The More Sugar We Eat, The More Sugar We Want!
Many studies involving sugar involve rats. I find it fascinating how rats mimic humans in similar situations. For example, when rats become addicted to cocaine, they will forgo rat food to have cocaine. Then the same rats are offered high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
This newer type of sugar (HFCS) was created in a lab to be more efficiently addictive and cheaper to mass produce. It is commonly seen in things like Candy Corn or used in soda.
Our cocaine addict rats preferred the HFCS over cocaine. Even when the rats started to go into withdrawal from the cocaine, the rats went to the HFCS, implying they were more addicted to the HFCS.
Our beloved HFCS rats also taught us another important lesson about sugar. The rats needed more and more sugar to have the same result. So, their sugar dependence was progressive. The level of HFCS that was sufficient for them not go into withdrawal last week, wasn’t enough this week.
So what do lab rats have to do with us? First of all, it illustrates how dangerous of a substance sugar is. It is not a matter of willpower or being good person. Rats are not moral or immoral, they are simply responding to the chemicals in the substances they prefer. In the same way cocaine is a chemical the rats were responding to. The rats preferred HFCS to cocaine. THINK ABOUT THAT SENTENCE
The chemical in your average soda is more addictive than an illegal street drug. A drug that to the average person is the most addictive substance in existence. This might give you clarity as to why it is so stinking difficult to stop going by Starbucks at 10 am or why no matter how hard you try, every day at 4pm you are into the Jelly Beans at work.
Sugar and Grandma
If we were to take away all of the social constructs around sugar, all of the warm and fuzzy memories with Grandma making cakes, and cooking shows of bake-offs, and simply look at sugar as a chemical, it would be easier to see that sugar is addictive, nutritionally void, and dangerous. It has been linked to obesity, diabetes, cavities, insatiable hunger, and even cognitive decline. I am not advocating banning bananas; I am taking the emotion out of it and looking at the chemical makeup of Sugar and what the logical conclusion would be if it was introduced to us now.
Sugar Is The New Smoking
I recently spoke to a leading expert in the war against sugar. He feels in 20 or 30 years, we will look back at how we are currently eating sugar with the same disgust how we now view cigarette smoking. What was once commonplace, is now considered unhealthy, and downright unacceptable by the average person. It is common knowledge that cigarette smoking is dangerous and will lead to an early death. We no longer have smoking sections in planes, restaurants or bars. Cigarettes are banned on public streets in many parts of the country. Small children know cigarettes will kill you and the labelling on every type of cigarette package is extremely graphic. A small minority of people still chose to smoke, which is their choice. However, the average person is aware of the dangers of smoking and less people in American smoke than the year before.
Secondly, the progressive need of the rats to have more and more HFCS is crucial to understand. If just having a small mocha was enough for you to get through your morning has morphed into the grande mocha plus a scone. The sugar crutch will only get worse. It will not plateau. I am not trying to scare you, but to be honest with the science. I had to understand the chemical nature of what was going on with me and solve it, before I could tackle the emotional and psychological habit of sugar.
Tomorrow: What else does Sugar make us do??