Sugar: Are You an Addict?
Tricia Martin | Eating is Art
Excessive sugar consumption, writes Annemarie Colbin author of Food & Healing, is believed to be involved in a host of very common problems: hypoglycemia or hyperinsulinism, diabetes, heart disease, dental caries, high cholesterol, obesity, indigestion, myopia, seborrheic dermatitis, gout, genetic narrowing of pelvic and jaw structures, crowding and malformation of teeth, hyperactivity, lack of concentration, depression, anxiety, psychological disorder, insanity, and even violent criminal behavior. In addition, it raises our insulin levels, inhibiting the release of growth hormones, which depresses the immune system. Too much sugar, literally, can make you sick.
So why all the fuss? Considering all the damage that sugar can do to our bodies and minds, why do people love it so much? How come certain people just can’t seem to get enough? After reading this long list of ailments, I took a long pause. I started thinking about my own personal draw to sugar, especially during my more formative, learning years. I remember it tasting good, there were a lot of things I could make with it, and I literally craved it. Even as recent as six months ago, if I was needing comfort, I would run to the kitchen to bake a dozen chocolate chip cookies to calm myself. But interestingly, I’ve noticed I haven’t done this in about four or five months. The education I am receiving at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition could have something to do with it, but it was what Colbin explains next that hit home for me.
If the whole earth is a system, she explains, and living systems tend to keep themselves balanced as they evolve toward forms of higher complexity, sugar eating must fit somewhere in earth’s balancing act. Throughout this book, she gives energetic properties to different foods. One theory is that sugar is associated with strengthening our ego awareness and enhancing our personalities because she has labeled it as expansive (light, scattering of thoughts, associated with short bursts elation/happiness).
Now I was really interested to see where this theory would go—somehow I felt like I was being directly spoken to.
Colbin is not the first to make such statements. Rudolph Hauschka, a German scientist, scholar, and researcher at The Clinical Therapeutic Institute at Arlesheim was the first to discuss sugar in this effect. Sugar has done its job, says Hauschka, when people develop a full consciousness of themselves as individuals and of their place in the universal order.
This certainly makes a lot of sense when thinking about children and teenagers addiction to sugar and sugary substances. They can’t get enough! Because they are in process of gaining their independence and finding themselves. With this in mind, I came to realize my lack of desire to bake super sweet goodies has dropped off a cliff since I’ve been feeding myself on a deeper level and doing something that I am absolutely passionate about. I am not craving sugar because I have found a purpose—something that I love and am excited about. Holistic health was such a natural segue that it was effortless in my decision to follow that path—always a clear sign for me that something is right. Colbin and Hauschka make it clear that, once we become clear and comfortable with ourselves, we don’t need sugared sweets anymore.
Something that I find fascinating is the interconnectedness, the wholeness of our direct relationship we have with the food we put inside our bodies. Not only does it make us feel a specific way physically, but it has psychological and emotional effects as well. Interestingly, this theory put into words something I had been feeling for quite some time and I was compelled to share it with you. What are your thoughts or observations about sugar?