The Sugar Trap (Sugar is More Addictive Than Cocaine)

Does sugar have a place in our diet? What are good and bad sources of sugar? And should conscious health eaters consume any sugar? In today’s article I will answer these questions and more.  I will tell you what I learned from years of research and personal experience.

Truth About Sugar

I find that the issue of sugar is so dear to many. My husband is a recovering sugar addict. I know it sounds funny, and, although it might not be something he would like to hear me say, as much as he would want to sugar coat it (no pun intended) and call it “having a sweet tooth”, the truth is, in the past, and at times even now, if there were sweets in the house he would forego all other foods just to get his sugar fix. He looked like this at the sight of sweets (and there is nothing he would not do for his favorite apple pie ;)):

Thankfully living a high raw diet, high green, plant based diet, and having a desire for better health is helping him to overcome his weakness, but he still has his times of struggle. But shhhhhhhh… don’t tell him I said anything ☺.

I know that my husband is not alone in this world in his sugar addiction. I have many other sugar addicts in the family, and I work with a lot of them who enroll to undergo my Boot Camp (I should really call it the Veg Camp, since I teach people how to transition to a whole foods, plant-based way of living) in order to rid themselves of such dangerous monsters. One of my sisters-in-law self proclaimed that she cannot live a healthier life because she does not have the self-will to part with sweets. She admits that it is her downfall, yet she is not even willing to consider living without them.

image source: weirdworm.com

I certainly can give you more stories, but why should I bore you? I am certain you can tell me a few of your own.

You might be curious if I personally had to battle sugar “demons” in my life. I am happy to report that I have been blessed my whole life not to have acquired a “sweet tooth.” Sure I do have occasional taste for sweets, but they are easily met with a handful of dates, raw cookies, or simple things such as fruit.

History

Our sugar consumption, as a society in total, has been drastically altered in the last century. Americans in the US consume close to, and at times more than, 156 lbs of sugar per year per person [Source: USDA]. That’s ¼-½ lbs of sugar per DAY! Most of it comes from refined sources, in forms of table sugar, baked foods, packaged foods, sodas, sports drinks, etc., not to mention that is it added to breads, pastas and salad dressings among other things.

As little as 100 years ago, it is estimated that Americans ate around one pound of sugar a year!

© Free-Photo-Galler.orgImage source: www.free-photo-gallery.org

What Is Sugar?

Sugars are the simplest forms of carbohydrates.

Let’s visit Wikipedia for a deeper explanation on the subject. Shall we?

“Sugar is a class of edible crystalline substances, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose. Sugar as a basic food carbohydrate primarily comes from sugar cane and from sugar beet, but also appears in fruit, honey, sorghum, sugar maple (in maple syrup), and in many other sources. Excessive consumption of sugar has been associated with increased incidences of type 2 diabetes, obesity and tooth decay.

Scientifically, sugar refers to any monosaccharide or disaccharide. Monosaccharides (also called “simple sugars”), such as glucose, store chemical energy, which biological cells convert to other types of energy. Glucose (a type of sugar found in human blood plasma) has the molecular formula C6 H12 O6.”

Now that you are starting to feel more enlightened, let’s dig deeper and make you feel even more educated.

As I mentioned — sugars are simple carbohydrates. Carbohydrates serve as energy stores, fuels, and metabolic intermediates. Certain carbohydrates, ribose and deoxyribose sugars form part of the structural framework of RNA and DNA. Polysaccharides are structural elements in the cell walls of bacteria and plants. Carbohydrates are linked to many proteins and lipids, where they play key roles in mediating interactions among and between cells and other elements in the cellular environment. (So, next time someone tells you that carbs are bad for you, go ahead and show off your newly acquired knowledge and put them to shame! There is a huge difference between bad and good carbs… but that’s the reason we are having this conversation in the first place ☺. We will reserve GOOD CARBS for our next conversation. ☺ )

Carbohydrates are simple organic compounds. The basic carbohydrate units are called monosaccharides, such as glucose, galactose, and fructose.

