Sugar is slowly being recognised for what it really is; a silent killer. Behind the sweet taste and bright, seductive packaging lies a dark and deadly truth.
Over the past 30 years, roughly the same time that sugar consumption has dramatically increased, societies all over the globe are witnessing an exponentially rise in the death and diseases that it causes.
Obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, skin conditions and premature aging, are just a few of the side effects linked to a diet laden with sugar.
And we are only just waking up to the bitter fact.
The modern diet has become a vehicle for refined carbs and sugar; a vehicle that is hurtling at speed towards a cliff edge. This food is sometimes even labelled as healthy and fat free, so luring vulnerable people into a false sense of security that what they are eating will help them to lose weight and regain control of their health.
It's a lie. It was never the fat making them fat in the first place; it is the combination of refined carbohydrates, trans fats (the bad one) and sugar. The sweet, addictive substance that we are fed as a treat from an early age and taught to crave throughout our lives.
It is this shocking dependency, which a huge proportion of society has come to regard as normal, that is wreaking havoc on our health and robbing people of their lives.
Start getting into the habit of checking labels and really knowing what is in the food you are eating. Food packaging can be deceiving and dangerously misleading.
Take "diet" products for example. The next time you see a cereal bar or a yogurt with a pretty "fat free" label, picturing a slim, radiant women, just flip to the ingredients and once you train your eye in to read the tiny print and decipher the cleverly obscured key information, you may well be shocked at the amount of sugar it contains.
Even sugar substitutes should be treated with caution and avoided where possible. It only serves to perpetuate a sugar addiction, as people's taste buds and brain receptors become dependant on the sweet hit.
We need to start cutting out sugar and treating it as you would any other addiction; by training yourself to go without, until the physical cravings subside and you stop repeating the bad habit.
Watch out for sugar traps
Certain foods contain high amounts of hidden sugar. This means that you might not be aware of how much sugar is in what you're eating or drinking, or that you have been led to believe that it doesn't count.
This latter example is often the case for fruit juices. Some people believe that because it says fruit it is automatically healthy, however fruit sugars can be just as harmful to our health.
This is the same for alcohol. Many people aren't aware of the exceptionally high levels of sugar present in most alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is even made from the fermentation of a sugar source, in the form of fruit or grain. In fact, it's not uncommon for people to be more addicted to the sugar hit they get from drinking alcohol, than the alcohol itself.
Food needn't suddenly become bland and uninspiring just because you cut out the amount of sugar in it. Granted, sugar is addictive and the kinds of quantities that has come to be normal in certain food and drink can make it harder to adjust.
However, there is a whole world of beautiful, exciting, exotic taste sensations just a shop trip away that will have your taste buds revelling and your mind blown.
Be creative with what you eat and how you eat. At the end of the day, it's something you are going to have to do for the rest of your life (the length of which somewhat hinges upon the decisions you make surrounding this matter).
So, get yourself out of that food rut, stop being ignorant and start fuelling yourself on additive free, wholefood, plant-based meals that are bursting with health giving colour and flavour.
Learn to go without
Sugar is an addictive substance. That's a fact. So, don't be surprised if you find it difficult to cut it out. Be aware that you are likely to experience some cravings, which can cause feelings of irritability, restlessness and obsessing about eating something sweet.
People don't think that they are really addicted to sugar and therefore don't prepare for these cravings, which can result in failure. Acknowledge that negative emotions may arise and be prepared to combat them when they do.
As with any bad habit, you need to re-wire the brain and depending on the severity, this can take some time and dedication. In case you need any further prompting that lowering levels of sugar in you diet is fundamental to your wellbeing; type "the health risks of sugar" into Google.