Research is now starting to reveal that sugar has addictive properties as powerful as cocaine. Our bodies produce a hormone, leptin, which acts like an appetite thermostat, but we’re gradually becoming resistant to this hormone, and it is the over-consumption of sugar that is causing this resistance. It means that our appetites don’t abate as long as we are eating sugary foods.
Very little attention has been paid so far to our compulsive attitude towards sugar and refined carbohydrates. This is partly because eating sugary foods is socially acceptable – just look at the cupcake craze – and partly because we have been laying the blame for our obesity and health problems upon saturated fat.
Sugar is not just empty calories, as was always thought, but a time bomb waiting to explode. Once you remove sugar from your diet and support your blood-sugar levels with other foods, you will be amazed how much easier it is not to be tempted by sweet things. Often your body is craving them just because your blood-sugar levels are at rock bottom.
Sugar cravings are also linked to our emotions. We have grown up thinking of a sugar-fix as a treat so when we are depressed, stressed, tired or upset, we turn to sugar to help us feel better. The fact that this is only a temporary fix that makes things worse in the long-run is irrelevant at the time. (In my first book, Cooking Without, I talk in more detail about Emotions, Addictions and Ill Health.)