Now we have come full circle and established that sugars are simple carbs, and simple carbs are sugars.

Some carbohydrates are known as inoline or fruit-oligo-saccharides, which occur in certain foods like asparagus, leeks, onions, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, and other roots and bulbs.They help feed our healthy bacteria in the gutThey are crucial for our health.

When the bacteria are being fed by those carbohydrates, they become healthier and prevent the increase of bad bacteria in our gastric intestinal tract. They change our cholesterol level for the better; they inhibit various bad bacteria and viruses, and help to restore our gut flora, if we are ever subjected to go through antibiotic therapy. They also produce vitamins such as B vitamin, folic acid, and others.

Is Sugar Important?

Sugar, the right kind, serves several purposes in our bodies. One that everyone is well acquainted with is the fact that sugars provide us with energy. Sugar is a fuel that burns easily. It creates the energy factor that is known as ATP. ATP (adenosine triphosphate)] is the major ‘currency’ of energy in the body. It is not energy itself, but rather temporarily stores energy. ATP is the activated carrier which gives organisms energy. If you love or teach fitness in any kind of way, you know exactly what I am talking about.

Sugar is actually incorporated into our physical structure and acts as storage for energy in the future.

(Hold on, dear warrior! Now that you are becoming more educated on the topic of sugar don’t bolt out the door and head to the nearest store to buy a pint of Häagen-Dazs or German chocolate cake {my hubby’s former mistress} or any other favorite dessert. Be careful! This is not the kind of sugar I am talking about here!)

WARNINGrefined/processed sugars do not serve any purpose in our bodies! People who eat too much sugar, especially white sugar (i.e. my sister-in-law and, formerly, my dearest husband), as well as refined carbohydrates, such as white flour that is so common in baked goods, tend to create increased acidity in their tissues, which leads towards an anaerobic [ineffective] metabolism. Excessive intake of such sugars and refined carbohydrates leads to changes in our blood, making our blood platelets stick together and make the blood viscosity higher, which contributes to cardiovascular risk and diseases. Not to mention that acidic physical environments are perfect for bad bacteria (diseases) to thrive, and encourage the growth and spread of various cancers.

Things to Know About Sugar

Consumption and especially over-consumption of bad sugars (i.e. refined/processed) is dangerous!

The body easily converts excess sugar into fat. Any time we have extra sugar in the body, the body absorbs it into the cells or the liver, where it gets converted into fat.

Sugar level fluctuations affect our mood, behavior, memory and focus, among many other important functions. It is imperative to realize what foods and eating behaviors can cause sugar roller-coasters and avoid them. We need a constant supply of energy to maintain a healthy body. We need to ensure that our blood sugar level is always stable.

Stable Sugars?

Naturally occurring (unrefined/unprocessed) sugars are stable. Plants are made up of carbohydrates, which our body breaks down to extract right amounts of sugars. The sugars inside plants are not isolated, and are surrounded by wonderful things such as fiber. Our body has to work harder to extract such sugars, which takes time for sugar to be released into our blood stream, thus preventing spikes. Refined sugars, on the other hand, go directly into our blood stream and cause us to have sugar spikes.

If we eat unprocessed foods, they will supply us with a proper dosage of sugar, also providing us with mental clarity and physical alertness. It is when we part from what God intended for our food that we get ourselves into huge trouble.

Why Is Processed Sugar Bad for Me?

Nowadays most people would agree that white (processed) sugar is bad for them. However, they are fooled to believe that somehow sugar that is darker in color is not as bad and feel at peace consuming it instead. The truth?

Both evaporated cane juice and white cane sugar have been heavily processed to remove the molasses content. During this processing the vitamins, minerals, fiber, amino acids, and trace elements that make molasses nutritious are stripped away, leaving one of the purest chemicals ever manufactured.  Following processing, evaporated cane juice is 99.5% sucrose, and white sugar is 99.9% sucrose. Turbinado sugar, considered the least processed of any of the forms of sugar, is 99% sucrose.

