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‘We are what we eat’ takes on a
whole new dimension when we look at sugar as a drug instead of a food. What we
eat affects our energy levels, how we think and work, how easily we unwind and
relax as well as how we feel, physically, mentally and emotionally.
Alcohol, processed sugar, and refined carbohydrates respond identically in your body. They
all convert to glucose. You can be addicted to sugar and refined carbohydrates.
Refined carbohydrates include bleached white bread, crackers, white pasta, bagels, white rice,
cream of wheat, corn cereals, and many other products.
This addiction is physiological and affects the same biochemical systems in your
body as drugs like heroin, cocaine and alcohol. You can actually get high on
processed, chemically-tainted sugar, hence the term ‘sugar high’. If you don’t get your ‘fix’, you experience
withdrawal symptoms. This is why alcoholics revert to sugar when they quit
drinking. They crave sugar and are perpetuating the skewed body chemistry.
Foods trigger the production and release of brain chemicals that control your
mental and emotional responses. Sugar exaggerates
the production of serotonin, beta-endorphin and dopamine. The overproduction
results in a “high” followed by a crash, which sets up your craving for more
sugar. Your receptors also become less sensitive in order to protect against the
overdosing of the ‘drug’. It is why you require more and more (sugar, alcohol,
heroin, refined carbohydrates, etc.) just to feel normal. This results in
physical dependence on the drug to pick you up, but your ‘habit’ now results in
depression instead of well-being and exhaustion and anxiety instead of an energy
Sugars and white flours stimulate an increase in the transmission of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. As the synapses become flooded with these
neurotransmitters, a feeling of euphoria results and craving is stimulated. As
these three neurochemicals increase in supply at the synapses, there is a
decrease in the needed neurotransmitter to fill receptors as receptors continue
to be produced.
We now find a brain transmitter deficiency. The sugar and white flour have
blocked the recycling of neurotransmitter dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine.
The long term result?...increased demand for the ‘drug’ just to feel normal. If
you were taking heroin, this would be called a ‘wellness fix’. You need the
sugar just to feel normal. Scientifically speaking, you now have insufficient
amounts of neurotransmitters produced and released with receptor sites left
unfilled, resulting in cravings, distress and depression. You have become
chemically dependent on sugar and white flour. The state of euphoria resulting
from a surge of serotonin or dopamine is often followed by hyper-excitability
and feelings of shame, abandonment and worthlessness.
An imbalance of any one of the brain chemicals can dramatically affect how you
feel and act. Sugar and refined carbohydrates put you on an emotional
rollercoaster. One moment you are confident, creative and sensitive to others;
the next you become moody, frustrated, your self-esteem plummets and you are
filled with hopelessness. Your behavior reflects your body chemistry, which is
out of balance.
Chemical, physical and emotional stress negatively affect your beta-endorphin
level and increase the body’s requirements for vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin/mineral deficiencies cause neurochemical imbalances. Eating healthy is
not enough anymore. Incorporate a supplement into your daily regimen of healthy
All supplements are not equal! Over 1/2 the supplements on the market are
manufactured using cost cutting practices which compromise your health and
diminish or eliminate the effectiveness of the supplement. Find a high quality multi-vitamin/mineral
supplement and take it faithfully. You will feel the difference! An extreme change in
diet is also critical -- tainted foods can harm you and wholesome
and pure foods can heal you. And if possible, wean yourself off of
medications as your health improves, as most are more harmful than they are
beneficial. (See Death
by Medicine and The
Danger of Drugs).
The body is amazing in its ability to re-balance and restore normal chemistry.
Be prepared to go through some withdrawal symptoms. Your body must detoxify from
these addictive substances. Symptoms include: dizziness, headaches, extreme
irritability, insomnia, restlessness, mental disorientation, forgetfulness and a
growing inner emptiness or depression that led to the addiction in the first
place. These symptoms gradually taper off after about 5-10 days.
Neurotransmitter deficits are restored by the removal of sugar, white flour and
other refined carbohydrates from the diet. Natural sugar in fruit and whole
grain/whole wheat are your replacement choices. Learn to read labels as you go
through this process, although manufacturers in the U.S. aren't required to
include everything on their labels. Manufacturers hide sugar and harmful
chemicals in processed and fast foods. They
know that adding sugar will get you hooked on sugar-addictive foods. Ketchup is
30% sugar. There is even sugar in Morton’s salt.
