Health Warning: Your Sweet Tooth is Killing You
I was raised on country sunshine … and sugar.
Every meal we had included sugar laden dishes and our meals regularly were capped of with the grand finale’ – desert!
Heck, my grandmother even made me sugar sandwiches when I visited her.
I became a sugar addict early on.
I learned from both my grandmothers and my mom how to make pies,
cinnamon rolls, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, cheesecakes … there wasn’t a
desert recipe that I wouldn’t try, both to create and consume.
I served these delicious creations to my family, my friends and neighbors,
as well as devouring them myself …
for years and years and years.
It wasn’t within my scope of understanding then that I was actually poisoning
those I loved …
that I was feeding an addiction similar to a cocaine addiction.
Sugar has been a mainstay in our diets for generations. But it has finally
become a serious factor regarding our health – one that can’t be denied or
ignored any longer.
In spite of eliminating salt and fat from our diets as directed over the past
several decades, if you look around and listen to people expound on their
ailments, their medications, their diets …
it is apparent that we have not made great strides in getting healthier.
We’ve been duped as we’ve accepted and followed the recommended
fat-free diet route.
New studies are finding that it isn’t fat
that is causing heart disease – it’s sugar.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that the average American
consumes between 150 to 170 pounds of refined sugars in one year!
It didn’t use to be this way. During the early-1800s, the average intake of sugar was only
about 4-6 pounds per person per year.
But now, we have an epidemic.
And research is proving that sugar consumption is a major contributing factor in many
diseases that are the leading causes of death:
- Adult obesity
More than one-third (36.5%) of U.S. adults have obesity.
- Childhood obesity
has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents
in the past 30 years.
- Heart disease
The first leading cause of death. About 610,000 Americans die
from heart disease each year—that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.
It’s the second leading cause of death worldwide.
In 2012, more than 14 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed around the world.
That number is expected to reach 19 million by 2025. Today, more than twice as many
people die from cancer than from AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.
More than 29 million Americans are living with diabetes, and 86 million are living
with prediabetes, a serious health condition that increases a person’s risk of type 2
diabetes and other chronic diseases.
This is the most common cause of dementia among older adults. It is the fifth leading
cause of death for adults aged 65 years and older, and the sixth leading cause of death
for all adults.
Those diseases are the ones that get your attention, the ones that drastically impact your life
and the lives of your friends and family.
But sugar consumption also impairs the body in these areas:
Plus, sugar consumption contributes to aging skin; i.e., wrinkles.
Sugar hastens the degradation of elastin and collagen, both key skin proteins.
This should be a huge wake-up call to all of us.
Your sweet tooth is killing you.
It’s time to face the facts and do an about face regarding sugar.
It may feel like information overload right now after reading all the statistics shared
above, but there’s more to understand about sugar, to help you begin to beat this
We all know that deserts are full of sugar. But, it is found in 74% of packaged food
sold in grocery stores, not just the deserts.
Start looking at the ingredients of all the packaged food items you purchase, including
the ones that are labeled as healthy, all natural products.
I was just in the grocery store today and picked up a can of chicken broth. Did it contain
sugar? Oh yes, indeed. Even chicken broth, which I used to drink when on one of my
past calorie-restricted, harebrained diets … even chicken broth has sugar.
It’s endless … there is sugar in ketchup, seasoning packets, gravy mixes, spaghetti sauces,
pork roasts,chili beans, almond milk, peanut butter, yogurt, and on and on it goes. Read
the labels – you’ll see.
But, be aware that sugar has many aliases. Just because sugar isn’t named as “sugar”
in the ingredients, you’ll find it disguised under other names as shown in the image below.
The World Health Organization recommends that you consume no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar per day. One teaspoon of granulated sugar equals 4 grams of sugar. Do the math.
A 12-ounce can of regular Coke contains 39 grams of total sugar, which is about 9 1/3 teaspoons of sugar. Just one glass of that ice cold, fizzing and bubbling drink puts you over the recommened limit. One glass feeds the sugar addiction quite easily.