Whether sugar is eaten in the form of white sugar, evaporated cane juice, turbinado, or any of the other names for it, its effect on the body is the same — when eaten in large amounts, or eaten without fat or protein (the kinds we talked about in previous posts), each of them will produce the same sort of insulin spike, weight gain, immune system suppression, and increased chance for diabetes. (Source)

All sugar is processed from the sugar cane or sugar beet plant, and the two types of plants are used interchangeably. High quality brown sugar is made by cutting short the refinement process and leaving a bit of molasses in the sugar for taste and color. Lower quality brown sugar sold in conventional grocery stores is usually made from processed white sugar with the addition of caramel for coloring. Some brown sugar is even made by processing white sugar through animal bone charcoal to add color.

The big difference between evaporated cane juice and granulated sugar is the price, which runs about $8-$10 dollars a pound for evaporated cane juice compared to about $1-$3 dollars a pound for white sugar. If manufacturers are willing to spend the extra money to put the words evaporated cane juice on their labels, it means they know the public is seriously trying to avoid eating sugar and needs to be tricked into eating it anyway. (Source)

How Important Is Glycemic Index?

Glycemic index, also known as GI is another buzz word we are all familiar with.

Carbohydrates behave quite differently one from another in our bodies. The GI describes this difference by ranking carbohydrates according to their effect on our blood glucose levels.

I am sure that you might have heard that choosing low GI carbs — the ones that produce only small fluctuations in our blood glucose and insulin levels — is the secret to long-term health and weight loss. However, it is only a partial truth!  Unfortunately GI, as many other things, became nothing more than another marketing tool and a tactic to sell products that are not good for consumption.

Look at some of the ingredients on processed foods like sodas, cereals, even energy bars and ice creams — some have lower GI than naturally occurring plant foods (fruit). But it does not mean that they are good for your consumption! Processed foods that are low in GI can lead to various health issues: cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and many others.

Stress and Sugar

image source: sheknows.com

Physical exercise and physical stress can change our blood sugar levels. To cope with stress, be it emotional or physical, our bodies start secreting hormones like cortisol. Cortisol increases blood sugar levels.  In  stressful situations our brain and muscles use sugar to deal with stress, making us more alert and giving us a boost of energy (fight or flight mode).

An increase in blood sugar level will have a weakening effect on the adrenal glands, which produce the stress hormone cortisol. Elevated levels of cortisol have a negative physical effect; given time, it can lead to osteoporosis, menstrual problems, fatigue, irritability, high blood pressure, depression, obesity, suppressed thyroid function and other problems. This was the very reason I personally developed hormone imbalance and hypothyroid, which, thankfully, having come to my senses, I was able to reverse naturally, without any medical intervention.

Why Do Sweets Make Us Feel Good?

Sugar helps our body to manufacture serotonin in the brain, which makes us feel good and relaxed. It is a natural antidepressant in a sense, so we become addicted to it. Unfortunately when the blood sugar goes down after we eat refined sugars, we end up more depressed than we did before eating them. So, we eat more sugar, get another spike, and get down again. It becomes an addiction, same as drugs. Because of these ups and downs the vicious cycle of addiction gets worse and worse.

Emotional and physical stress, and eventually sugar addiction, will cause a lot of sugar cravings in order to reduce negative emotions, by increasing the serotonin output. Increased blood sugar decreases DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) levels. (DHEA is a hormone that protects us from stress, cancer, aging, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, from weakening immune system, hypothyroidism, and is a precursor to healthy sex hormones and other hormones.)

Sugar spikes also affect our insulin metabolism. When cortisol levels go up insulin does not work, so not only do we increase the sugar in the blood, but we reduce the utilization of sugar in the tissues, as a result the tissues cannot regenerate. Because of this we release more fatty acids from the tissues, and reduce the synthesis (creation and absorption) of proteins. Our bodies go into a stage of breaking down instead of building our tissues up.

