Our Monosaccharide Addiction

What do all holidays have in common? No, sadly it’s not family – it’s sugar. From cakes to candy our festivities are full of the stuff. The stereotypical grandma is always pictured with an apron, covered in flower, and holding a fresh apple pie. Sugar is more American than bald eagles and machine guns.

America’s love affair with sugar has oozed its way into the psyche of the people. In fact, people love sugar so much that even the thought of banning a sucrose-laden-product results in an organized protest.

And what about twinkies? Almost everyone can remember the day that twinkies stopped being made on the assembly line. It costs 0.0536 cents to produce a twinkie, but on that day some were being sold for thousands of dollars. It’s a lard filled sponge cake people.

How in the world can a country love sugar so much that they literally throw fits when its availability is limited?
According to a psychiatric study, the pleasure response to binge eating sugar is extremely comparable to that of getting high [1][2].  In other words, the more sugar you eat the better your brain will make you feel.

No wonder sugar is everywhere; it’s a legal drug!

Even more frightening is that we know what happens to people who regularly do drugs. They get addicted, and then they want more. Our government bans many addictive substances like heroin, but it advocates the excessive eating of addictive carbs. Now, I’m not saying that we should ban carbohydrates, but we should look at them differently.

The simplest form of sugar is monosaccharide which come in the form of fructose and glucose. It’s a single molecule structure that can be readily processed by the body. Monosaccharide’s are what make fruit and soda so irresistible.

But it’s not a harmless substance that gets poured into tea; it’s a catalyst to problems. High sugar intake can lead to excessive weight gain, and that can lead to obesity. Once obesity is achieved – good job – the risks of diabetes, CVD, hypertension, and death all sky rocket.

Craving sugar isn’t primarily your fault though. Sugar is a rare resource in nature. Sure, you can find fruit and honey in the wild, but only for about 4 months a year. We consume it all 12. No matter what we consume (fat, protein, carb) our body will convert it into some form of blood glucose (sugar); the easiest to convert is carbohydrate. So naturally, seeing as how sugar is rare in nature and it’s easiest to convert to blood fuel, our brain has created a huge pleasure reward for its consumption.

Sugar addiction isn’t a rare phenomenon; it’s a mechanism that promotes survival. But in America, we’re not surviving, we’re thriving. Unfortunately for our body, our brain doesn’t know that we can walk 10 feet to sugar filled fridges and cabinets. So instead of turning off sugar cravings, the brain enhances them literally to the point of addiction.

A lot people disagree with the idea of a low carbohydrate diet. They think that, since we run on blood glucose, people should be consuming a high balance of carbs. But for the majority of human existence short chained carbohydrates (which are found in bread, pasta, soda, candy, cake, and etc.) were impossible to find. A low carb diet isn’t some new trend, it’s what everyone from Adam to Noah had to eat; it’s as natural as nature can get.

You wouldn’t tell a person smoking crack that what they’re doing is okay. In fact you’d probably try and help them break their addiction. But if the inside of your fridge and cabinets are full of sugary products maybe you need the help?

I think we can all agree that nothing on this earth should have power over us. If our minds are tainted with addiction, then that means there is less room for God to reign. He deserves better than that don’t you think?

Remember, the first step in breaking an addiction is admitting you have one.

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance

The Effects of Glucose Supplementation on Barbell Velocity and Fatiguability in Weightlifting - A pilot study"

The Accute Effects Of Different Squat Intensities on Vertical Jump Performances
The Accute Effects of Different Squat Intensities On Jump Performance

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.