When we talk about addiction we think the hard stuff. Alcohol, drugs, the stuff that ruins our lives. Yet, most of us (majority, if not all of us) suffers from one certain addiction that is really ruining our lives, yet, we think nothing of it and uses it on a daily basis. It is as, if not more, dangerous than the “hard stuff” that you would never dream of and it is called SUGAR! The problem with our society these days are that most people will deny being addicted to sugar. We will always counter with: “I am not addicted to sugar. I can stop at any time.” If so, prove it! Do a little test on yourself and quit sugar for 10 days. It sounds like a simple thing to do but it really is an eye opener. Soon you will find yourself lurking around the fridge or your kitchen cupboard looking for that sugary snack to eat because you just FEEL LIKE HAVING IT! We get moody from the withdrawal symptoms, just like crack addicts.

Want to compare a little more and get a little more afraid of our little addiction? This is basically what happens if we take something out of nature and start refining it with some really scary processes. Come to think of it, crack is basically refined coca leaves! Hmm, sugar, coca, refining process……ok, I’ll stop now.

Another question we can ask innocently, of course, is the fact that we are so against drugs, it is bad, it can kill you and we need to prosecute anyone who deals with it or is caught in possession of it. Yet, the sugar industry is a multi-billion rand industry that gets most of their money from the government as subsidies.  Just so that everyone can have their sugar and eat it. It is cheap, readily available. Hell, we are getting our drugs from the local grocery store!

This IS a drug that is killing us just as your hard core drugs are doing. It destroys your health, rots your teeth, gets you to become diabetic, gives you high cholesterol, and wreaks havoc with your brain functions. Yes, it really doesn’t make any sense, we legalize the biggest thing killing ALL of us but low and behold the “other” drugs out there killing small parts of our society are totally off the cards for us. Maybe it is a conspiracy from a lot of people that are addicted to sugar?

We are sometimes tricked into consuming sugar even if we take care to read the labels on some food we buy and today we are going to help you decipher some of the words that are just sugar in disguise. So let us look at the many (ugly) faces of sugar.

Barley malt: This is a sweetener that is made from sprouted barley. This is used in conjunction with other sweeteners for cooking and baking.

Brown sugar: A refined sugar, coated with molasses.

Corn syrup: This contains different amounts of glucose, maltose and dextrose. It is used in salad dressings, tomato sauce, powdered drink mixes, juices and desserts like pudding.

Dextrose: It is less sweet than fructose or sucrose and is used in baking products.

Fructose: It is a sugar naturally found in fruit and is refined to form a simple sugar form used in various products.

High fructose corn syrup: This is common in your canned soft drinks. It is very high concentrated sugar syrup made from fructose and glucose. It is mostly found in processed foods.

Lactose: This is a simple sugar found in milk.

Maltodextrin: It is made from maltose and dextrose that is found in corn. This can be found in almost all canned foods

Maltose: A simple sugar that is made from starch.

Molasses: This is the thick syrupy by product when you process sugarcane into sugar.

Sucrose: A combination of glucose and fructose.

This is just some of the most commonly found hidden sugars that are destroying your waistline, your health and your teeth. Our motto has always been this: Shop on the fringes of the grocery story. Stay away from anything packaged or canned and stay with FRESH! Granted that this is not an easy motto to follow but slowly does it when it comes to nutrition. Change one thing today, get into the habit and then set your target at another bad habit. Remember, this must become a lifestyle, not a quick fix.

Good luck!