Sugar Is More Addictive Than Cocaine!

image source: beautyshallsavetheworld.com

In 2007 there was a lab study done on the effects of sugar addiction compared to cocaine. (If you click through, you can indulge in the entire study yourself, but, yes, the nerd that I am, I read the whole thing.)  The findings were very interesting.

“…when rats were allowed to choose mutually-exclusively between water sweetened with saccharin–an intense calorie-free sweetener–and intravenous cocaine –a highly addictive and harmful substance – the large majority of animals (94%) preferred the sweet taste of saccharin. …the preference for saccharin was not surmountable by increasing doses of cocaine and was observed despite either cocaine intoxication, sensitization or intake escalation–the latter being a hallmark of drug addiction.”

The conclusion of the study was this:

“Our findings clearly demonstrate that intense sweetness can surpass cocaine reward, even in drug-sensitized and -addicted individuals… In most mammals, including rats and humans, sweet receptors evolved in ancestral environments poor in sugars and are thus not adapted to high concentrations of sweet tastants. The supranormal stimulation of these receptors by sugar-rich diets, such as those now widely available in modern societies, would generate a supranormal reward signal in the brain, with the potential to override self-control mechanisms and thus to lead to addiction.”

Can you believe this?! I can! I had seen people so addicted to this stuff that they would rather choose poor health and slow death than giving it up.  Thankfully my husband was not one of them!  I hope that you will not be either, if you are one of those people who sees sweets as a sort of reward for “good behavior.” After all, what could be a better reward: sugar treat which will take you down and take away your health, or… optimal health, by avoiding such “treats”?!

What Else Can Influence Blood Sugar and Increase Cortisol Level?

Emotional stress and refined sugars are not the only culprits. So, what else causes cortisol levels to increase? Surprise! One thing that nobody wants talk about is animal protein. Whenever we increase animal protein in diet, we start increasing cortisol secretion. This in turn will decrease our testosterone level (ladies, you might be thinking that you don’t have to worry about this subject, but we all: male and female, need a certain level of testosterone in our body, so don’t dismiss this issue). Animal proteins can also cause extra estrogen production that can become detrimental to males and females alike.

Most issues that I have previously mentioned: osteoporosis, menstrual problems, fatigue, cancer and other diseases, are associated with high sugar and high cortisol correlation that will occur with excessive animal protein intake. (You can find more on the topic in the book The China Study, by T Colin Campbell)

Increase in blood sugar causes continuous elevation in our insulin. When insulin is elevated for a long period of time the body might create insulin resistance. The insulin cell receptors lose their functionality, which creates the beginning of pre-diabetes, also known as metabolic syndrome.  With increased insulin level in the blood we also have increased fats in the blood, increased triglycerides, and sometimes increased blood pressure. With that also comes increase in fat, especially around the belly. The problem in many cases, even before full-fledged diabetes which increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, can cause a heart attack.

What About Sweeteners?

image source: hagendentalblog.com

First, let differentiate. There are artificial sweeteners and there are natural sweeteners.  The natural sweeteners are derived from certain fruits, certain vegetables, and certain tubers. However, because they are derived from a natural product trough chemical processes they can cause some problems.  There are also artificial sweeteners that are absolutely dangerous for your health (you will find a lot of them are used by diabetics and “health conscious” population of our society). These sweeteners were invented in a chemical lab—not found in nature, so steer clear from them.

A Word About Agave

I know that a lot of vegans and raw vegans become agave syrup crazy (although most agave is not raw!) — it becomes their sugar substitute, while better, healthier options are rejected.  It is sweet to the highest degree, and people think that since it is derived from a plant source it must be healthy.  But… had they stopped to think that high corn fructose syrup (HFCS) is also derived from a plant source? ☺  Think about it!

Another interesting fact to compare the two:

agave nectar is 56-92%

      (some claim that the number is 70-85%)

fructose, with the rest mostly glucose

  • HFCS, vilified as much as agave nectar is worshiped, is 55% fructose, the rest glucose. Yes, almost the same exact composition as some agave syrup. (Source)

What’s more, both HFCS and agave are nearly identical to the white sugar sold in stores! So, when it comes to health effects, they are… identical! 

