Halloween is coming up very soon. I’ve browsed the candy aisle a couple times already telling myself I was just going to look at what is on sale. You know, I have to buy a lot of candy for all the little trick-or-treaters that will be coming to our house and it can’t hurt to pick up a bag while things are on sale. Yet when I get home, that bag is soon opened where my family and I are “sampling.” Before I know it I’m out of candy and need to walk down that sweet aisle again looking for more.
The sad part is Halloween candy is just the start of holiday sugary sweets that will soon fill our homes. Yes soon there will be other candies, homemade and purchased, cookies, cakes, pies, and other baked goods all filling up the counter for the holidays. Resistance can seem futile because who can resist a warm chocolaty peanut butter brownie fresh from the oven? I can’t. I admit it.
Sugar is so easy to be drawn to and include in our diets. I have a sugar canister on our counter and soon realized our son in the process of clamoring up to get a plate or snack was dipping his little fingers into the sugar for a taste of that sweetness. We are all addicted to sugar and it takes great willpower and strength to eliminate, reduce and avoid it. For most of us that willpower is short lived like a halfway run down disposable battery that despite doing all the normal tricks to preserve it for one more run it is out of power.
Sugar – Friend of Foe?
Sugar in and of itself is not evil. Fruits have natural sugar yet you never hear of someone getting addicted to watermelon, bananas and apples like we do processed white sugar especially when it’s used in things like apple pie. Honey is also a natural sugar and yet we hear of only Winnie the Pooh going overboard with the honeypots. So what is it about that white powdery substance that is tripping our brains and bodies?
The reaction of white sugar in our bodies is similar to that of someone addicted to drugs like cocaine. If you do a brain scan of two people, one with sugar in their system and one on cocaine they will be almost identical. Over time our body’s inability to process sugar and operate at this level can decrease our body’s insulin function rendering us diabetic and insulin resistant. We literally flood our insulin management system until it breaks and then we need medications and diets to manage our body’s functions for the rest of our life. There are other health problems that can transpire when this occurs including kidney failure, blood pressure issues and of course weight, tooth decay and deteriorating general health. Despite this our society functions on a very high amount of processed sugar every day!
The other side of the sugar debate are the artificial sweeteners that can have a lot of side effects and problems within our body’s processing it. Sachrin was once believed to be the sweetheart answer against of the growing diabetes concerns and was used in the rise of diet sodas so people could still have their soda without the sugar. Other artificial sweetners like Splenda quickly followed suit jumping on the marketing bandwagon as being a healthy alternative to sugar. I’ll be honest and admit I used Splenda and some of the other fake sugars out there. I went with the trends believing it was better than the regular sugar. However, I’m calling myself out on this as well with the fact it being flat out called “artificial” I should have caught on as the first clue it probably was not that great for us. Yet we all fell for it and continue to purchase things with this ingredient in it because it says “diet.”
While we all recognize the dangers of sugar and necessity of reducing it in our diets, many of us struggle doing so because of the addictive nature of sugar. We live in a highly processed, on the go society where meals need to be convenient and quick. For many families that also means making them affordable. So many of the processed, quick options are also laden with sugars and other ingredients that it can make eating “healthy” and economically a big challenge for many families. Let’s not even talk about the quality of school lunches on top of this!
I don’t think it’s reasonable to never say let’s not eat cake ever again. What in the world would a birthday look like? I however do endorse a massive assessment and realistic look at how we eat and how much sugar we are actually taking in every day. Weaning down on sugar is not easy and comes with it’s own set of challenges to make it workable but the more we can progress on this path the more likely we are to reduce our addiction and actually improve our health.
In my own challenge with sugar I have found a couple things that work well for me and yet I do admit I continue to struggle at times. It appears to be a lifelong situation we must address regularly.
Lower carb and low glycemic foods help reduce sugar cravings because we feel fuller and less drawn to processed food items
Swapping sugar as an ingredient for things like honey, applesauce, and raw sugar provide the sweet taste but without the processed white sugar addiction
Diet sodas are just a flat out need to get rid of item.
The artificial color, sugar and who knows what else is in there ingredients is just something our bodies can’t use and heal from. Ease off the soda with water that contains beneficial add-ins so you don’t feel like you are being robbed of flavor. ( I use doTERRA essential oils – 1 drop lemon, 1 drop grapefruit or others help give the flavor and bust the craving for soda)
Have patience and grace with yourself. Look our food system is broken and there are times we’re going to fall back into the traps that exist. Do your best and accept changes don’t happen without some fall backs along the way.
The Simple Sweet Answer
We need to reset our relationship with food and particularly white sugar. I think we all know this in our hearts and yet we also know that is more easily said than done too. I won’t say we need to permanently give up things like Halloween candy or grandma’s special homemade cake but if we can change our relationship with sugar to actually get to where we are in control over our cravings we are already winning.
There is no simple answer or strategy but I think adopting a few basic swaps and tricks can make it more reasonable to accomplish and help us realize we are over sweetened with sugar in our diets and it is stopping us from being all that we were meant to be. Including a few natural pure ingredients in place of sugar, like doTERRA essential oils can help make these changes easier and results more noticeable faster to help propel us forward.
If you’re ready to reset your sugar addiction I encourage you to explore what your relationship with nature is and where you can find pure natural alternatives that can support you on this change. To learn more about how the essential oils I use from doTERRA help on these changes and find out how you can get them simply visit my website: