There are several long threads on diet and sugar. Tom doesn't eat foods with chemicals, sugar, caffeine, or alcohol.
How dramatic? Dramatic as the difference between looking through a window that is filthy or one that is clean.
All those substances I suggested you avoid are psychotropic -- i.e., they affect the central nervous system by altering (clouding) the perceptions of consciousness. They produce an effect in consciousness that is analogous to looking through a dirty window with lots of bubbles (distortions) in the glass. Another problem: You don't recognize the glass is dirty because you have never looked through a clean one — dirty is accepted as the “normal“ condition.
All these substances can reduce a clear awareness of the state of one's consciousness to muddled mush — an affect much like in the old days when one would take too many antihistamines and mentally feel like a zombie. All are a problem but sugar is the worst because of its ubiquity and because (like caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine) it is addictive. Any form of sugar, including honey, fructose, molasses, etc is a problem. “Fruit juice sweetened“ is mostly unacceptable, though natural fruit juice is generally OK if in limited amounts and if it is not concentrated through evaporation. The only reliable exception I have found is barley malt in reasonably small quantities. The problem is how fast the glucose enters the blood — the system balance is upset and goes through wild swings. Glucose is a critical part of your physical and mental system — unstable glucose creates an unstable system. Evidently barley malt is slow to digest.
How much sugar is OK? None. Zero. A micro pinch is too much. I generally loose significant clarity of consciousness just walking through a bakery and breathing the air. Now, you can eat whole fruit, even sweet ones like raisin, apple, pineapple, and banana in reasonable (small) quantities because whole fruit is slower to digest and thus doesn't ring your system. It will take you 3 to 6 months to get over your sugar addiction if you are careful to READ EVERY ingredient before ingestion and make no assumptions or excuses. Sugar substitutes and things sweetened some other way (other than just adding WHOLE fruit) are also generally unacceptable.
Over the last thirty five years I have become somewhat more tolerant of (resistant to) some of these substances (mainly, I get over some of their effects more quickly now), but nothing has changed in my diet — I avoid all these substances scrupulously because I value and depend on the clarity of my mind/consciousness. The impact they have on that clarity is as obvious as being slapped in the face. Sugar, particularly in sugar laden Western cultures, probably does more to inhibit and disrupt good meditation states and the ability to function and operate in the larger consciousness system than any other single thing besides large amounts of fear/ego. However, because addictions are difficult to beat within a culture that is saturated with the addiction, that fact is generally hardly worth mentioning more that once.
And try this thread too:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4913&p=21173&hilit= ... gar#p21173