Sugar Blues

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Like heroin, cocaine and caffeine, sugar is an addictive, destructive drug, yet we consume it daily in everything from cigarettes to bread.                            William Dufty, Sugar Blues

The average person consumes over 100 pounds of sugar and sweeteners per year. In contrast, we consume an average of eight pounds of broccoli. The USDA recommends we get no more than 10 teaspoons of sugar per day, yet most people eat about 30 teaspoons – that’s three times the already liberal recommended daily value.

Refined table sugar lacks vitamins, minerals and fibre. The body must deplete its minerals and enzymes to absorb it properly. It enters swiftly into the bloodstream and wreaks havoc on the blood sugar level, first pushing it sky-high – causing excitability and hyperactivity – and then dropping it extremely low, causing exhaustion.

Sugar qualifies as an addictive substance for two reasons: 1. Eating even a small amount creates a desire for more. 2. Suddenly quitting causes withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, mood swings, cravings and fatigue.

Sugar is found in many of the usual suspects, like cakes, cookies and candy. But, you’ll also find it in canned vegetables, baby food, cereals, peanut butter, bread and tomato sauce. A lemon poppy seed Clif Bar has five teaspoons of sugar. Compare that to a chocolate-glazed donut from Dunkin’ Donuts, which has three teaspoons. You may think your afternoon cup of coffee only has a little sugar, but a 16-ounce Starbucks Frappuccino has 10 teaspoons – that’s like eating three donuts! Overconsumption of refined sweets and added sugars found in everyday foods has led  to an explosion of hypoglycemia and type 2 diabetes.


Rene Beaulieu is a Certified Health Coach and business professional who is passionate about working with people to improve their health, family and work life. Learn more at


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