The not-so-sweet secrets sugar companies are keeping from you

We all love sugar. We all love the comforting feeling it brings, whether it’s in a Galaxy bar, a Krispy Kreme or a can of Coke that joyful feeling is always the same but it’s blinding us from the truth; the sugar industry is full of dirty little secrets. For starters, did you know that sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine? No, neither did I. But it explains a lot.

credit Wikimedia Commons
Look at the similar affects of sugar on the brain in comparison with cocaine. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

There are two kinds of people in this world, the ones who believe that Diet Coke helps you lose weight and the ones who know that it’s poison to the body and wouldn’t go near it with a bargepole. I fall into the latter of course but apart from the fact that it’s disgusting stuff I know that the company who make it don’t have my best interests at heart, so why on earth would I want to buy their products? But people still do and even you might have had a can this week. Don’t worry I’m not judging you…too much.

A news story flashed up on my Twitter timeline yesterday from The Independent headlined ‘A recent study that said Diet Coke can help you lose weight was quietly funded by Coca-Cola’. You can imagine the shocked look on my face (not!) because I know how corrupt the industry is and how they’ve been fooling us all for decades. Since the 1950’s when experts found that diet and fitness are directly linked to losing or gaining weight (seems obvious now but this was new at the time), sugar companies have tried to get us to believe that sugar isn’t the problem. It is. To be fair to them, and this is the only time I will be on their side, the problem also lies with the people who over indulge on sugar and therefore demand more. The more we demand the more they have to supply and this has put us in the crazy world we live in now where diabetes in children is pretty common and the trend continues to rise.

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By 2034 70% of adults in the UK will be obese, according to Nuffield Trust.

The sugar industry want you to believe they’re on your side. That’s why at the beginning of the health boom when people started to become more conscious about what they were eating, the sugar industry responded by producing an endless array of low calorie and low fat versions of their popular products. But that’s where they fooled us. They didn’t lower the sugar in most of these products, just the calories.

For example three oreo cookies contain 3.5tsp of sugar. When reduced fat Oreos were released in America people probably thought “Great! Now I can eat Oreos without getting fat”. Oh how wrong they were. Three reduced fat oreos have 10 fewer calories but the exact same amount of sugar, 3.5tsp. This is just one example of the endless amount of products out there that are designed to trick us into thinking they’re a better alternative. To cut to the chase, the industry will NEVER reduce sugar in products because people are already too addicted to it. Addiction = profits. The more sugar laden products people buy the more money they make, so of course the companies don’t care how ill you get from sugar related diseases like diabetes; all they care about is the wonga. It’s not surprising though is it because without it they would all crash and burn, so they need to keep the money rolling in by keeping the sugar rolling into our mouths.

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Don’t be fooled by the word ‘diet’. Diet foods can be less healthy than full fat ones!

So you see, low calorie options are not any better for you. As a wise man once said, this wise man is also known as the Chairman of the Institute of Functional Medicine, “Junk is still junk even if it’s less junky”. Get clued up. Don’t let the sugar companies kill you with their cocaine-like products. As you might have seen in my last blog post I’m dedicated to cutting out sugar as much as I can and after cutting it out for a week I felt (and continue to feel) so much more energised. If you want to get rid of that sluggish feeling you get, the tiredness, the bloating and the acne, cutting out sugar will be your savior. This doesn’t mean you’ll never eat anything sweet again, on the contrary I eat sweet things every day. But the difference is it’s naturally occurring sugar from fruits such as toffee-like medjool dates. Seriously if you haven’t tried medjool dates they are a game changer and genuinely help to keep me off sugar because they give me a sweet fix that is also nutritious. A win win situation! Anyway, I’m going a bit off track here because I get so excited about medjool dates, but basically there are a lot of alternatives out there that aren’t just low calorie tricksters, but are nourishing and delicious. To name a few more, just to give you an idea, try baking sweet potato brownies, three ingredient banana and date loaf or even just grab a Nakd bar on the go instead of a Crunchie. Trust me, the less you eat processed sugar the less you crave it until eventually you just start craving these healthy treats instead (all of the above mentioned snacks are to die for).

Don’t let sugar ruin your life. A documentary I recently watched called Fed Up has helped me to understand the way sugar companies work so I recommend you watch it too if you don’t want sugar to rule over you and your children for the rest of your lives (sorry to sound dramatic but it’s true). You can find it on Netflix and watch the trailer here:

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