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JHP06: How To Break Your Sugar Addiction

Jun 5, 2019 | Joy McCarthy

Despite always being a health nut you might be surprised to learn that I used to be a total sugar addict. I nibbled on M&M's daily and drank Starbucks Vanilla Lattes with a packet of Sweet N' Low. I constantly had cravings for sugar, especially at night. It wasn't until I removed it from my diet cold turkey and started eating a more balanced ratio of complex carbs, protein and fat that I was able to enjoy it (in natural sweetener form) moderately again. 


In this episode, Walker and I take you through the whole story and touch upon Walker's relationship with sugar, as well. If you currently feel addicted to sugar, don't worry – there's hope with the strategies I share in this episode!

Listen to the Podcast

Listen to the Joyous Health Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play!

In this episode we discuss:

  • How sugar makes food addictive (and how food manufacturers take advantage of this).
  • My sugar addiction story and how I broke my sugar addiction.
  • Mine and Walker's relationship with sugar as kids.
  • How much sugar the average North American consumed then and now. 
  • The industrialization of food and how it has altered food for the worse.
  • Why sugar is considered to be as addictive as drugs.
  • The many negative effects of sugar.
  • How to break your sugar addiction.
  • The importance of balancing your blood sugar.
  • How sugar addiction begins.
  • What happens when our daughter Vienna has refined sugar.
  • Eating a high sugar diet ages your skin through a process called AGEs.
  • The link between sugar and heart disease.
  • How much sugar is okay?
  • Where sugar is hiding in your food (you might be surprised by this!).
  • The role green smoothies played when breaking my sugar addiction.
  • The best part about quitting sugar.



Kaitlin J.   •   June 6, 2019

Another great podcast Joy! I was wondering if you could define for me what “refined sugar” is, and what it is not? Is it white/brown sugar? Or is it syrups, honeys, etc? Thanks! (:

Joy McCarthy   •   June 6, 2019

Kaitlin J.   •   June 6, 2019

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my questions, I really appreciate it! 😀 If it’s ok, I have a few more! Why are natural sweeteners like you discuss in your article preferred over refined sugars? Wouldn’t maple syrup or coconut syrup still spike your blood sugar and affect insulin the same way a refined sugar would since they’re both simple carbs?

Joy McCarthy   •   June 7, 2019

Steph   •   June 6, 2019

A much needed episode for this sugar addict! I also live in Toronto and was wondering where you get your water from. Do you use a filtration system at home (if so what brand do you recommend?) or are you buying from the store? I drink tons of water but want to stop drinking straight tap water. Thanks!

Joy McCarthy   •   June 7, 2019
Megs   •   July 5, 2019

Cathy   •   January 4, 2020

I have been overweight my entire life. Here I am 51 going through menopause and have diabetes and heart problems. My hormones are way of whack and my uncontrolled diabetes is really taken its toll on me. I am suffering from diabetic neuropathy and I crave sugar really bad. I need help. Looking forward to listening to your podcast on how to break my sugar addition. I signed up for the Joyous Kitchen Challenge too. Very excited to start!

Joy McCarthy   •   January 6, 2020

Sucheta Sikdar   •   November 14, 2021

Thank you for this podcast. It has inspired me to do a sugar detox. I am from Toronto too and I love baking with sugar.

Joy McCarthy   •   November 14, 2021

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