We are All Addicted to Sugar

A great majority of us is addicted to sugar. Sugar makes you fat and unhealthy. Nutritionist Carola van Bemmelen assures us that we can do without. She tells us how you can resist the sweets and what the alternatives are. 

25-01-2016 -  by Kevin Van der Straeten

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A great majority of us is addicted to sugar. Sugar makes you fat and unhealthy. Nutritionist Carola van Bemmelen assures us that we can do without. She tells us how you can resist the sweets and what the alternatives are.


Hi Carola, welcome to our studio. Today's topic: we're going to talk about sugar. What is so wrong with sugar?  


Everything. It's a very short answer. I still love it very much, and sometimes I eat it, though, but it costs your body a lot of resources and it's also the cause of many of our modern diseases like diabetes, heart diseases, lots of other chronic diseases... 


And what kind of sugars are we talking about then? Is it refined sugars only or every type of sugar? 


No, refined sugars is of course the biggest source. But we are also talking about artificial sweeteners, and the fast carbohydrates, which will turn into sugar in the body very quickly after eating... 


So even the light soft drinks are counted as sugar? 


Yeah, for me they count as sugar because our body cannot see a difference between normal soft drinks and light soft drinks. It reacts on both as a sweet drink and it starts to produce insulin as much as possible, and certainly for our sweet, soft drinks with artificial sweeteners... They cause the body to produce so much insulin that it's going to be problematic. 


Okay, but are we able as humans to do without sugars? Because they are here for a reason, I think. 


Yeah, but the refined sugars were not there lots of centuries ago. The sugars from fruit and vegetables; they were there. And those are the sugars that we need and that our body craves for. So it's not the white sugar or the artificial sweeteners of which our body says: "I need some", but it's the vegetables and the fruits that we need and the sugars that are in those. So we definitely need sugars, yes, but not the artificial and the other sweet sugar things that we have available. 


Okay, but if you decide to switch to a non-sugar diet, how do you start with it? 


Well, the best way to start is to prepare. So to know what's going to happen and to prepare yourself for that. To check your kitchen, what's in there... To take out all sugar things that behave like sugar in your body. And to be willing to try new things. And to look at what is possible instead of what you cannot eat anymore, because that's what a lot of people do, they say: "I really want to quit sugar, but then I cannot eat anything anymore", and that's not true, so be willing to try and experiment and be relaxed. 


What is the link between emotional eating and sugars? Because there's also something going on there.  


Yes, that's true, our emotions cause feelings. And those feelings are not always planned as we want them to be. So we can escape by eating sugar to not feel bad anymore. And especially the dopamine and serotonin, those two neurotransmitters, they are activated by sugar, they are produced with sugar, so if we eat some sugar, our body can very quickly release those hormones, and we feel good in an instant. But it also takes just an instant. It's just for a moment and then we crave these sugars again. It's better to quit with those sugars and to choose for long-term sugars, from vegetables, from food, and to also eat a lot of protein and healthy fats. 


Okay, people who want to learn more about this subject, they can read your books.


Yes, they can read my books. There are a lot of them. But I shall show you the two main books. This is the first book, in which we explain everything on sugar: what it is and what is does for your health and how to quit without pain. And this is the other one. Actually it's the second part. I always say: when you have quit sugar and you're in the rhythm and then you want to try to eat sugar sometimes, then this is the second book. And you can purchase it on my website: www.sugarchallenge.nl, or at bookstores and internet bookstores. 


Are they also available in English.  


No, not yet. Unfortunately not. 


But maybe it's an idea to get them translated?  


Yeah, or just ask someone to read it and tell it to you. But it's my wish to have them translate it into English, when there's somebody there who reads it and says: well, I would like to do it or I know people who can do it, then be my guest and contact me. 


Carola, thank you very much for your time.  


Thank you. 


And you at home: thank you for watching our show. I hope to see you next week.