories.
  • Four grams of sugar is the same as 1 teaspoon of sugar. Here is the math: 4 grams of sugar = one teaspoon of sugar.

It is also felt that women do better on 6 or fewer teaspoons of sugar and men do better on 9 or fewer  teaspoons of sugar per day. Here is the math: Women should consume ≤ 6 teaspoons of sugar, while men should consume ≤ 9 teaspoons of sugar. 

Yes, this means that it is very easy to overdose on sugar, especially because it is found in processed foods such as:

  • bread
  • biscuits
  • crackers
  • pasta
  • milk
  • cheese
  • sugar
  • ketchup
  • pasta and other sauces, and the list go on…

I also need you to understand that some of the foods we eat will also get converted to sugar. The dangerous ones are those which gets converted quickly. This group includes, but is not limited to:

  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Bread
  • Crackers
  • Pastries
  • Potatoes
  • Corn

A Sugar overdose can cause the following:

  • Excess weight gain.
  • Diabetes.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Heart disease.
  • Make you feel hungry too often.
  • The more sugar we eat, the more sugar we crave.

It’s Time to do Some Kicking

Here are a few things I did to kick my sugar addiction as part of my overall strategy to control my blood sugar:

  • I started off by reducing the amount of sugar in my tea to one (teaspoon) instead of two (2). In time, I reduced to a half teaspoon and now I go sugar-free.
  • I also started to drink the regular drinks sold instead of super-sizing. Eventually, I came off all drinks and juices bought in the store.
  • I started making fruit and vegetable smoothies at home. I mostly drink water now.
  • Initially, I ate sweet fruits whenever I craved sugar. Ripe bananas were my favorite plant-based food when I needed to stop using sugar in my tea and when I needed to stay away from sugary drinks. I also ate berries, prunes, and dates to satisfy my sweet tooth, until it became a thing of the past.
  • I researched what a gram of sugar meant and I realized that food containing 4 grams of sugar is equivalent to consuming 1 teaspoon of sugar. Yes, this is crazy stuff. I now understood that when I ate a slice of a certain bread, I was consuming about 1 teaspoon of sugar. Yes, imagine when you sit and eat 2 to 4 slices of bread? Like I said before, real crazy stuff!
  • I try to stay away from rewarding myself with sweet foods, such as cakes and pies. I go for fruits and nuts, even for special occasions. Sometimes I eat a bit of cake, but I pay attention to the thickness of the slice now and I do have a small slice instead of a chunk.
  • I am now aware of emotional eating and so when I am unhappy, frustrated or sad, and feel like eating, I stop and ask myself if I am hungry, or just about to eat because maybe, just maybe I need to talk with someone, to get or even to give a hug. Knowing why I am going to eat helps me to decide if I should eat.
  • Planning is the key. I plan my meals at least a day in advance. This gives me time to prep foods ahead of time so that when I am hungry it is easy to find something healthy to eat and so I avoid eating a snack which could be loaded with sugar.

The Impact on Our Bodies and Our Emotions

If you are still not convinced that you need to kick the sugar addiction, then continue to read to see what sugar does to our bodies and also our emotions:

  • Sugar spikes, especially the fasting blood sugar (insulin resistance, diabetes)
  • High blood pressure.
  • Feeds cancer cells (breast, prostate, lung, gall bladder, ovary, rectum, stomach).
  • Protein absorption more difficult when we overdose on sugar. This results in other issues, such as:
    • Ulcerative colitis
    • Indigestion
    • Crohn’s disease
    • Food allergies
    • Makes the digestive tracts acidic
  • Kidney problems.
  • Weakens the immune system.
  • Inflammation, eg., arthritis.
  • Issues absorbing minerals, which can result in the following:
    • Asthma
    • Anxiety
    • Tooth decay
    • Weakened bones
    • Sleep disorders
    • Kidney and gallstones
  • Heart attack.
  • Aggressive behavior.
  • Hyperactivity.

Sugar can obviously lead to a number of other illnesses and so we do ourselves a huge favor when we learn how to identify and by extension how to avoid eating sugar, especially when we are educated about her many disguises.

If you are serious about fighting your sugar addiction take a look at this article about five foods we should avoid. Note it also offers some alternatives.

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16 Comments


  1. // Reply

    Hi Josephine! Good to be reading your excellent articles again.

    Have you checked into the benefits of adding coconut oil to your diet – in reasonable quantities of course?

