Addicted to sugar Sugar? We're hardwired for it - but better off without

Sugar is everywhere. And so is sugar addiction, that sneaky little thing that’s contributing so much to our current epidemic of chronic disease.  Most people won’t even know they’re hooked; they just have a ‘bit of a sweet tooth’. But why is sugar so addictive? This cool little animation by Ted.com can help understand what happens in our brains when we eat sugar – and why we’re hardwired to seek it, as well as look out for new seasonal foods.

Ted.com Sugar Education (click on the title to access the video)

And if you’re not yet convinced that sugar – in its many forms – is something to watch out for, I’d love to invite you to read the following article by Sarah Gottfried, a medical doctor in the US, who specialises in hormonal imbalances.

Sugar gets everywhere and in my experience, it’s the culprit numero uno that needs to be dealt with quickly especially in weight loss, inflammatory conditions and energy imbalances. And while the beginning always hurts (oh no not my pudding!), give it couple of weeks and the worst is over. I promise you. Thankfully, our tastebuds are flexible little fellows and soon get used to low sugar intake. Foods one would not have previously thought as sweet start tasting sweet and gain in dept of flavour.

Food sugars and sweeteners may go under several pseudonyms. Here are a few, commonly used in processed foods;  dextrose, maltose, lactose, sucrose, mannitol, molasses, glucose, fructose, evaporated cane juice, brown rice syrup, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), xylitol, honey, maltitol, levulose, saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame, sucralose, cyclamates. Keep your eyes peeled and learn to read ingredients and food labels. A low sugar product has sugar less than 5g in a 100g.

Looking for a challenge for 2015? Why not try 21 days without any added sugars or sweeteners, limiting processed food to those which are low in sugar (see above) and fresh fruits to two portions a day max. Don’t hesitate to share how you found the experiment – I’d love to hear how you did