Why is sugar so hard to resist?
A few years ago I read “Pure White and Deadly” by John Yudkin. This book pretty much changed my whole thinking around sugar, the food industry and the detrimental affects sugar has on the body. Recently there has been copious amounts of media messaging about the evils of sugar and how it is hidden in most processed/convenience foods. The crazy thing is that even with all this knowledge and trying to avoid most processed foods, the craving for a sweet treat still remains and once its unleashed it goes nuts!
Humans have a natural desire for a sweet treat, I know this, it’s what has kept us, as a species, progressing forward. While reaching for the honey high up in the tree, we used and grew our brain to work out how to get more honey faster and more effectively. The problem is that now we have worked it so well we have sugar treats on every corner 24/7.
Alcohol and Sugar
I know there is a connection with alcohol and sugar. They both trigger the dopamine or feel good response in the brain. However, I must be honest and say for me its far easier to cut alcohol out rather than sugar. I like to think this is due to the natural instincts of our ancestors to encourage the evolution of brain development.
The search for “spirit” in alcohol or drugs can be replaced by meditation, exercise, reflection and prayer, none of these practices lead to unconsciousness, conversely they can make you more conscious. What can replace the feel good sensations of sugar? Quite honestly I cannot answer this as I have not found anything quite like it. Cutting sugar out of the diet for 3 weeks is time enough to get out of the habit and like most habits replacing it with something else will create a new habit. This is often long enough to lose the “taste”.
If you understand the effect of sugar on the brain, in the midst of a craving you can metaphorically step aside and see what is actually happening in the body. It would seem for me that a total ban on sugar is out of the question but keeping it for occasional treats as part of the “three meals a day and no snacking” plan is a good way to go.