Whatever you do, do not think when you give up
sugar, that you can start using artificial sweeteners and diet products
-- they are neurotoxic and even more poisonous.
Special caution is necessary during the withdrawal period as the urge to
self-medicate with sugar, white flour and other refined carbohydrates will
heighten. Depression or anxiety motivates one toward food for comfort or reward
to feel better. Sugar increases the amount of brain chemical serotonin for a
quick high or fix. Fresh vegetables and whole grains increase serotonin as well,
but at a much slower, natural rate. There are also natural
supplements and herbs
you can take that will help ease your depression, relax your
nerves, alleviate other symptoms, and actually help speed the healing of the
Your liver, pancreas, and adrenal glands have most
likely been taxed from responding to the sugar highs and lows, and you most
likely have excessive
toxins in your body from processed foods. Until you are feeling normal, besides a potent
you may want to take Milk
Thistle to benefit the liver,
to help re-train the brain to absorb glucose, Gymnema
to regulate the pancreas, and
Glucomannan to help
normalize sugar levels and provide adrenal support. If you can't afford
these supplements (and even if you can), eat 5-7 small nutritious meals or
snacks throughout the day to keep natural sugar in your body at a consistent
level to keep your system from reacting to highs and lows and re-train it to
react normally. If you're not sure what is really healthy and nutritious, click
here to learn in greater detail what is toxic and should be avoided and what
Guidelines for a Healthy
1. Increase your complex carbohydrate intake - whole grain bread, whole grain
crackers, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, Kashi, beans, legumes, fruits
2. Take a high potency multi-vitamin/mineral
supplement daily that doesn't
contain yeast, sugar, or anything artificial.
3. Eat low-fat proteins frequently. Protein is the second largest store of
energy in your body. The amino acids, which come from protein, create glucose
and neurotransmitters. Again, balance is important. The average person’s intake
should be 1/2 gram for each pound of body weight. A 150 pound person with
average activity level would consume 75 grams of protein. An athlete can consume
up to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.
4. Eat monounsaturated fats from plants, such as seeds, nuts, avocados and
safflower and olive
oil. Avoid saturated fats contained in animal and dairy foods -- get low-fat, no
fat, or organic, as toxins store in fats.
6. Drink 1/2 your weight in ounces of clean water daily, preferably distilled.
Squeeze some lemon in your water if you're not typically a water drinker to make
it more palatable. The lemon will also help the pH in your stomach become
more balanced to enable better absorption of nutrients in foods.
7. Avoid any sugars, white flour and pastas, white rice, caffeine, alcohol, artificial
sweeteners, salt, and processed foods with chemicals.
Use our diet outline as your guide -- getting well may require changing your
mindset drastically from what you've been used to your entire life, but it is
the way we were intended to eat naturally.
Dopamine - Brain’s reward (natural high); clarity, increased energy, increased
Norepinephrine - Alertness (fight or flight), analgesia (reduces pain),
anti-depressive, BP modulator, instinctual behavior
Serotonin - Relaxation, calm, reduced stress & anxiety, anti-depressive, slows
respiratory time, analgesia, satiety (carb. specific), lessens impulsiveness,
Beta-Endorphin - Euphoria, mediates emotion, analgesia, increases food intake,
stimulates dopamine response. Low B-endorphins >>>cravings, addictive/compulsive
behavior, alcoholism and addictions
Protein >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Dopamine, Norepinephrine
Carbs >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Serotonin
Fats >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Beta-Endorphin , Dopamine
Saturated Fats >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Serotonin
Alcohol >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Beta-Endorphin, Dopamine, Serotonin
Sugars >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Beta-Endorphin, Dopamine, Serotonin
Spicy Foods >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Beta-Endorphin, Dopamine
Your Mood without Food
Supplementation, Exercise, Meditation, Acupuncture, Sex, Music, Increase Body Temperature (bath, shower, jacuzzi,
warm infra-red sauna (not hot). Infra-red is also the warmth you feel from
the sun (not UV), it penetrates deep tissue, and helps detoxify the body.)
(parts of this article excerpted from Ms.