What added sugar does to our body

Everyone is well aware that added sugar is in all processed food.  But what does this actually mean and what sugar does do to our bodies? Eating food gives us pleasure and switches our “reptilian part of the brain”. 100 000 years ago the only concern for humankind was to find food and to reproduce. The human brain has not changed at all during that time and food (sugar in particular) and sex are still the largest factors in the dopamine pathways. The food industry is very well aware of that “sugar trap”. While on the one hand, the government is lamenting that too much consumption of sugar is making us fat and chronically ill, on the other hand, so far there are not many positive changes in the food industry which still loads us with sugar, salt, and preservatives in food.

While on holidays on Gold Coast I  came across many ice cream outlets with 30 plus flavors and colors enough to trigger everyone’s  “reptilian part of the brain” of any age.  But you do not have to go to Queensland (a supermarket will do) to see sugar-coated donuts with the color of icing that does not even exist in nature.

Glucose is the fuel for the brain and the ” brain rules it all”. However “ hungry brain’’ also requires an adequate amount of protein, nutrients, minerals, essential fatty acids, and water. Knowing this fact is a very powerful tool, which we can use to help us to overcome sugar addiction. You do not have to look far to see a large amount of sugar consumption daily.   You may wish to check the sugar content in your favorite processed food next time you shop. 

The 2011-2012 national dietary survey undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has calculated using a specially developed food composition database.

  • Added sugars intake was 59g/d in men and 42g/d in women (average 52g).
  • Percent energy from added sugars in adults was around 9.4%
  • Percent energy from added sugars in children and youth (2-18yrs) was 11%.

    Fruits and vegetables have a balanced ratio of nutrients

 Constantly added sugar in our diet basically rewires our brain, due to neuronal plasticity and we are like on an “automatic pilot” reaching for that alcoholic drink, or cake,  and the brain says ” I want it more the next time”. So there are a lot of similarities in the mechanisms of action between taking recreational drugs, smoking, alcoholism, or chocoholism. Every time one reaches for their ” drug of choice” ( chocolate, ice cream, soda drinks, alcohol, or biscuits)  their “bliss threshold” is going up and up to reach that “euphoria state”. This is why recreational drug users may overdose leading to mortality.

You cannot die from an overdose of chocolate unless you are diabetic. However, in a very short time, you become acidic, inflamed, hyperactive, and fatigued, leading to weak immunity, possibly putting on weight, and having mineral deficiencies. If “deprived” of an addictive substance for even a short time you may develop withdrawal headaches and withdrawal irritability.  You fell trapped. In the meantime, you may progress into chronic and degenerative diseases like diabetes, fatty liver, osteoporosis, and so on. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to holes throughout the brain, but this topic is for discussion another time.

What does sugar do to your health?

They say disease begins in the gut, and that you are as healthy as your arteries are. You don’t have to be obese to have cardiovascular disease or elevated cholesterol. Eating junk food, or wrong food and lack of exercise can significantly reduce your life span.
Fried food and products cause cell aging including vascular aging, particularly when sugar is involved. So-called advanced glycation end products ( AGEP) are created when food is heated, grilled, smoked, or deep fried. Research shows that the number one worse food on the AGE’s fried bacon and barbequed meat marinated (in a barbequed sauce containing sugar ) is the second worse. There are many healthy food choices we just need to consider how we cook such food and the lower heat the better.

Fruits and vegetables have a balanced ratio of carbohydrates protein and fiber, vitamins and minerals

 So how to keep under control our “Reptilian part” of the brain? 

 There is so much research on the topic of addictions, and sugar is one of them. Any addiction is multifactorial. A psychologist will say that addiction is a psychological and social disorder, a healer that it is a spiritual disorder, a nutritionist will say: it is a nutritional deficiency, a naturopath will add: hormonal imbalances, toxins, protein deficiency, poor digestion, food allergies /intolerances, genetic, a doctor may add: mood-altering chemicals. And all of them will be correct.

Exercise allows for better utilization of glucose.

So each addiction, including sugar addiction needs to be treated individually. Research shows that a good start is to:

  1. having protein in every meal, every 4 hours is ideal (crucial amino acid supplementation reduces cravings in just 10min)
  2. eat complex carbohydrates ( those with fiber)
  3. check the labels for sugar, salt, and artificial coloring content
  4. do not skip meals as that triggers a relapse in cravings 
  5. recognize symptoms of low sugar level ( hypoglycemia)
  6. never shop hungry 
  7. exercise and keep busy physically
  8. have an adequate intake of water           

If you would like to know more about how the DH-Natural Medicine Clinic can help you,  please call us now on (02) 4854 0205 


Danuta Hulajko is a holistic practitioner, international speaker, and the founder & practitioner at the DH Natural Medicine Clinic and www.healingremedies.com.au in the Southern  Highlands 

Danuta specialises in Allergies, Anti-Aging, Auto-Immune Conditions, Cardiovascular Conditions, Female Reproductive, Menopause, Mould Toxicity, Skin Conditions, Stress and Insomnia and Thyroid Dysfunction.

For more information please go to our website. You can also follow Danuta Hulajko’s work, events, seminars, expos, latest health research, her health tips and advice on FacebookLinkedIn and Instagram.



Leave a Reply