D Dr. David Reuben, author of Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Nutrition says, “white refined sugar is not a food. It is a pure chemical extracted from plant sources, purer in fact than cocaine, which it resembles in many ways. Its true name is sucrose and its chemical formula is C12H22O11. It has 12 carbon atoms, 22 hydrogen atoms 11 oxygen atoms, and absolutely nothing else to offer”. The chemical formula for cocaine is C17H21NO4. For all practical purposes, the difference is that sugar is missing the “N”, or nitrogen atom.(

“Although controversial, a growing body of evidence points to the addictive potential of sugar. Sugar and processed foods flood the brain with the feel-good chemical dopamine, over time changing the function of the brain. In a study by researchers at Yale University, the simple sight of a milkshake activated the same reward centers of the brain as cocaine among people with addictive eating habits.

A 2007 study showed that rats actually prefer sugar water to cocaine. Rats given fatty and sugary products demonstrated classic symptoms of addiction including tolerance and withdrawal symptoms when the products were taken away.”(

So for those of you who began our Zero-Sugar Challenge on January 1st and have found the last 6 days very challenging, it absolutely could be because you’ve been experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as poor energy, depressed mood, headaches, irritability and intense cravings. I promise you, this will pass. Firstly, hang in there! If you haven’t already, get rid of all sugar products in your home and work place. If it’s there, it’s too easy to reach for when the cravings hit. To help with irritability, pamper yourself in ways that are good for your body: exercise, take a hot bath, watch your favorite show while sipping herbal teas.

Drink lots of water to help flush the body. It will also help to reprogram your brain; if every time you crave sugar you drink a glass of water, not only will you be hydrating yourself but will soon crave health-promoting water instead of sugar. Lastly, when you are craving ask yourself if you are truly hungry. If you are, eat! Clean, real foods that is. Have a nature rich apple or some high protein plain greek yogurt with cinnamon mixed in.