The not so sweet truth.
What is so interesting about sugar?
The History of Sugar
Sugarcane was founded by inhabitants in New Guinea, and knowledge spread across Southeast Asia, southern China, and India. This was the first archaeological evidence discovery. In 800 BC, historical evidence linked sugar in China with surviving ancient scrolls.
Cooled sugar syrup was made by indian manufacturers , molded into large flat bowls. It was called khanda, or modern day candy, and was easy to transport.
Alexander the Great brought mysterious "honey powder" with his troops returning home, which was the first european encounter with Sugar. However, they didn't embrace sugar until more than 1000 years later.
Imperial Guptas were able to turn sugarcane juice into granulated crystals which was easy to trade and eventually one of the primary trade ingredients in India.
Indian sailors spread sugar throughout the Indian Ocean, while Buddhist monks brought it to neighboring countries like China.
With knowledge they used from India, China established their first sugar plantations.
9th and 10th Century
The Arab Agricultural Revolution was when Muslim countries adopted sugar production of India, and allowed European country to come in contact with it.
Sugar returned to Europe with the crusades as a "sweet salt", and started the rise of Venetian and Mediterranean trading fleets that brought knowledge and new materials to Europe. This started the Renaissance and the Golden Age of Discovery.
Sugarcane plantations were formed in Central America.
9th and 10th Century
Oliver de Serres, a french agronomist, discovers crystallisable sugar in beet.
The price of sugar decreased with the new abundance of plantations. The popularity caused the economic and social status of the of the world to change, and caused an intensified slave trade in order to reach the worldwide plantations.
Franz Karl Archard in Germany established the first european beet sugar factory, making it easier for Europe to produce mass quantities, which in turn made it more popular and accessible.
Sugar was now considered a necessary food ingredient for new food staples like tea, coffee, jam, candies, chocolates, and processed foods. For the first part of the century, the Slave Trade peaked.
Sugar is regularly used by everyone and a commonplace item
High fructose syrup, now present in many sweet products and sodas, was created by Richard O. marshall and Earl P. Kooi.
What is SOOOO Addictive about Sugar???
An addiction causes pyschological dependence, which classifies as a mental and cognitive problem as well physical problem. As a dependence, eating sugar constantly causes different activities to suffer.
Ingesting sugar increases serotonin and dopamine levels, two hormones that are calming and are mood elevators as well as antidepressants. As the sugar levels increase, so does the amount of serotonin in the body which boosts the person's mood and makes them feel better about themselves. The increased dopamine levels are consistent with the rising dopamine levels found in addictive drugs such as cocaine and heroine. As the body becomes dependent on the need of sugar causing the happiness in someone's life, the dopamine receptors become deficient, leading to depression. In a study showing the active parts of the brain when given sugar revealed the caudate nucleus, hippocampus, and insula, the same areas linked with cocaine use. Although this addiction is fairly new, therefore there is not as much information, comparing this case with others can prove that sugar is indeed a real addiction.
Healing from a Sugar Addiction
- Observe Yourself
- Track how much sugar you eat in a day with a food diary
- Note how you feel after you eat sugar
- Notice what triggers the need for a sugar binge
- How does the taste of sugar affect your cravings?
- After awhile, look back at the data you collected and find any patterns that link your actions together.
2. Self Care
Use a physical foundation to help transition to a low sugar or no sugar diet. This will help in the long run to keep the need for sugar at bay. Some things in this foundation may be:
-Eating breakfast every morning
-Including fat and protein into meals
-Eating regular meals, which is calming towards the body
-Drinking more water, and fewer sugary drinks such as sodas or juices
-Create a consistent bedtime routine where you get at least seven hours of sleep every night.
3. Plan for Getting Stuck
- Some things may be hard to escape, like traditions of eating a container of ice cream every weekend
-It's ok to get stuck once and awhile
-The best option is to accept where you are in this cleansing process.
- To combat getting stuck, create new habits to take your mind off of what you had done in the past.
-If you can't handle the lower blood sugar, prepare a non-sugar snack for this
Some Other Tips and Tricks
- Get the support of other people.
-Although it's hard to be vulnerable, tell a loved one of your bingeing habits and have them help you through the struggles.
-Allow your loved ones to give the warmth and comfort you need, rather than the sugar.
- There are numerous books on the market that provide insight on the sugar addiction and ways to quit it. These can include trying to outgrow the need for sugar from your body into a healthier choice.
- This is a free audio on navigating the sugar detox phase for people serious about giving up sugar who want to start now.
- Join the "Thirty Day Lift" sugar detox program. This includes thirty days of audio coaching to transition into sugarless diets, as well as live Q&A calls with founder Karly Randolph Pitman, who struggled with years of food and sugar addictions.
For additional help, visit http://growinghumankindness.com, a free website that provides information on quitting this addiction, and how it can be done by former addict Karly Randolph Pitman. Just know that quitting is possible when you have the people and resources behind you.
1. Feeling Sad or Upset- Fortunately this feeling goes away when off of the sugar. Also, people who struggle with moodiness and depression feel a lot better without the need for sugar. However, be aware if you do suffer from depression, because sugar could cause that to get worse.
3. Fatigue - The rush given from the sugar causes the adrenal glands to stress, which leads to their fatigue. Once you've quit the addiction, new intakes of sugar can lead to extreme fatigue because the body is not used to large adrenaline boosts, which can make waking up feel like an extreme hangover.
4. Sleep Patterns Change- The body is returning to normal after a detoxing dangerous chemicals, and needs time to balance out.
5. Sugar Cravings- As it was a large life portion, it's natural to crave sugar, but it does go away eventually.
All Types of Addiction
Unfortunately, there can be serious side affects to the strong intake of sugar. For starters, sugar is in everything that is processed, which is what the general public tends to eat everyday. In soda, sports drinks, and juices, those who drink 1-2 servings a day have a 26% higher chance of developing Type 2 diabetes. Consuming too much sugar can also age skin prematurely, and promote tooth decay.
Diabetes: The Deadly Disease
- In 2012, an estimated 1.5 million people died worldwide from diabetes.
- The World Health Organization predicts that diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death in 2030.
- Diabetes is one of the leading causes of kidney failure.
- 1% of global blindness is attributed to diabetes.
- Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. A worldwide study determined that 50% of people with diabetes die of a cardiovascular disease.
- In 2014, 208,000 people under the age of 20 were diagnosed with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.
- In 2014, 86 million adults older than 20 were diagnosed with pre diabetes.
Exercise, healthy diets, maintaining and achieving a healthy body weight, and avoiding tobacco can reduce the risks of Type 2 diabetes, whether preventing it or delaying the onset of symptoms.