Hot off the London press: Highly processed foods meet the same criteria as tobacco for addiction.

Home > Article >

Sugar has been scientifically shown to be more addictive than cocaine. This is NOW becoming news even though science has been around for decades. Highly processed foods contain sugar. Lots of it. Is there any wonder it is addictive? I wish the article did justice to the headline and used cocaine to grab attention, instead of nicotine.

A study in 2007 showed that mice preferred the sweet taste over cocaine. This, and other studies have shown sugar is more addictive than cocaine. It is explained because our original diet was devoid of highly sweet taste, and this creates a supra-normal reward signal in the brain. Voila! Addiction.

Sugar is perfectly legal, and is thus so acceptable as something to consume. And to avoid any stigma associated with addictions.

 Restaurant foods and fast food have sugars and other additives that enhance the taste and the addiction potential. Reading labels will alert you to how much sugar is hiding in the foods you consume: in cans, sauces, premade foods – even processed meats have sugar added to them.

Ultra-processed foods (UPF) and Highly processed foods (HPF) are terms being written about in medical reports and studies. They all contain large amounts of sugar in different forms. We have known for decades that large food companies prey on this fact: the addictive properties of the food they manufacture to boost sales and keep their profits high.

When you follow the money and look at the profits made by the companies who make and sell cookies, chips, soda pop, and packaged foods, would you imagine that their profits are in the BILLIONS of dollars? Many, many billions of dollars. Their advertising targets children, making it ‘Healthy’ and ‘good for you’  to have cereal and packaged foods decorated with cartoon characters, and stories that captivate children.. And thus the addiction starts.

Even instant oatmeal, and ‘healthy cereals’ like muesli, Cheerios, and Nature’s Path are all high in sugar.

Many patients say they cannot afford to eat meat. And buying real food is far more expensive than a bag of instant noodles or a burger and fries that cost $2.99.

The average person consumes 17-20 tsp of sugar a day, This is about 60lb of sugar in a year, according to the American Heart Association. This number is likely grossly underestimated, given that the AHA accepts funding from the big companies that endorse those products as ‘heart healthy ‘!!!

Sugar comes at you in fruit juice, pop, cookies, cereal, bread, pasta, chips, french fries, etc. It is in almost everything that you don’t make at home from scratch.

Learn to read labels and count your carbs.

What can you do if real food is mostly out of your budget?

Start with eating as much as you can at home. Even if it is carb-heavy, it is still not laced with addictive chemicals and various forms of sugar.

HCFS (high fructose corn syrup) is one type of sugar that you must look out for as a dangerous sugar. Read labels carefully.

Where can you start?

  • Be aware of what you are eating, and be mindful of the ingredients.
  • Start to eat less ‘outside’ food, and increase the amount of food you make at home.
  • Pack lunch. It saves you money AND improves your health.
  • Frozen vegetables and fruit cost a fraction of the price of fresh veggies and are every bit as healthy. The nutrients are sealed in, and you can still enjoy all the benefits.
  • Canned or frozen fish: this is a great option for adding protein to your day.
  • Ground beef and eggs are lower in price than regular cuts of meat
  • Increasing the amount of protein and good fats that you eat, leaves you feeling full between meals. Eating sugar and carbohydrate-dense foods creates hunger between meals, cravings, and snacking behaviors.

Gain control of your health. It starts with what you consume: Food can feed your health or fuel disease. You get to pick.

Sugar leads to accelerated skin aging. It is inflammatory, so not just your body ache or gets inflamed; your skin reacts too.

Collagen degrades faster when you eat sugar. (A process called glycation occurs, affecting your collagen).

Acne, rashes, and rosacea are examples of inflammatory skin conditions.

When you consume foods that increase inflammation and lead to oxidative stress, you will also see sun damage, and visible signs of aging are more exaggerated and severe than if you ate a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, good protein, and healthy fats.

I always recommend supplementing with high-quality vitamins as well to protect your skin from advanced aging. Vitamin C is important to create collagen and prevent collagen breakdown. Anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients are also helpful to protect collagen.

A healthy diet of real food is your first step to beautiful skin.

Prevention is always better than cure.

Treatment Spotlight: 

SKINTYTE by Sciton

This affordable treatment helps firm up weak collagen. Undo the damage that has been done, then protect your results with a healthy diet and targeted supplements to support and generate collagen.

Aging itself leads to the weakening of collagen. Your skin sags, your jawline gets blurred, the folds around your nose and mouth get deeper.

 Some things that accelerate collagen breakdown are stress, hormone imbalances, menopause and loss of estrogen, and oxidative stress (toxins, poor nutrient status compared to what your body needs). This is why I recommend that you do more than skin treatments for beautiful, healthy skin. 

Start with reducing and eliminating sugar. Then focus on eating protein. You would be surprised at how difficult it is to eat enough protein to feed your muscles, and bones, repair your body,  build brain chemistry and hormones,  AND maintain collagen. The average woman needs over 100g of protein a day to achieve this.

After increasing protein, remember to increase good fat consumption. Healthy skin needs good fats. Your cell membranes are made from fat. This is why low-fat diets lead to hair loss and dry skin. Avocados, olive oil, butter, nuts, and seeds are good sources of healthy fats.

In the meantime, start your SkinTyte treatments. Gentle, painless, and with no downtime.

To book your Beautiful Skin consultation. Discover why every woman needs to have Skintyte, to restore or maintain collagen strength.

Call now 403-237-2353 or email

To feel and look younger.