And it starts by wreaking havoc on your waistline, heart, pancreas, brain, skin, and mood, as I explain in The A-List Diet, now available in convenient paperback.
But that list just scrapes the surface. It’s downright terrifying the amount of damage sugar can do to your body.
What’s even worse is how it’s hidden in so many of our foods. Of the 40,000 items in the average American grocery store, 77 percent contain added sugars!
Perhaps worst of all, many people in this country are full-fledged sugar addicts — and don’t even know it.
That would certainly explain why 30.3 million Americans have diabetes, and why 90 – 95 percent of the cases are Type 2 diabetes. It would also explain why 36.5 percent — more than one-third of Americans — have been diagnosed as obese. And sadly, Type 2 diabetes and obesity are two of the leading causes of preventable death among Americans.
Plus, research shows sugar is every bit as addictive as illegal drugs.
In fact, a recent study from Connecticut College involving rats showed that Oreo cookies activate more neurons in the brain’s pleasure center than cocaine.
If that’s not motivation to get your hand out of the cookie jar, how about this…
Another recent study from Australia’s Queensland University compared the effects of sugar to those of cocaine, morphine, and tobacco. It found that excess sugar consumption repeatedly elevated dopamine levels in the brain (which contain our pleasure and reward centers), making the effect similar to those from the drugs.
Additionally, the researchers found after long-term sugar consumption, dopamine levels decreased, requiring more and more sugar to return to the same level of reward. And like other abused substances, withdrawal from chronic exposure to sugar can result in a dopamine imbalance, which can lead to depression, mood swings, and increase the difficulty of going “cold turkey.”
I won’t lie and say breaking a sugar addiction is easy. It’s not… especially at first.
But know it only takes three days to rid sugar from your system and overcome cravings. (I walk you through how to get off sugar in chapter three of my book, The A-List Diet.)
And once you’ve broken the sugar habit, make sure to keep it out of your kitchen — and out of your body.
Here are a few A-List tips to avoid hidden sugar:
- Don’t trust what’s shelved in the center aisles of the grocery store. It’s mostly processed, pre-packaged junk. Stick to the outside aisles, which typically tend to carry produce, full-fat dairy, and proteins.
- Read every single label of something you buy, even if it looks healthy.
- Shop for organic, raw foods (fruits and veggies) and grass-fed meats.
- Supplement with glutamine. This amino acid is my go-to rescue remedy to crush sugar cravings. I recommend 500 mg three times a day. You can also use as needed, whenever you have the urge to reach for something sweet.
- Make your own condiments, salad dressings, rubs, and sauces whenever you can. (I’ll share with you a great A-List recipe below.)
The only safe amount of added sugar in your diet is none. I often wonder if I’m the only doctor in this country who routinely counsels their patients on its harmful effects.
The time to stop sugar is NOW. Don’t let yourself become a statistic.
Recipe of the Week
Avocado Pesto (page 268 of The A-List Diet)
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
- ¼ cup almonds, crushed
- ¼ pine nuts
- ¼ cup watercress
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted grass-fed butter, melted and slightly cooled
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Combine the garlic and avocado in a food processor and process until creamy.
- Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until combined and the texture is to your liking.
Note: This pesto is great to serve over shirataki noodles, with spaghetti squash, or on Parmesan crisps (page 177 of The A-List Diet).
One More Thing…
Nowadays, food manufacturers put sugar in everything. And it makes sense — creating a consumer-base of sugar addicts is the perfect business model.
How does the food industry get away with this? Well, it all started during the dark ages of the “low-fat” craze. When fat was removed from a food, it tasted bland.
The quick fix?
Replace fat with sugar. Genius!
As a result, food manufacturers began adding sugar to thousands of products (often under pseudonyms like corn syrup, dextrose, sucrose, etc.). And they marketed the products as “low-fat.” Which, sadly, people were brainwashed into thinking was healthier.
America bought this sugar-laden garbage en masse… and now, we’re left with a nation of addicts.
The good news is, you don’t have to be one of them. With The A-List Diet, you have all the tools you need to break free from sugar’s deadly grip once and for all.
Until next time,