As a species, we consume almost 2,204 pounds of white sugar each year – an average of around 81.4 pounds per person. Many health professionals have noted the negative health effects of sugar, from excessive weight gain to diabetes. It has also been reported that children who have a tendency towards eating large amounts of sugar, are more likely to have alcohol dependency issues later in life.
Gateway drugs are substances that create an initial dependency, and are usually commonly found, legal or socially accepted. These types of drugs often give the user a boost in levels of serotonin, this makes the user feel good. Sugar boosts levels of energy and serotonin, and so enhances mood, but it wears off quickly as the body regulates the blood sugar level with insulin.
Sugar begins the addictive cycle
The user then seeks more sugar as cravings take hold, and as the levels of serotonin drop so does the mood which can lead to depression. The user becomes less sensitive to the effects of sugar over time, due to increased insulin levels. When a sugar addict drinks alcohol, it similarly boosts their serotonin levels and gives a “high.” Sugar and alcohol are interchangeable, calorific addictive substances. They are also similar in that they both cause liver damage, diabetes, dependency, tooth decay and depression.
It has been discussed that it is not marijuana, but alcohol that is the first gateway drug to get people into an addictive cycle. With the consumption of sugar being at such high levels, and considering the effects of sugar on the levels of serotonin, it must be argued that it is sugar that is the gateway drug. Once the cycle of artificially boosting mood, feeling low and needing a boost is established, it is easy for a potential addict to find chemicals to lift their mood.
Sugar is a highly processed substance, not a “natural” food as packaging suggests
Although it can be said that addiction is normally routed within emotional weakness, it can also be said that without sugar training the young into addictive behavior, the addict would not have the experience to lead them in the direction of seeking mood enhancing substances to feel better. Sometimes the addict stays addicted to the sugar, overeats and becomes obese. In other circumstances the addict moves on to bigger “highs.” Either way, the cycle begins with eating enough sugar to cause a high and a low. The use of aspartame in diet drinks does not help those addicted to sugar, as the effect of aspartame is to lower serotonin levels, making the addict feel low, whilst also increasing appetite.
The addictive effects of sugar can last for up to four weeks, coupled with its inclusion in so many products from breads to canned vegetables, it is a difficult substance to get out of your system. It is not natural to take a substance from a plant, process it to such an extent that it is unrecognizable, and then consume it. To label sugar as natural and therefore healthy, is just the same as processing poppies into heroine and saying it is good for you because it comes from a plant. Because we are so used to sugar as an everyday substance, we assume it is safe, when it could be responsible for the ill health of millions of people.
Year Without Beer
The Olympics may be over, but my Year Without Beer isn’t! I am spending all 366 days of this leap year alcohol free in an attempt to raise money for 2 charities that are both very close to my heart.
If giving up all alcohol for a year isn’t enough of a challenge to make you dig deep and show your support, I also plan to run 500 miles! As part of my running challenge I have completed a quarter marathon and am signed up for a 10 mile road race (Great South Run) and 8 mile off road challenge (The Grim Original).
If you want to show some love them please donate to my year without beer and give your support to one of these fantastic causes:
- To donate to Cancer Research UK please click here to visit my just giving page or donate by text – send AYWB66 and the amount to 70070. For example, texting “AYWB66 £5″ will donate £5.
- To donate to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust please click here to visit my just giving page or donate by text – send AYWB55 and the amount to 70070. For example, texting “AYWB55 £5″ will donate £5.