Q. What do you mean when you talk about sugar addition? I don't take sugar in coffee or add it to my food, so I would say I can’t be addicted to sugar – can I?
A. Even if you are not deliberately adding sugar to your drinks or food, sugar is already an ingredient in many foods and beverages – some of which you might not expect. This book discusses which types of foods and drinks contain high amounts of sugar and includes a questionnaire to help readers see if they show signs of a sugar addiction.
Q. What is a 'hidden' sugar, and how do I discover which foods contain them?
A. Hidden sugars are sugars contained in foods or beverages that you might not suspect. We know that many dessert items, such as ice cream and pastries, contain high amounts of sugar, but there are also a number of food and drink items that you may not expect to contain a lot of sugar, including certain yogurts, energy bars, barbecue sauces, etc. Hidden sugars can be identified by looking carefully at a food or beverage’s nutrition label, a topic we discuss further in the book.
Q. How does your eating program handle eating out and holiday times, especially if there are hidden sugars everywhere?
A. This book discusses the types of foods that tend to be high in sugar and that may contain hidden sugars, as well as the social factors that may influence food choices, equipping readers with information to make eating out and holidays less challenging.
Q. If I cut out the hidden sugars from my diet, will I be able to lose weight?
A. If you were to continue to eat the exact same way you have been minus hidden sugars, which also mean hidden calories, you would most likely lose weight, and this weight loss would be even greater if you cut out or reduced the other major sources of sugar in your diet.
Q. Is sugar really addictive? When people say they have a chocolate craving – are they being serious, or just saying that so they can eat what they like?
A. According to the research from our laboratory and others’, binge eating sugar results in similar behavior and brain changes as drug addiction, suggesting that sugar can be addictive. This does not mean that everyone who eats sugar or claims to have a craving for a sugary food is addicted; people often use the term “addiction” in everyday life to refer to their love of sports, online shopping, etc., however, there are certain criteria that are used in the medical field to identify substance dependence. As discussed in the book, these criteria have recently been adapted to refer to food instead of drugs and studies have shown certain individuals to meet the criteria for food addiction.