Sugarcane is a form of grass that is native to many regions of the world, ranging from warm temperate climates to tropical ones. Surprisingly, sugarcane is very low on the glycemic index and actually contains no simple sugars. This is largely due to the fact that it contains a substantial amount of the mineral chromium, which helps the body metabolize sugar and tends to counteract the insulin spike that one experiences when eating refined sugar. Consequently, pure sugarcane does have many health benefits and would be, without question, a healthier dietary choice than refined sugar. 

Once sugar is refined, the minerals are stripped from it whereby producing a substance that provides a rush of sucrose into the bloodstream, triggering a high insulin response and ultimately a surge of energy. This surge or (sugar high) is only temporary, though, and inevitably results in an energy crash. Consequently, those that consume large amounts of refined sugar or struggle with sugar addiction often experience headaches, anxiety, depression and mood swings. There is very little, if any, nutritive value in refined sugar. Basically, it is an empty, caloric substance that not only has a psychoactive effect, but can also pose several health risks when consumed in large quantities. 

When it comes to sugar addiction, some experts insist that the biochemical make up of white sugar is almost identical to alcohol, except for one molecule. Even if that statement were true, it is not a forgone conclusion that the basis for sugar addiction or dependency is a biochemical one. Although, that is exactly what the disease theorists would suggest! However, they can not explain why that same theory is inapplicable to shopping, sexual and gambling addictions! Think about it! Is there a chemical substance in the air at the local mall or in the lever of a slot machine that addicts people to those respective compulsions? Hardly! Despite this mainstream theory 95% of all addiction treatment is based on cognitive behavioral therapy and the 12-step program – two modalities that attempt to address emotional and spiritual components. In my opinion, this is complete hypocrisy! Furthermore, why can some folks drink alcohol occasionally while other use it destructively? Simply put, it’s a psychological or emotional dependency rather than a biochemical one. In other words, folks use substances and compulsions to alleviate emotional stress, suppress feelings and avoid coping with life! And, bottom line, sugar is no different! Truthfully, we can use anything as an addiction! 

If you want to eradicate your sugar addiction, you must examine the emotional issues that are connected to it. How is the sugar high you get from refined sugar comforting you and/or diverting your attention from painful feelings and emotions. In addition, remember, there can also be secondary components or “Food Addiction Factors” that can play a role. Are you using the after-effects of the sugar high such as headaches and depression as an excuse to withdraw or avoid responsibility? If you are overweight or obese, how is the extra body fat serving you? Is it providing a sense of security, helping you avoid responsibility, providing a tool for social withdrawal, or arming you with a weapon that can be used as a means of revenge? At the end of the day, if you eliminate your emotional distress, restore your self-esteem, and take back your personal power, using sugar destructively will become repulsive to you.