Honey, (dum de dum dum dum-dum),
Awww sugar, sugar dum de dum dum dum-dum)
You are my candy Girl,
And you got me wanting you….
and wanting you, and wanting you, and wanting you.
Candy is dandy but it would appear that it is not just sugar that gets our little addiction centers flaring and sends us diving into the far reaches of the pantry searching for something, anything that might be left over from the last candy-bash-of-an-excuse-for-a-holiday-celebration.
Sugar (in all of it’s manifestations) is a purveyor of the addiction, but it is the sweetness of sugar that makes us want more. Unfortunately, this means that sugar substitutes, the supposed friends of dieters, also increase our desire for more sweets. As the writer of a review of the latest condemnation of non-caloric artificial sweeteners (NAS) puts it, “There is every reason, residing in sense as well as science, to suspect that NAS contribute just as readily to this phenomenon as caloric sugars. The commonly used artificial sweeteners are intensely sweet, all much more so than sugar. The net result, then, is that while NAS might remove sugars and the associated calories at any given time, they would cultivate the sweet tooth that would favor their readmission at some other time. That’s easily done, since there are popular brands of bread, crackers, chips, pretzels, salad dressings and pasta sauces with added sugar. One might favor such products due to a sweet tooth, and never even be aware of it,” (David Katz, M.D.)
In other words, artificially sweetened foods and beverages still up the ante in what you consider to be sweet and encourage your preference for sweet foods. Thus the buns and fries at McDonald’s which have sugar added, might be preferable to a whole grain bun or oven baked fries simply because they are sweeter.
Unfortunately, I am personally very aware of the sweet side of cravings. Despite the fact that I have greatly decreased the amount of processed sugar in my diet and can no longer tolerate many commercial products because they are too sweet, the amount of raisins in my day seems to be escalating… and I have been choosing a rather sweet poppy seed dressing over my usual balsamic vinaigrette on my salad that just isn’t quite right without some fruit on top (raisins if nothing else seems to fit). These are not necessarily bad choices but I know when I’m peering over the precipice of the slippery slope people because I have been at the bottom of that slope. I was a jawbreaker cracking, gum chewing child who spent most of her allowance on candy and boxes of Lucky Charms or Count Chocula cereal. Yikes – I’m dating myself again as Count Chocula was apparently the very first chocolate flavored cereal with chocolate marshmallows. Such a distinction! 😉
All this to say that decreasing sugar is difficult because it is very prevalent and we love our sweet. Unfortunately how much sugar you consume is also an important health choice, for you and for those you feed. The publication of the above article which reveals that NAS also destroy the good bacteria balance in your gut prompted me to review some of our pantry Sugar Busting strategies and I thought you might enjoy, or benefit from some of our early posts on Sugar Busting as well. Someday advertising for highly sweetened products (be it with sugar or NAS) will be banned from television as were ads for liquor and cigarettes to protect the public health. But in the meantime, here are some of our past blogs about the evils of sugar. The Sugar Busting Series also has a lot of recipes for reduced sugar treats and breakfast alternatives (since breakfast is a very sugary affair for most people), but for the most part the following are information about sugar, where sugar is lurking, and ways to reduce sugar in your diet. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news…. but it keeps me off the streets seeking my next score of sugar ;-).
Here are the links and I wish you a healthy and savory weekend!
Sweet Duplicity – The many names of sugar and how manufacturers hide them from you!
Giving Hidden Sugar the Boot – Part 1
Giving Hidden Sugar the Boot – Part 2
Abstinence Makes the Taste Grow Stronger – the trap of ever increasing amounts of sugar
Reducing Sugar 1 Teaspoon at a Time
Lessons from the Cereal Aisle – reducing the cost and sugar in your breakfast
Info on the documentary Fed Up which addresses the power of sugar in our food supply
Special fruit recipes to rein the sweet tooth in a little
How Sugar Strict Should You Be?
Wait! Don’t Eat the Halloween Candy! – alternative celebratory ideas and what do you do about all that candy?
Replace Those Unhealthy Health Foods Part 1
Replace Those Unhealthy Health Foods Part 2
Chocolate Steel Cut Oats in the Crockpot (oh my but these are good and not very sweet!)
Here Comes Peter Cottontail – a meaningful holiday coated with sugar
The Real Bears – the real soda drinking bears…. a song and short video. Check it out!
Homemade Sports Drink – most sports drinks have a ton of sugar or NAS – try an alternative
The Sweet Stuff – how much has amount of sugar we consume changed? Engaging graphics show you.
Sweet Stuff on Top – alternative toppers for pancakes, french toast, waffles…
Eat Food. Real Food. – Sugar as we now eat it is not natural food.
Sugar Busting – Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s interview on 60 Minutes about the toxicity of sugar
Travelling Beverages – Make your own!