This is a pretty serious post, and I hope you don’t hate me for it.
I’m addicted to sugar.
This whole blog is a lie! I hate bitter chocolate, and I add sugar to all of my recipes. I usually have donuts everyday for breakfast, cookies for lunch, and cake or pie for dinner. Oh yeah, I also drink about 4 Mountain Dews per day. I’m addicted to the white stuff.
I’m a sugar-free girl! Don’t take me too seriously 😉
However, a sugar addiction is something you should take seriously.
If you have any of the following symptoms, you might be addicted to sugar:
- Despite your desire to give up sugar, you continue to eat it compulsively.
- You feel like you need sugar in order to function normally each day.
- When you stop eating sugar, you experience withdrawal.
- While you eat sugar everyday you develop a tolerance for it, so you increase your consumption in order to achieve the same experience.
Why is sugar addictive?
Sugar is a highly refined substance that does not appear alone in nature. It looks very similar to cocaine, and sugar acts like heroin when it hits the brain. A study shows that sugar affects the brain chemistry and thus might be expected to cause addictive behavior. In the study, written by Nicole Avena and others, it was shown that sugar bingeing can cause withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
The effects sugar has on behavior is quite similar to the neurochemical changes in the brain that also occur with addictive drugs. One finding shows that sugar and the taste of sweet activate beta endorphin receptor sites in the brain, the same receptor sites that are activated by heroin and morphine.
The implications of these findings show that sugar substitutes (ex. splenda, aspartame, saccharin) are not the answer for people who want to kick their sugar addiction. Children given candies and drinks made with sugar substitutes may become sugar addicts when they grow up, and they will find it difficult to give up sugar and other refined carbohydrates in the future.
Health problems associated with a sugar addiction:
- mood swings
- depletion of mineral levels
- anxiety or panic attacks
- chromium deficiency
- depletion of the adrenal glands
- type 2 diabetes
- candida overgrowth
- high cholesterol
- anti-social behavior such as that found in crime and delinquency
- anger control issues
- decreased immune function
- neurotransmitter deficiencies
- high blood pressure
- heart disease
- attention deficit
- chronic fatigue
- hormone imbalance
How to get over your sugar addiction:
- Most people develop a sugar addiction because they are unsatisfied with their life, and/or depressed. First, try to gain control of your life and emotions. Treat food and sugar as fuel, not as a comfort to your problems. Find activities that you enjoy, and enjoy your life!
- Keep sugar out of your house so that you are not tempted by it.
- Exercising reduces cravings and produces healthy endorphins to help you feel good!
- L-Glutamine supplements can reduce sugar cravings.
- Eat mostly savory foods to reduce your sugar craving. I find that when I eat savory breakfasts and snacks, I don’t crave sweets as much. Heather wrote a great post about this HERE.
- Treat sweets as treats. Today’s modern conveniences give us the ability to eat sweets every day. Treat them as a treat, though, and eat whole food desserts. Only have dessert on a special occasion, or once or twice a week. Not every day after every meal. Click HERE for my healthy dessert recipes.
Watch this informational video below about sugar addiction if you are serious about giving up your sweets. It includes great information about sugar in today’s diet. It is about 90 minutes long, so you may want to watch short snippits of it at a time.
Thought-provoking, mind-prodding question of the day:
Do you know someone who was affected by a sugar addiction? If so, how did they get over it?
Also, have you tricked someone today for April Fool’s day?