    I’ve found that unrefined coconut oil has a sweet smell which helps fool my nose into thinking I’m getting something special. I use about a tablespoon a day in my cooking. Refined coconut oil is the ultimate popcorn popping oil. Give it a try – you’ll never go back!


  2. // Reply

    Thank you for the comprehensive article Josephine. Your article is spot on and is an important read. I’ve actually thought now to cut off some sugar and be more conscious. I have to admit that it will be very challenging but it is definitely doable. Thanks for this and I will also share to my friends. Thank you.


    1. // Reply

      JR, I trust that by now you cut some sugar from your diet and you have some notes to share with us? How is it going?


  3. // Reply

    My sister in law is diabetic. I always thought it only it to be a condition that someone can’t control ant that insulin is the answer. It is only recently that I have learn’t the importance of sugars and starch in our diet in relation to our body’s reaction to it. You touch on a few very interesting topics here. Thanks for broadening my knowledge on the topic.


    1. // Reply

      CobusvdM, I am happy I was able to help. Please keep reading and feel free to subscribe for updated information. All the best to your sister-in-law.


  4. // Reply

    Hey,

    Grateful to have run into your article. I am working on getting my abs and sugar is definitely my main culprit. I love my coffee and i love it sugary to give me a kick in the mornings.

    I always try to eat whole foods and its great you mentioned that for your readers. We really can try to focus on whole foods all the time, we just have to make the choice to do so.

    I didn’t know rice turned into sugar! Good thing I have drastically cut it down (2 teac ups per day)

    The following tips are going to be utilized in my mission to cut sugar out:

    reducing amount of sugar in my coffee by half

    eating sweet fruits when craving sugar.

    no more bread, or very little of it. Bread=1 teaspoon of sugar! WOW!

    Thanks for all the useful information in your article. Know I will apply some of techniques you have outlined.

    Keep up the great work!

    Janakhan


    1. // Reply

      Janakhan, I absolutely love that you recorded the measures you will take. By now I am assuming you made some changes, and so I would like to know if, like me, you are enjoying that morning coffee with little or no sugar? All the best.


  5. // Reply

    Hey Josephine, We started cutting back on Sugar in October 2016, as my wife was told she was pre-diabetic with Type 2 diabetes, so we knew we had to make some changes, especially as her mum had Type 1 diabetes. Sugar is everywhere and in nearly everything, so it can be a struggle, but cutting back and watching your amount of intake is what made the most drastic effect for us, as well as each of us losing over 3 1/2 stone since starting the Blood Sugar diet (LIfestyle – I hate the word diet !). It really is about being conscious about what you decide to eat. It wasn’t and still sometimes isn’t all plain sailing, as I have a really sweet tooth, but moderation we are finding is the key to our success and hope your it can be an inspiration for other.


  6. // Reply

    These are such great tips! Sugar has many different disguises so it’s really good to know what to look for. Thank you so much for helping with that.

    Hopefully I can cut down because I definitely didn’t know that I needed to ideally be below 9 teaspoons. I probably consume that in no time.

    I do try and avoid most processed foods, however, as they have their own very serious effects on the world around us and our own bodies!

    Thank for the quality information and the help managing such a tough thing to take control of in modern society.


    1. // Reply

      Dalton, I am happy you read the article and made the decision to act and make some changes. I wish you all the best and I encourage you to return and give us a feedback. Yes, I agree with you about the processed foods. The truth is, we don’t know what we are eating most of the times. Unprocessed foods are safer. Continued success to you on your new journey of decreasing your sugar intake.


  7. // Reply

    Hi Josephine,

    It is always nice to come back on your blog and read something new, or re-read a previous article. I am blessed that I have never been addicted to sugar, although from time to time I like something sweet, and also I have a wife who is very health conscious and very clever in keeping us healthy. Diabetes is something that I always dreaded of having, and luckily never had, but I have some friends who have it and it is a very nasty business. But it is something that can be managed and you are doing a great job educating the public by sharing your knowledge.

    I wish you the very best and I’m looking forward to reading you next article.

    John


    1. // Reply

      John, I am happy to hear that you and your family are doing a great job keeping diabetes at bay. The thing with sugar is that carbs are also converted and that too is a major issue, so we must be careful with our overall carb intake. Please feel free to share my website with your friends and relatives. I pray for continued health for you and your entire family. Cheers.


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