Many parts of the western world are going through an obesity crisis. In spite of the fact that there are so many diet drinks, low-fat foods and calorie-controlled meals on the market, the percentage of the population categorized as overweight or obese according to BMI is increasing. Many academics and healthcare professionals are blaming that increase on the amount of sugar that is hidden in day-to-day ?healthy? foods. Some health experts have gone so far as to say that sugar is the new tobacco, because it is both addictive and harmful.

Sugar Is Everywhere

If you do not follow the Paleo diet, then it is likely that you are eating far too much sugar. Sugar is found in a huge range of foods. Pre-cooked sandwich meats have sugar listed as an ingredient, zero-fat yogurts can contain as many as five teaspoons of sugar, and even tomato soup has sugar added to it. Well-meaning dieters who choose to avoid obviously sugar-laden foods such as regular soft drinks and chocolate bars may still end up eating a huge amount of sugar.

Why Sugar Is Bad

The primary issue with sugar is that it is nutritionally void. If you purchase a frapuccino from Starbucks, then depending on your choice of cream, milk and flavouring, you could be ingesting 273 calories, of which a large percentage comes from the 11 teaspoons of sugar in drink. That?s more than one tenth of the recommended daily amount of calories for an average adult in a single drink ? with no added benefit in terms of protein, vitamins or minerals.

Sugar and Health

Obesity is a serious issue in the western world, and it is a huge contributor in the development, or worsening, of many health conditions. However, that is not the only reason that sugar is bad. Some doctors feel that sugar is the new tobacco because recent research suggests that consuming a large amount of sugar can contribute to type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, metabolic syndrome and other conditions. Even if you are not overweight, eating a lot of sugar is not a good idea.

Avoiding Sugar While Enjoying Food

The food industry as a whole has come under fire for making processed foods that contain a mixture of salt, sugar and fat. These foods are designed to be almost addictive. Through careful testing, food companies have managed to make craving-inducing foods. It is for this reason that it is so hard for many dieters to stick to their calorie-controlled eating plans for any length of time.

The Paleo diet can help with this problem, because it encourages dieters to avoid the kinds of foods that trigger cravings. Our ancestors ate when they were hungry and stopped eating when they were satisfied. They did not add sugar to foods ? they filled up on healthy fats and protein-rich foods. Once you start doing the same, your body will learn what it feels like to be satisfied, and your urge to snack constantly will evaporate.