"We've hit the jackpot here! White gold, Texas tea.....sweetener!" - Homer Simpson
I was thinking of that quote as I wrote this post. It is from an episode when Homer and Bart are in the car driving, and they come across a sugar truck that has lost its load. Homer offers to guard the spilled sugar while Hans Moleman (the truck driver) goes to call for help. He then plans to steal the spilled sugar and sell it to the residents of Springfield for the 'low low price of $1.00/lb'.
I have an addiction. It might seem funny when I say it, but I am addicted to sugar.
I get cravings for sugar, it makes me feel good when I have it, and when I don't have it I feel cranky. The thought of trying to stop eating sugar makes me feel anxious.
I think when I look at my enjoyment of sugar as an addiction, I can begin to start to understand what it might be like to have a drug addiction. Not a major one, like cocaine or heroin, but maybe like cigarettes or caffeine. As a non-smoker, it is easy for me to look a smokers and feel some judgement at how someone could allow themselves to become addicted to something as bad for you as cigarettes. I don't feel quite as judgemental of older people (maybe over 40 or 50 years old) because back when they started the negative side effects of smoking weren't so well known. But when I see teenagers smoking I look at them and think 'idiot' or 'why in the world would you start that, knowing what we know about cigarettes'.
However, then I think back to my sugar addiction and I realize that addictions are satisfying on some level. Whether it's a buzz from alcohol or nicotine it makes you feel good, at least in the moment. Like sugar, it tastes good and makes you feel happy. But overindulging in sugar causes side effects like obesity and diabetes. Whereas smoking causes things like cancer and COPD. Both pretty serious, potentially life threatening conditions.
I realize, when it comes to sugar (unlike cigarettes) your body actually needs sugar in some forms. However, our North American diet is so heavy in the refined/processed sugar that is so bad for you. I think that is where I could handle learning to cut back. Like I said, the idea of giving up sugar makes me feel anxious. I think of all the reasons that I could never do it but I have never even tried. I know people who have given up sugar, at least for a period of time, and they say, that once you have been off of sugar for a couple of weeks that you stop craving it. When you fill your body with good, healthy food, your body doesn't crave the junk. I also know that the people who have given up sugar claim to feel a lot better. As a sugar junkie, I am skeptical, as I have never tried to quit. Though, I think it makes sense and maybe someday soon I will get serious about eating healthy.