During the month of October, Americans spent more than $3 billion on one thing. Know what it is? It’s something I never buy anymore.  What is it? It’s candy.

I don’t eat candy or sugar anymore because God showed me it was killing me … in more ways than one. At the time, I didn’t stop eating it because of the diseases that are likely associated with it. I stopped because God showed me that I loved sugar more than Him.

Although that in itself should be enough of a reason to stop consuming sugar, there is a real objective truth about sugar that everyone needs to know. It’s not as sweet and innocent as it’s purported to be. It is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a would-be killer in disguise.

Mainlining Sugar

Our preoccupation with things made with sugar is directly related to  at least 2.8 million people dying per year from being overweight or obese. This is according to the World Health Organization’s 2020 statistics.

Back in 1971 when the Center for Disease Control (CDC) started keeping track of those who were overweight and above, 58% were in that category. By 2018, it had risen to 82.8%. Those who are in the overweight category went down three percent from 2000 to 2018, but in the same time frame the number of those in the obese category rose 12%!

Also, the CDC recommends adults consume no more than six teaspoons of sugar a day or 25 grams. However, the average American consumes over 18 teaspoons of sugar a day or 77 grams per day. In other words, we are getting fatter as we are consuming more sugar.  

Memory Difficulties

The consumption of too much sugar, which for me is any sugar because I can’t stop eating it when I start, has been associated with many diseases, not the least of which is diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer.

It’s scary to think that sugar consumption has been shown to cause inflammation in the brain which leads to memory difficulties including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Studies also show those with higher sugar intake have lower scores on cognitive function tests.

The good news is that memory damage caused by sugar consumption does not have to be permanent. It can be reduced by following a healthy diet of no sugar. The problem is many of us want to do that but just can’t figure out how. 

Cancer and Sugar

In 2017 an article in PLOS Biology reported that a research project conducted between 1967 and 1971 by the Sugar Research Foundation revealed a connection between what we eat and cancer.

Named Project 259, the study researched how sugar intake affected the digestive systems of rats. It compared conventional rats fed a high-sugar diet to those fed a high-starch diet. Results showed that sugar consumption could be associated with elevated levels of an enzyme associated with bladder cancer in humans.

Results of a study released in 2017 revealed a direct link between processed sugar and the continued stimulation of the growth of cancerous tumors. More research needs to be done, but the connection is there. Researchers just have to figure out if sugar actually does cause cancer.

How Cancer Grows

Dr. Lewis Cantley, the director of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weil Cornell Medicine in New York City, has abstained from sugar for decades. In 2019 article, he said, “As we learn more and more about cancer metabolism, we understand that individual cancers are addicted to particular things. In a lot of cancers, that’s insulin—and sugar.”

Probably the most important thing to understand from this research is glucose (sugar) is the preferred source of energy in cancer cells. Cancer cells need more glucose than healthy cells because they metabolize faster.

According to an article in the Daily Health Post in 2019, cancer cells reprogram their metabolism to quickly and efficiently break down sugar to grow, survive, proliferate, and maintain.

Eat Real Food

If it is real food grown on the vine or on a tree, it’s better than anything processed or man-made. Frozen foods or home-canned made from fresh foods are also great choices. Fresh fruits and vegetables have antioxidants that have been removed in processing.

What the research is boiling down to is this, it’s good to stay away from foods with added sugars and any ingredients you can’t pronounce.

I very much agree with what Dr. Cantley says because it is the way I have learned to eat. He said, “I have a very simple rule. I eat fruit, but I don’t eat anything that has sugar added to it. And I guarantee everybody would be better off if they ate zero sugar.”

God My Protector

When God told me to stop eating sugar back in 1977, I thought He was being mean to me and punishing me for some reason. But that wasn’t the case at all. He was trying to protect me from years of difficulties that putting that much weight has had on my body.

One doesn’t gain up to 430 pounds without a lot of heartaches and real, physical pain. When I was finally ready to surrender sugar to God, He showed me the way to do that and gave me the strength to do it.

When I finally took my hands off sugar, which felt like my best friend, companion, comforter, provider and stress reliever, God became all of those things to me. He is really the only one who can comfort me, protect me, lead me, guide me, love me unconditionally and support me no matter what.

Habits Have to Change

Even after I surrendered to God, giving up sugar wasn’t a quick, easy, detox thing. I didn’t stop eating it all at once. I had done that before and it had never worked. I couldn’t do a 10-days-and-I’m-free-of-sugar program.

I had already learned that quick fixes never last. My desire for sugar had gone from a habit to a stronghold to an addiction. Sugar had become my drug of choice and I was hooked.

I had to go through a process to get rid of it for good. I had to willingly admit my addiction and lay it on the altar. From there, it was all about habit change. My ingrained habit, such as eating as much as I wanted of sugar and carbohydrates had to change, but it did not happen overnight.

God’s Warning

Proverbs 5:21-22 TPT warns us about our habits. “For God sees everything you do and his eyes are wide open as he observes every single habit you have. Beware that your sins don’t overtake you and that the scars of your own conscience don’t become the ropes that tie you up. Those who choose wickedness die for lack of self-control, for their foolish ways lead them astray, carrying them away as hostages—kidnapped captives robbed of destiny.”

I can be my own worst enemy. My desires to overeat things like sugar overtake and control me. All those years when I was eating sugar like it was going out of style, I really wanted to be following God. I was going about it in all the wrong ways.

I thought sugar was giving me quick energy to do things for God. All it was doing was taking my focus off Him and on my own selfish desires.

How God Led Me

I needed to ask God to show me what to do and how to do or lead me to God with skin on who could help me. He led me to a mentor who taught me how to change my habits. That’s where changes really began to happen in my life.

This is why I coach others, why I do weekly podcasts and why I have a free offer on my website to help you figure out if you are a sugar addict and if you are, how to begin the process to tell it good-bye for good.

I developed the free sugar addiction quiz and the follow-up mini-course in habit change, just for you. Both are free. You can get immediate access here: https://TeresaShieldsParker.com/sugar-quiz/.

Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach, podcaster and speaker, who has lost more than 250 pounds and kept it off since 2013.

Her books include: "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor"; "Sweet Surrender: Breaking Strongholds"; "Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy"; "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help": "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation"; and "Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God".

She also offers Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy and VIP one-on-one coaching program, more information on both is available under the weight loss tab. Don't miss her weekly podcast, Sweet Grace for Your Journey, where she shares tips from her personal journey of losing weight and discovering healthy living. Find that under the podcast tab and anywhere you find podcasts.