Once again, you’ll need to learn the multitude of names for sugar that are listed on food and drink lables.
Coke’s ingredient label doesn’t list sugar. Coke in the United States is made with high fructose corn syrup
as a lower-cost sugar alternative. High fructose corn syrup is actually the second ingredient in Coke, behind carbonated water.
Thinking you’ll just need to give up those Krispy Kreme doughnuts and you’ll be healthier?
- A 6 ounce service of Yoplait Original–like many naturally sweetened yogurts–contains over twice the sugar of a Krispy Kreme doughnut.
- A bottle of Vitamin Water, despite its healthy-sounding name, contains 33 grams of sugar per 20 ounce bottle, or 3.3 Krispy Kremes.
- An 8oz serving of Tropicana orange juice clocks in at over twice the sugar of a Krispy Kreme with 22 grams.
Clearly, your sweet tooth is killing you and while you may have been unaware of the addictive nature of sugar until now,
it’s time to break this addiction.
Break your addiction to sugar – The Naked Hippies Way:
There are endless helpful articles and suggestions for breaking your addiction to sugar. It all comes down to this …
you have to make the choice to break the addiction. Remember it is not a moral failing or lack of willpower. You became addicted long before you had the ability to say no to sugar.
What happens when a child falls and scrapes his knee, or gets upset over something? A loving adult hands him a cookie to ease his pain.
What is the highlight of a birthday celebration? A cake – right? — loaded with sugar, icing dripping
with sugar, decorated with sugar candies and sprinkles and flourishes. How about celebrating anything now?
Don’t we usually decide to feast on a decadent desert as part of the celebration. Or how about all the times we reach for a sweet treat when we feel the need to be comforted in a given situation?
We were programmed and addicted from the very beginning and we have continued to feed this addiction throughout our adult lives.
The first step to recovery is admitting the addiction and it is my hope that the information I’ve shared will help you realize it’s time to change, it’s time for rehab. But you don’t need to check in to a rehab facility. You can do this from where you are right now, beginning today.
Eliminating sugar in our diet is one of The Naked Hippies Way for health and I’ll be sharing more about all our dietary changes in future articles.
The following is what Bruce and I have done to kick
the sugar addiction we both had.
Eliminate sugar and artificial sweeteners.
Go cold turkey. If you are addicted to narcotics or alcohol, it doesn’t work to
just cut down. You have to totally QUIT consuming the addictive product,
quit feeding the addition. Refined sugars, sodas, fruit juices, and artificial
sweeteners are all drugs that will fuel those sweet-tooth cravings.
Substitute sugar and artificial sweeteners with fresh fruit.
It may be easier to grab a chocolate chip cookie when you’re feeling
that sweet tooth calling, but a fresh fruit smoothie, or a bowl of fresh
fruit will satisfy the craving just as well. I freeze bananas and blend them
for a yummy frozen pseudo ice cream.
Learn your food triggers.
Sometimes, you are truly hungry and your body signals it’s time to eat.
But not all hunger signals are true hunger. Actually, more often, you are triggered
to eat because you are stressed. Or that you are dehydrated and need to drink more
The next time you begin to crave something sweet or even just something to eat,
drink a glass of water and wait twenty minutes. Many times, the water is all your
When you feel stressed, learn to de-stress in whatever way works for you. Some
use meditation. Some exercise. Some do like I do – get out for a walk in nature.
Find something that helps you let go, relax and release that need for a sugar “fix.”
Bruce and I live by this mantra: eat to live, don’t live to eat. That’s The Naked Hippies
We have made many changes in our eating habits and diet over the past several months.
Eliminating sugar is just one of them. Do we follow a strict diet of absolutely no sugar
whatsoever? No. We have treats every now and then. The big difference is that sugar
is no longer in our daily diet. It’s an occasional fun treat instead of a staple in our
daily eating habits.
Are you addicted to sugar? Do you now understand how your sweet tooth is killing you?
What’s your plan to break this addiction?
Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear!