Sugar is highly addictive. It can be as addictive as illegal drugs for many people. The average American has 140 to 150 pounds of sugar per person of sugar added to their diets each year. Another 20 percent of our calories come from white flour, a simple carbohydrate, which acts a lot like sugar in our bodies. Eating almost twice our weight in sugar and white flour each year, it’s not surprising that we have become a nation of sugar addicts. Like many other addictive substances, sugar may leave you feeling a bit better for a few hours, but then wreaks havoc on your body. For thousands of years, humans ate sugar found naturally in their food. Sugar was not a problem; it was a treat. But now many of the calories we consume come from sugar and white flour added by food processing. Our bodies simply were not designed to handle this massive load. The more food is processed, the less healthy it becomes. Processing food removes nutrients, minerals, and fiber. Sugar gives you an initial high and then you crash several hours later, leaving you wanting more sugar. In fact, sugar acts as an energy loan shark, taking away more energy than it gives. Eventually, your “credit line” runs out and you find yourself exhausted, anxious, and moody.In addition to the immediate fatigue and emotional problems, sugar also causes many long-term health problems. Our consumption of high-fructose corn syrup has risen 250 percent in the past fifteen years, and our rate of diabetes has increased approximately 45 percent during the same time period. Although the sugar industry sometimes tries to confuse the public by claiming that corn syrup is not sugar, it is a form of sugar as far as your body is concerned, and more toxic. There are several chronic medical problems associated with excess sugar in our diet including: weight gain, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, chronic sinusitis, irritable bowel syndrome and spastic colon, cancer, metabolic syndrome with high cholesterol and hypertension, heart disease and stroke, ADHD, and anxiety/depression. Sugar is a mood-altering substance, which is no surprise to anyone with a sweet tooth. But the fact is that sugar is everywhere in our diet, and it is dumped into what we eat and drink during food processing. With one-third of our calories coming from sugar and white flour, and the stress of modern life increasing, we are seeing the makings of the perfect storm of medical problems. Eating sugar causes blood sugar to surge, insulin levels to spike, and fat to get deposited throughout your body. Obesity, often accompanied by diabetes and heart disease, is just one more consequence of our high-sugar diet. Your long-term goal should be to slowly decrease the sugar and simple carbohydrates (white flour, white rice, ect.) in your diet. Do not try to stop cold turkey as you may get withdrawal symptoms, just like stopping other drugs. Replace simple sugars with whole grains. You know a whole grain because it will contain a fair amount of fiber. The more fiber the better. Eat more fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth. Artificial sweeteners are just as bad and can have many side effects. Try Stevia instead. Stevia is a South American herb which has been used as a natural sweetener for centuries. The leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant have a refreshing taste, zero glycemic index, zerocalories and zerocarbs. It is 25-30 times sweeter than sugar, and far more healthy. There have not been any reports of toxicity with Stevia, which is consumed by millions of people daily.