For most people the idea of giving up sugar for an entire year is more than daunting. It isn’t as if you would just give up your favorite dessert, but you would also have to give up almost every food sold in the grocery store (…almost every food). To a woman named Eve Schaub, this was not an insurmountable task, but her family’s journey into no-sugar-land was quite eye-opening.
Eve used to think that being tired all the time was just part of the over-worked American’s lifestyle – something we all suffered from together, so at least misery had company. But she started reading about the effects of sugar on the body and mind. She then decided to do an experiment in which her family was entirely involved.
For one year, they decided not to eat any sugar unless is was attached to its original package – like a piece of fruit – that meant no honey, no molasses, no high fructose corn syrup, no organic cane sugar, etc.
Approximately 34% of Americans have metabolic syndrome. One in three Americans is obese. The rate of diabetes is skyrocketing, and cardiovascular disease is America’s number one killer. That’s a lot of motivation to give up sugar even if it appears in almost every drink or packaged food sold in America.
Even foods you wouldn’t think have added sugar, do. Manufacturers use sugar to make foods taste better, but as Schaub found out in her one-year-with-no-sugar-journey, after a while, even your favorite desserts start to taste sickeningly sweet, give you a headache, and zap all your energy.
Schaub noticed her daughter missed fewer days of school when they went off sugar, her energy levels soared, and many health problems her and her family had suffered magically disappeared.
It is no wonder that quitting sugar had such a profound effect on Eve’s family. Eating sugar makes you crave more sugar, and experts have described the addiction to sugar as no less debilitating than an addiction to crack cocaine – the brain even processes the desire to eat sugar in the same way!
Here is a list of sugar names, courtesy of CommonSenseHealth.
The first step to ridding your diet of excess sugar even if you aren’t planning to go completely sugar free is knowing where it lurks.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.