To add insult to injury, recent finding point to the fact that extracted (processed) fructose, in fact, in a lot of cases, is more dangerous than glucose.  It actually has been shows that fructose is what fuels cancer growth. (Source)

Where Do I Get My Sugar?

First of all let’s establish that it is never a good idea to abuse even natural sugars.  There are many wonderful sources of God-given sugar. The best, of course, is raw vegetables and fruits, as well as vegetables. They will provide your body with complex sugars while preventing sugar spikes. You will be amazed just how sweet vegetables are once you wean yourself off extreme, processed sugars.

There are also sweeteners like honey, brown rice syrup, date syrup and stevia (leaf, not extract!). If you use these, use them in moderation.  I personally prefer to use dried fruit, such as: dates and raisins, etc. in my smoothies and desserts.

If you decide to add dried fruits to your diet, the best way to do so is by dehydrating them yourself. Most commercially dried fruits have chemical additives to give them shelf life. If you cannot dehydrate your own fruit carefully examine labels of the fruit you are buying to make sure you are not buying sulfate, pesticides and herbicides along with the fruit.

How to Wean Yourself Off Sugar

Depending on the level of your addiction the commitment to health might be more trying for some than others.  While I have no problem saying NO to a piece of chocolate cake, or, if I make it for a special occasion (vegan-way), and have only a slice, my husband, if you let him, could have the entire cake to himself.

So, what are the steps that you can take to wean yourself off sugar?  When doing my monthly Boot Camps, I get a few sugar addicts here and there, and since being on the Boot Camp regimen requires ZERO consumption of sugar, everyone is forced to face their demons. What we found is that the introduction of Green Smoothies, a high raw, unprocessed plant-based diet, and accountability was a great way to cleanse from a sugar addiction.  The first couple of weeks are normally more trying for some, while the addiction is being broken and brought under control, but then it gets easier, and by weeks 4-6 my sugar addicts start experiencing cravings relief.  Some find that munching on fruit or dried fruit, like dates, is eventually all they need to satisfy their sweet cravings.  In the process they also learn to make sugar free desserts, like this amazing Chocolate Mousse.

So, if you need help in overcoming sugar addiction, now that you know all you need about the dangers of consuming processed sugars, make sure to reach out and get help and follow these steps…

In Conclusion

Remember that the most natural, unprocessed, whole, raw sources of sugar are your best friends and artificial and processed sugars are you enemies.

Any Sugar Addicts Out There?

If you are, tell me all about it, and tell me if you want to be free of your addiction, as well as what you might have tried doing to get free and if it did or did not work.

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  • Sunny

    I’m addicted to granulated sugar. I eat 9-10 spoons of sugar everyday. I feel like I’m going crazy. Is this truly an addiction or is it just in my head. I tried to stop eating granulated sugar, but can’t. My husband says it’s all in my head. I think it’s effecting my health. I’m getting really bad headaches, I have excessive saliva where I’m waking up all through the night spitting. And sometimes dry mouth and stomach cramps and knots in my stomach. Please help.

    • Sunny… it actually took me a moment to think–is this comment real or not. I am so sorry that you are going through this. Sugar is addictive and it messes with your brain, your hormones, with your heart health and pretty much the rest of your health. I would love to help you. We would have to start by revamping your diet and addressing triggers that lead you to eating sugar. It is not just in the head, that’s for sure. It is a physiological response that is triggered by either emotions or something else.

      Sign up for my program and let’s get started. http://www.vega-licious.com/services/body-by-plants/

      • Sunny

        Signing up now. Yes this is actually really. I’ve been dealing with this addiction on and off for 9yrs now.

        • Sunny

          This is actually real. What I was trying to type.

          • Got ya. Sorry to hear about that. I can totally understand. My husband is a former sugar addict. Even now he has to be careful with triggers and treats.

