If you get to this point with sugar in your beverage, I'd say you have a problem!

Invisible sugar: The perspective of a former addict

The Telegraph today published an article by Samuel Huston ‘How much ‘invisible sugar do you eat’.  Of all the recent sugar related newspaper articles, you maybe want to check this one out. The article bases much of its content on research from Dr Robert Lustig, someone who classifies sugar as ‘toxic’, ranking it along with tobacco, alcohol and cocaine.

invisible sugarAfter being that person who needed more and more sugar in increasing amounts to keep me happy, you can’t blame me for siding with Dr Robert Lustig, who believes we become accustomed to sugar and even ‘addicted’ in the same way as other abusive substances.

Take this quote by Charles Spence, an Oxford professor of experimental psychology:

“We are used to it because we eat more – and we eat more because we need more”

Ok I had to read that a few times, but translated to my real experience…

I was relatively healthy (i.e. no coke or donuts), however I was eating savoury/low fat processed things with invisible sugar and a lot of dried fruit. I thought I was in good shape. In fact, I was probably worsening my need for sugar more than I knew.

Examples of how my behaviour started to change..

  • I started going back for second helpings of museli…nearly all the time.
  • I started to eat one and a half muesli type bars, and then go back and eat the rest of the other half 20 mins later. So doing the maths I basically had to have two.
  • A fruit flavored yoghurt was fun until I ran out and scraped my spoon around for the very last bits. I used to then feel like I wanted another and felt very dissatisfied at such small pots.
  • I’d have one chocolate. Argue with myself not to have another. Have another. Argue again. Repeat a few times. Least to say it did my head in.

Invisible sugar had a big impact on me. Each discovery was a bit painful in its own way…

  • My beloved muesli packed with sugar, both added and the dried fruit (ok more natural but still too much sugar). I actually feel like I mourned museli, I was that upset.
  • Tomato and BBQ based sauces. A sad day.
  • Yoghurts. The staple healthy sweet treat I’d know for years. At least there was a natural yoghurt solution (read my guide on low sugar yoghurts).
  • Bread. First thought was along the lines of.. Well this is getting ridiculous, what the heck can I eat. Not all breads have sugar, but some do and it can really vary.

When you first think “righty ho, I’ll cut out sugar”, you start with the obvious sweets, chocolate and sugar in your tea. I certainly didn’t consider my pasta sauces, bread or oatcakes (yes even all oatcakes aren’t safe).

If you get to this point with sugar in your beverage, I'd say you have a problem!

If you get to this point with sugar in your beverage, I’d say you have a problem!

I merely just wanted to share some of my experiences in relation to this article. You may relate to them, you may have your own or be lucky enough not to suffer any degree from ‘the sugar hook’.

Nonetheless, don’t ignore the invisible sugar, check all the packets, brands, products you use most. A little is ok, but some can be quite shocking and in this case, ignorance isn’t bliss.

Any sweet behaviour you’re brave enough to disclose?

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/features/how-much-invisible-sugar-do-you-eat-8437575.html

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11 replies
  1. Dale
    Dale says:

    I’ve been sugar free for 6 1/2 months, and yes that 1/2 is important :-) I can’t recommend it highly enough. David Gillespie’s Sweet Poison Quit Plan is my bible. From nearly 1kg a day of chocolate to none I haven’t missed out on anything. Younger looking by a couple of decades, skin tighter, eyes brighter, sleep deeper and for less time., way smaller meals, no cravings at all. Did I say I have no cravings? None, not one from day 1! I can’t imagine a happier life :-)

    • Laura
      Laura says:

      Hi Dale, yes I’ve read David Gillespie’s Sweet Poison and really enjoyed it too. It just makes sense to what I am feeling now. Congratulations on the 6 1/2 months. Like you say all those benefits are there for the taking and once you’ve had a taste for them, and you don’t have cravings, there just isn’t any point to eating chocolate like before.

  2. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    I can so relate to these comments. You find sugars in all the pre-made frozen foods so they all had to go. I found my bread didn’t add sugar so was lucky there. Actually started eating a muesli when I converted but a no added sugar or fruit one. All other cereals are packed with the dreaded stuff. Yes the sauces including pasta sauce had to go. Salad dressings were the biggest surprise that had to go. I read all labels now & if any mention of sugar in the ingredient list well it just doesn’t get into the trolley now.

    • Laura
      Laura says:

      Hi Michelle, thanks for your comment :) Yes I went to lower sugar muesli first, then just started taking out a few raisins, then mixing it with Shredded Wheat bite site and now I just mix my own together from scratch. With the shop, once you know the good buys and bad ones it becomes easier.

  3. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    I remembered today that I didn’t know bacon contained sugar. I was happily eating my bacon each morning & was totally shocked to find I may have to give it up. Thankfully I found a brand that uses dextrose instead so happy breakfast mornings were restored

      • Michelle
        Michelle says:

        Sorry for the delay. I needed to go & buy more this week to check the brand. Primo premium uses dextrose instead of sugar. Most others just list sugar as its ingredient. I don’t know of other brands that have no sugar as such


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