Something I've noticed about the sugar addicts (ourselves included) is that not just table sugar can do the bad thing. We look at things that make the "off button" malfunction, as in we keep going after them even if we're technically full, or we go for a bump a couple hours after consuming these things. If I catch the first bump we're okay for the day, but if I miss it, we're the types that will nightwake for that bump or have "a case of the sweeties"...here is a list of what we recognize at home as sugar-bumping trigger foods, and what other sugar addicts have also shared with me:
coffee (I go for it when I'm bumping back up)
fake sugar (like in diet pop, drink mixes, "sugar-free" foods)
honey, agave, pure maple syrup
oranges, watermelon, cantaloupe, mango, pineapples
nuts and nut butter, tahini
butter, buttermilk, cream
noodles, couscous, most grains
condiments like salad dressing, mayo, soy sauce, ketchup
The obvious bad ones like baked goods and candies and the like
When I'm high on sugar (which could be for weeks on end), I'm hyper-focused, yet always uncomfortable, I can't seem to sit still, I'm more irritable (like, I have to put a lot of effort into "calm"), and I'm dominated by the thoughts of "gotta get over to the grocery for a bit of chocolate or something". I'm also a sensory nightmare. Everything is too loud, too sharp, too itchy, too bright, too stinky, too everything. I walk around with earplugs. Seriously. When I'm coming off sugar, I use coffee a lot as my medicine, and then have to come down from the coffee after a week or so...but it does work. We luckily haven't been hit with alcoholism, but from my experience it can be especially serious for those who are sugar addicts, and sugar addicts are often found in families with a history of alcoholism. I think it's the off-button thing.
The true test is to do a day of veg only. If the people around get all crappy over wanting something else to eat, or are saying "I'm hungry!!!!" and whining about it, there could be an issue present. It's hard to say "holy cow. I've created a bad scene here with my pancakes. Pancakes are GOOD. They have to be! 'They' say it's party, not the sugar, right????" But once I was able to sit back and watch and be really open-minded, I saw a lot. I first noticed it in DD when she came home twinkly-eyed after school. Then crabby, then the case of the sweeties, then okay, then case of the sweeties. I asked her teacher and found out....yes. it was a treat day. Even though I've told school DD is sensitive to sugar, she still gets hit now and then. Now, I just put a bowl of spinach down in front of her and I don't fetch anything else until we have a full tummy of clean food. It seems to help, and she notices it too--to the point that she now will say she thinks she needs a bowl of leaves on those days.
I'm not saying we never touch these things--I mean..it's really hard to keep a totally clean home, but it's always a goal. Right now we still have spaghetti sundays, but I wait dinner until late so when we crash we're going to sleep anyway. Totally not healthy. DD was on board with clean eating, but wanted us to keep spaghetti for a while. I've been doing a spaghetti squash and have tried doing zucchini in the spirooli for spaghetti so eventually that will replace it. We don't go out to eat anymore. Really. There's a place that does fish and veg, and we'll do that now and again, but it's pretty pricey when we're saying "just the fish and veg--none of the other things" but paying for the whole deal anyway.
I'll go take a look at the NPR thing.