Admittedly, my memory about actually giving up sugar is a little fuzzy – thirty years is a long time. I do remember, viscerally, how hard it was and how badly I craved it.
The first nutrition book I ever voluntarily read was Sugar Blues by William Dufty. I was in a lot of joint pain. I had been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and was feeling quite sorry for myself.
The chiropractor I was seeing told me that if I alleviated my depression I would reduce my pain. He added that the simplest way to ease my depression was to give up sugar. He went on to say that he was convinced that cutting sugar out of my diet would have one other great benefit. I would reduce joint inflammation and lessen the pain in my body.
You can imagine how thrilled I was by that piece of advice! But I was down and out and totally out of new ideas. I agreed to try it.
For the next month I tried giving it up, cold turkey. Things would go fine for a few hours and then the depression and craving would start. I just couldn’t put together more than a couple of days without giving in and having something with sugar. I was living in hell and beating myself up for my lack of will power.
Finally I mentioned this to the Chiro. He immediately sent me out to Crown Books to buy Sugar Blues. It was a real eye opener. In this book, Dufty argued that sugar is an addictive drug. In fact he stated that the difference between sugar addiction and narcotic addiction is largely one of degree. AND he further explained that quitting sugar was incredibly effective in combating depression and treating mental illness.
The book is not heavy on medical or scientific jargon or citations but it is very easy to read, real and folksy. It could, perhaps, use a good editing; it wanders around a lot but the information totally mind-bending. But not matter what criticisms I have journalistically, the tips on quitting were worth every penny I had spent.
The reason that this book is a classic is that the information in it is as applicable (or more applicable) today than it was when it was written 30+ years ago. The tips include:
- Eat a bit of ginger before meals
- Take colloidal chromium and vanadium since craving for sugar is often a symptom of chromium and vanadium deficiency
- Eat fruit separately from your meals
- Eat your breakfast as late as possible and start with fruit
- Don’t eat sweet foods for breakfast
- Reduce the amount of animal based products you eat
I spent a little more money on chromium and vanadium and kept plugging away at quitting the sugar.
Eventually I succeeded, the depression lifted and the pain started to ease.
Hard to do? Sure! But sooooo worth it. And you can get the book with the click of your mouse – no trip to the bookstore involved!