It’s kind of like Crack: A Sugary Addiction

Photo Credit: cocoinzenl, Creative commons

People have been studying the addiction of sugar for years.  One study lead by Professor Hoebel, at the Department of Psychology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute have shown that rats respond to sugar in a very specific way,

Rats eating large amounts of sugar when hungry, undergo neurochemical changes in the brain that appear to mimic those produced by substances of abuse, including cocaine, morphine and nicotine. Sugar induces behavioral changes, too.

Although these studies have been on lab rats, just look around and you can observe how sugar effects the human brain. With enough evidence to fill the Grand Canyon, it’s tough not to think that this sweet enemy isn’t out to get us.  Not only is it addictive, causing us to want more of it, it turns out, it is not good for our hips either.

The single largest source of calories for Americans comes from sugar—specifically high fructose corn syrup. Today, 32 percent of Americans are obese and an additional one-third are overweight. Compare that to 1890, when a survey of white males in their fifties revealed an obesity rate of just 3.4 percent.

With all the processed foods we have available today, there is direct evidence that sugar plays a role in our obesity problems.

Just take a look at the sugar consumption trends of the past 300 years:1

  • In 1700, the average person consumed about 4 pounds of sugar per year.
  • In 1800, the average person consumed about 18 pounds of sugar per year.
  • In 1900, individual consumption had risen to 90 pounds of sugar per year.
  • In 2009, more than 50 percent of all Americans consume one-half pound of sugar PER DAY—translating to a whopping 180 pounds of sugar per year! 

So how do we avoid these issues? According to Dr. Frank Lipman, we should eat regularly, exercise, have a breakfast of protein and fats, and detox

I have found that when I detox, or go about a week with out any thing sweet like desserts, I no longer crave sugar like I used to.  Sugar is tempting, no doubt.  But we have to educate ourselves and know that we are better off without it. I urge you to kick sugar like a bad habit, and just say no!

Every Body is Different

Finding Your Perfect Diet

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photo credit: slightly everything

When you think about it, food is the one medicine, drug, addiction, necessity, (fill- in- the blank to how you feel about it) we do every day, all hours of the day, and pretty much where ever we want. It can heal and it can hurt. That is why it is so important that we make sure what we are putting in our bodies is good. This is the tricky part though, what might be great for me, may not be great for you. I still continue to research food, but the more I eat, the more I learn that every one is different and how my body reacts to something, could be completely different to how your body responds to the same food.

According to the Blood Type Diet, I am a hunter and should eat good animal proteins and lots of veggies. My ancestors, (old, old ancestors that is) hunted for their food. We didn’t develop a stomach for digesting large amounts of grains and certainly not refined carbohydrates.  My husband on the other hand is “supposed” to be a vegetarian, completely different dinner time meals right?  As much as I like the idea of being a vegetarian, I find my energy levels always seem lower when I cut out all sources of animal proteins and stick to just plant proteins. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but there has to be some reason for it, right?

There are so many great resources to help you discover which diet is best for you. The No Meat Athlete has been a great reminder that people who exercise and burn a lot of fuel can still be vegetarians. Scott Jurek is a well known ultra runner and he is completely vegan.  The Paleo Diet embraces your inner cave man while loading you up on good fruits and vegetables as well. One the other end of the spectrum is the China Study, which urges people to drop the animal products, meat and diary, as well as reducing their intake of refined carbohydrates.

These are only four different diets, or ways of eating. There are so many resources out there. The good news is that I know something will work for you. Food can be an amazing gift, if we use it wisely. I hope this helps you in your endeavor to find which foods your body needs.

Remember the words of Hippocrates

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food

The man knows what he’s talking about.

The Culprit

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photo credit: LegendLarry’s, creative commons

I have a confession, I have learned that when I have a really good workout, I tend to let my eating slip.  I know all the reason that I shouldn’t be eating that pound cake, but I do it anyway, because, I had a really good workout. I can’t explain it. Hopefully, I’m not the only one out there with this dilemma.  As I’m munching on snack foods, I even think to myself

Your totally cancelling out all that hard work you just did!

So how do we move passed this crisis?  Well, one thing is probably to not have these foods in the house. My excuse was a recent get together at our place. Since I never have these foods in the house, I think I went a little over board.  I also think we should give ourselves a limit before getting in to a mess. Before even putting your hand in the chip bag, give yourself a restriction, two handfuls or 10 chips is plenty.

Working out is great, but what good does it do if we don’t follow it up with good foods? I think this is a question we have to constantly think about. Just imagine what the possibilities would be if we did both!