        • We’ll get to working on it together, with accountability. Since your addiction is long-term, I recommend doing the year long program, so we can work through it, allowing for possible setbacks and recovery.

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  • nuria perez

    I can’t seem to find any stevia leaf. All ofthe stevia I find in stores is stevia leaf extract. Any suggestions?

    • Can you order online? If all came to not being able to find it, try using the extract and see how it serves you.

  • Sam

    I am a sugar addict. I have to eat several pieces of fruit every morning or I won’t have energy. Do you think eating a lot of different fruits is a bad idea?

    • Sam, if fruit is your biggest addiction then you are ok. As long as you eat a whole food (not processed), then you get a lot of benefits with it. And, as long as you also eat other great plant food throughout the day, I am certain that your health will only get better with it. So, in a sentence, in my opinion, if you eat fruit in the morning, and remember to eat your veggies, grains and legumes too, you should be fine.

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  • julie

    I know this blog entry is a bit old, but I just found your blog yesterday and wanted to comment. I am a former sugar addict. My dad is a recovering alcoholic ( been sober about 30 years), a former smoker and a former sugar addict. He says quitting sugar was the hardest of the 3 . He had to do so as he was on the path to diabetes. Sugar is just as much a drug/ addictive substance as alcohol, nicotine or cocoaine.
    About a year and a half ago I quit sugar. I do not allow it in my house in any form. For me sugar is the same as liquor is to an alcoholic. I must avoid it because I am not someone who will ever eat just one cookie- I’ll have a dozen. It has been a struggle with some backsliding , but in the past 18 months I have done very well – lost 44 lbs I needed to lose, went from a size 16 to an 8, and feel and look so much better. When I recently saw a friend for the first time in a year she remarked, ” Wow! Look at your skin.” She knew I had lost weight , but was not expecting how truly great my skin looks post- sugar.
    I see that you mentioned dates in your post. I find them to be a great treat. One of the bonuses of giving up sugar is appreciating the sweetness and rich taste of dates.

    • Julie, oh, how true! Sugar is addictive and can be detrimental. It is horrible for our hormones and many other health factors. I am so happy you were able to “kick the habit”. I personally cannot have a bit of something with sugar in it (most of the times) without getting a headache or breaking out, so I do not. I was never a fan of sugar, but even a perceived “treat” is not worth it.

      Congratulations on your weight loss and progress! I would love to see your before and after. I bet your skin is glowing!

      And I do agree with you that when we give up sugar and processed junk, we truly discover just how flavorful and sweet other foods are.

  • somgrl8

    Processed sugar is better than sugar substitutes. Excess sugar converts into fat…fat can be burned off through exercise. Sugar substitutes have far dangerous consequences…this goes for aspartme and sucralose..in the 70’s there were complaints of severe headaches in women…Requests to test aspartme to ensure it was safe for consumption were denied by Donald Rumsfield in the 70s. In the mid to late 80s the popular sugar substitutes Sweet and Low and Equal were required to post a warning on the package stating that the product may cause tumors. The body needs fat…bodybuilders have little to no body fat which causes problems with sleeping. I haven’t heard about any tumors that are good for you.

  • Darcey

    What about coconut sugar? Is it bad too?

    • I never tried or researched it. I would have to look what it is made of. I personally prefer dates, fruit and other natural goodies to take care of the sweet tooth.

  • milcah

    I’m a total SUGAR ADDICT! I eat sugar daily. I make myself feel better by making my sweets myself. :/ I want so bad to stop eating it, but I will go a few days & have a HUGE craving & splurge.

    • Milcah, that happens to so many! You really need support. I have sugar addicts in my boot camp regularly. One is in this month’s program–used to eat sugar several times a day, but was able to cut it out because of accountability… feels better, AND is 16 lbs lighter in just 26 days! You might want to enroll too.

