Beating the sugar addiction
We eat loads more sugar than our grandparents did, yet try to eat less and it’s almost impossible. Addictions can be tricky to define and tough to prove –but nonetheless, here’s a rough self-test that could be a red flag when it comes to sugar addiction:
Have you ever used sugar as a reward for something?
Have you ever used sugar to change your mood, like when you felt sad, tired, or when you needed a lift?
Have you ever eaten sugar even when you weren’t hungry? You just finished a meal and are very full, but still you order dessert or go to the fridge and pull out the ice cream.
Have you ever tried to stop eating sugar and couldn’t?
Have you ever taken a small bite of something sweet and felt compelled to finish the whole thing? You thought you were just going to have a bit of something, but then you ate the whole thing.
Have you ever stopped eating sugar and when you started eating it again, couldn’t stop binging?
If you answered yes to one or two of these questions, then you probably have a sugar problem. Most people laugh and will admit to being addicted to sugar, but then don’t realize just how harmful that addiction is. Just compare sugar addiction to something like smoking: Both sugar and cigarettes are extremely addictive. Both cause slow, almost unnoticeable, damage, and both sugar and cigarettes are very hard to stop.
South Africa’s battle of the bulge is an epidemic. Statistics show that 60% of our population is overweight or obese. Karen Thompson recognised the dire state of our nation’s weight and developed HELP – Harmony Eating & Lifestyle Programme, the first in-patient programme to treat carbohydrate and sugar addiction. While working in the fast paced fashion industry, she spent almost a year in a rehabilitation facility for narcotics and alcohol addictions as well as an eating disorder. It was this experience that prompted her to conceptualize the HELP programme. Karen is no stranger to revolutionary healthcare work as she’s the granddaughter of Dr Christiaan Barnard join us as we chat to her about this massive health issue.
The chemicals released by sugar travel the same pathways in the brain as cocaine and heroin. As with any addictive substance, over time you need more sugar to get the same high, so the problem of sugar addiction is only going to get worse as are the potential side effects of a high sugar diet… diabetes, heart disease, depression, alzheimers and even arthritis! So let’s take a leaf out of Karen’s book and kick the habit!!