Friday, March 18, 2011

Is sugar a drug?

I had this debate with a friend of mine a couple years ago. He insisted that sugar could be classified as a drug and I refused to agree. To me, because your body needs carbohydrates (which essentially all break down to a form of sugar) for energy to function it didn't seem fair to label it as a "drug". When I think of "drugs" I think of man-made chemicals, addiction, body and mind altering substances and it seems so negative. But the more I think of it, there are many ways that I believe my friend's point is valid. 

It DOES alter my body when I don't have it and when I do...

I crave it daily...


These days a lot of our sugars come from man-made products like high fructose corn syrup...


It affects my mood...

and basically I think I'm addicted to it.


So I've been putting myself on "sugar-free"diets for the past couple weeks. I'm kind of an all or nothing type of girl and I find I have an easier time sticking to one drastic rule than exercising self-control. My hope that in avoiding sugar all together, I will crave it less and natural foods and natural sugars will taste better and be more satifying to me. I must say I've had moderate success this week. Although I've allowed myself a 2-3 "cheats" a week (which I think is acceptable), I've stopped buying candy bars at lunch and snacking on sweets when I get home from work. Over all I feel pretty good. I've done this before a week at a time, but the more I think about it, it needs to be a lifestyle change for me.


There are a couple flaws with this system though. First, if I allow myself a "cheat" I usually cheat pretty bad. It's like I've given myself a free pass to whatever and that shouldn't be the case. Also, I've been substituting with "sugar-free" desserts and drinks. If I'm really that worried about man-made chemicals and what not, that doesn't make any sense. I go back and forth between how harmful sugar substitutes can be versus the real thing.


Anyhow, it's not just girl scout cookies I have a love/hate relationship with - I think it's all forms of sugar and I just wanted to share some thoughts on the subject. I think it's interesting how our palates have changed over time (especially here in America) and we are so obsessed with flavor instead of nutrition like we should be. Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?

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