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  • Nina

    Thank you for this wonderful article! I came off my sugar addiction about a year ago. For some time before I even knew about the nutritional/ health dangers of sugar, I had a feeling that it is not good for me – it drained me of energy, and once I had sugar in a day I could not stop craving more, more, more… I knew it was addictive intuitively, but it tooks me years to really take the step of stopping it. Starting to eat vegan helped me a lot in achieving it.
    I love how comprehensive and well-researched this article is. Oe thing I would like to add from my experience, which the wonderful desert picture already hint at: When your sister-in-law says she does “not have the self-will to part with sweets”, I would say but that’s the best part – you don’t have to!! The greatest revelation for me was how after just a few weeks my palate changed fundamentally: I always loved sweets, the sweeter the better, and rediscovering the natural sweetness of real food, like 100% chocolate, a coconut, cashews, carrots…. etc. and of course fruits was the greatest culinary joy I can imagine. It got to a point where I even started finding pure dates too sweet 🙂
    The only remaining (and great!) difficulty then is to get a 1/2-a-pound-a-day person to get to the point of believing this and feeling strong enough to make the change. I hope this article will encourage many!

    • Nina, thank for reading and sharing. 

      With my SIL the problem is she does not WANT to part with PROCESSED sugar.  For some reason the thought of HEALTHY sugars apparently terrifies her. I told her many times that she can still have sugar-free, SWEET desserts, but she is one of those that is truly addicted. I pray one day she goes through what you experienced, as did I–discovering that WHOLE foods, like apples, carrot, peas, etc. are already SOO, SOO sweet that we don’t need any more sugar in our diets. I too find that DATES can be TOO sweet 😉 What makes you different from her is that you WANTED the change and you gave it a chance.  Even starting to ask questions is a step in the right direction! Thank you for a thoughtful comment! 

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  • Great post. I watched “Hungry for Change” last night – made by the producers of the “FoodMatters” video – and they villified sugar in much the same way.  When it comes right down to it, this stuff is not good for our bodies! the one I hadn’t realized before, though, was agave nectar. I use it quite a bit – but when you think about it – it makes sense. Even though it comes from a different plant, it’s still a processed sugar, just like HFCS.
    Thanks for sharing. Best wishes for the remainder of your pregnancy!

    • Shana, then it is not vilifying it, but telling the truth 😉 and the more hear it the better. I had spoken with people who are so addicted to it, they are afraid to quit because when they try they get full blown drug withdrawals. And I am glad I can shed some light on agave. When I first went vegan I tried it but did not like the way it made me feel or how it tasted. I prefer fruit now 🙂

  • Hi Elena! I am a sugar addict. I am really terrible, sometimes it does feel like it is completely out of my control. My husband is like you and has never really cared for sweets, but me, I love them so much. Last year when I did the Eat To Live thing, I was amazed at how incredibly addicted I was because I had very crazy withdrawls–shaking, terrible headaches, feeling actually sick to my stomach. It was awful. Thankfully, I was expecting it to be horrible while it got out of my system, so I was able to stick with it. When the withdrawls were over, I felt amazing! Lost a bunch of weight, and my skin and hair looked great. I just felt so much better. I have relapsed a bit since then, and would love to get back to the no-sugar thing–I am so grateful that at least I have the memory of how nice it felt to not be on the sugar. That will keep me going! Also, for some reason, it never occured to me that I could have sugar-free, vegan desserts, so thanks for that! I feel like knowing that I have the option of having a treat that still tastes good every once in awhile, will make me more committed to sticking with it. I am just loving your blog by the way. Thanks for all the great info.

    • Mary, thanks for being so open and honest 😉 and yes, you can still have amazing desserts, but not at the price of your health.  For example my HIGH ON RAW ebook has several dessert recipes that are not only sugar free, but are also raw.  and if you do a search on my site, you will find Almond Flour, Sugar FREE muffins.  Can that get any better?! 🙂

      I am so glad that you do realize that it is a true addiction.  And, if you ever need help getting over the hump, make sure to join my boot camp–it will be another challenge, but an enjoyable one, to get sugar out of your system for good 😉