There are 61 different names for sugar hiding in your food. Sixty-freaking-one. It is no wonder that we are a sugar-addicted society. Here they are. (Website Source.)

  • Agave nectar
  • Barbados sugar
  • Barley malt
  • Barley malt syrup
  • Beet sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Buttered syrup
  • Cane juice
  • Cane juice crystals
  • Cane sugar
  • Caramel
  • Carob syrup
  • Castor sugar
  • Coconut palm sugar
  • Coconut sugar
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup
  • Corn syrup solids
  • Date sugar
  • Dehydrated cane juice
  • Demerara sugar
  • Dextrin
  • Dextrose
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Free-flowing brown sugars
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Glucose
  • Glucose solids
  • Golden sugar
  • Golden syrup
  • Grape sugar
  • HFCS (High-Fructose Corn Syrup)
  • Honey
  • Icing sugar
  • Invert sugar
  • Malt syrup
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltol
  • Maltose
  • Mannose
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Muscovado
  • Palm sugar
  • Panocha
  • Powdered sugar
  • Raw sugar
  • Refiner’s syrup
  • Rice syrup
  • Saccharose
  • Sorghum Syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar (granulated)
  • Sweet Sorghum
  • Syrup
  • Treacle
  • Turbinado sugar
  • Yellow sugar

Two weeks ago and one day, I stopped eating sugar in as many forms as I could find, (I JUST found this list of the 61 names of sugar…great). I worked hard to read EVERY label of EVERY food I put into my body. EVEN if I thought it would not contain sugar (i.e. cashews, corn tortilla chips, hummus), I read the label. I cut out as much sugar as possible. I did drink a coconut water containing 14g of sugar (the daily recommended dose by the American Heart Association is 20-25g for females and 38g for men) when I worked out hard this week to replace lost electrolytes.

A week ago, my body hated me and rejected me like I was a cocaine addict trying to quit cocaine. I found this fascinating and keep referring to it as my personal test, as I have not gone through withdraw before. However, what I am experiencing is JUST that. It is withdraw similar to that of a druggie.

Above is a photograph of an MRI comparing how sugar lights up your brain with how cocaine lights up your brain. IT IS THE SAME AREAS of the brain that are affected, and if you notice, the sugar light up area is brighter. This neuroscience stuff is fascinating, but it scared the fuck out of me. Cocaine and sugar?? I truly had no idea.

I had shakes. I had muscle fatigue (on a mountain bike ride, my muscles just quit). I was cranky. I was angry for no reason, full of rage. I had a piercing headache. See similar withdrawal symptoms here. The withdrawal IS the same as cocaine.

And then one day, I was meditating in the morning, and boom-my cells literally felt as if they were doing a dump of the last remaining residue from sugar and my body felt light and airy and free. My cells were truly happy. My body is feeling amazing now, I am actually getting used to feeling this lightness. It is an amazing feeling and one that I should have found sooner.cells

I will not, however, beat myself up, as I did fall trap to a very easily accessible drug. One that is so subtle and so sneaky that I did not even realize it was a part of my system until it was almost too late. I am grateful that the sugar addiction is removed from my body, and here is what I learned:

  1. Sugar is hiding. Be careful.
  2. It sneaks in slowly (your ‘healthy’ granola or ‘healthy’ bread.
  3. Withdrawal symptoms are scary.
  4. Even healthy sugars contribute and can lead to addiction of sugar.
  5. Sugar substitutes may be linked to similar patterns of sugar addiction.
  6. The more you eat, the more you need.
  7. Quitting cold turkey is not easy and requires a lot of help. (I read books, blogs and talked about it until my co-workers and family were tired of hearing about it. But, it worked!)
  8. IT IS TOTALLY WORTH IT.

My health is valuable and every single thing that I put into my body can either promote my well-being, or destroy it. Mindful eating is a thing.

The Centers for Disease Control project a double- or triple-fold increase in the proportions of Americans with diabetes by 2050. On the low end, a study published in Population Health Metrics projects 21% of Americans will have diabetes. On the high end … 33%.

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