To speak of a dependency on sugar in the same breath as cocaine and alcohol addiction seems a bit odd, but biologically they cannot be more similar.
The brain needs a fix.
The neurochemicals that are over-amplified and imbalanced by street drugs and booze are the very same ones that are triggered by sweets and other processed foods.
Some experts and addicts even say that food addiction can be harder to kick than a bad cocaine habit. Scoring some coke requires a dealer. Cookies, donuts, and bread are literally everywhere.
On this week’s episode of UW Radio, Dr. Vera Tarman, M.D. showed us just how real food addiction really is.
There’s a reason why so many of us just can’t so no to sugar, why we can’t stick to our diets no matter how hard we try, and why a great proportion of the 60,000 thoughts we have every day have to do with food.
There’s a good chance that these behaviors are all in your head.
Your brain, that is.
It’s been hijacked.
As I prepared for my broadcast with Dr. Tarman, I became familiar with a simplified version of how this hijacking takes place. Check it out…
If there is one thing I know for sure, it is that sugar can be one heck of a drug.
I’ve worked with clients who literally think about sugar all hours of the day.
They need it to function.
And when they go off of it, they suffer from a myriad of nasty withdrawal symptoms.
To me, that sounds pretty drug-like.
No, I don’t think that sugar is the root of all evil. Nor will I lie and tell you that I never touch the stuff. However, when your thoughts are consumed with committing a string of candy store robberies, things are probably getting out of control.
If you haven’t noticed, the low-fat era has not only coincided with a tremendous surge in obesity and diabetes, but also depression, anxiety, and addiction.
Seldom do we consider that the root cause of our mood issues is literally on our plates.
Or NOT on our plates.
On Monday, I blogged about the fact that 99.99% of our genes were formed before the Agricultural Revolution (just 10,000 years ago). Despite advancements in technology and our personal opinions regarding what we should be eating, we’re still genetically hardwired like hunter-gatherers.
We are hunter-gatherers.
Although we have no written or eyewitness accounts of the mental and emotional state of cavemen and women, we can look at the works of Weston A. Price and Vilhjalmur Stefansson, PhD to draw some conclusions as to the role of diet in mental health. In the case of Stefansson, a Canadian explorer and anthropologist, the Eskimos he studied and lived with were “the happiest people in the world”. Not only were they happy, but they were also extremely healthy, free of cancer, heart disease, and the diseases of civilization.
The Eskimo diet consisted of 80% animal fat. In fact, they warned Stefansson of the dangers of eating lean meat. They said it would make him sick, just as it making us sick.
I have long believed that in order to be healthy and happy, we must do as healthy and happy people do. Weston Price found that the native people he studied and lived with consumed ten times more fat-soluble vitamins and four times more minerals than we consume. These primitive people had no need for jails or mental institutions. Similar to Stefansson, Price consistently found that with adequate fats and nutrients came not only superior health, but also a pleasing, cheerful disposition.