Our Not So Sweet Sugar Addiction

The average American consumes around 150 pounds of sugar a year (yes, you read that correctly). As hard as thing is to believe, humans have a natural attraction to sugar that is part of our survival mechanism which dates back to the days when sugars and energy rich carbohydrates were not readily available.

One of my class members in high school was Stephen Sinatra, MD, who is an author, cardiologist,, nutritionist and anti-aging specialist. He was also the consultant for Connie Bennett’s book, Sugar Shock.  Dr. Sinatra explains that it is the over-consumption of sugar that creates a low -grade “silent inflammation” in the body and we know today that inflammation has been implicated in all the leading chronic diseases. Heart disease and of course diabetes are two of the leading conditions that excess sugar consumption contribute to.

Many nutrition experts including Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, RD, nutrition specialist at the Gold Door Spa and Resort says that the current guidelines of sugar not exceeding 10% of our daily caloric intake is still too much.

Kathleen DesMaisons, PhD, author of The Sugar Addicts Total Recovery Book states that a true sugar addict have a specific syndrome going on – that they tend to have low serotonin levels, unstable blood sugar levels or low beta-endorphin levels. This means that they are eating sugar as a “medication” to feel better, as sugar creates a temporary increase in all of these levels and creates a true addiction cycle.

Other experts believe that soil mineral deficiencies, emotional hunger, processed foods and a lack of exercise are all culprits in the enormous number of Americans who have constant sugar cravings and addictions.

So, what’s the cure? This is the fun part because we generally tend to come back to the basics and wind up with the same advice we would get from our wise and experienced grandmothers – MODERATION.

Moderation is learning to balance our lives by slowing down, eating natural,  organic, home cooked foods and not too much of them; exercising more, working less, enjoying the simple things like laughter, gardening, cooking, reading and just plain BEING.

May-be we crave sugar when our “lives lose their sweetness” and the way to fix it is seeing the sweetness that is already in our lives – enjoying the life we are living instead of  being hungry for a life that may appear more exciting or glamorous but may not be as “nourishing” as the one we are living now!

With all good wishes,

Copyright 2010 G.Donadio