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- Sugar-Free Challenge
Welcome to Day 3 of the Summer Kick-Off Challenge!
How is everyone doing? I’ve had a couple people tell me they experienced some sugar-withdrawal headaches, and this is normal. If you are used to eating a lot of sugar, your body might take the no-sugar as a bit of a shock. Just give it a couple of days and keep your eye on the prize! It will get better.
Today’s Reason to be Sugar-Free:
Some evidence from animal studies suggests that sugar can be addictive. A Princeton University research team has shown that lab rats accustomed to sugar display the cravings and the relapses that signal addiction, as well as brain changes similar to those associated with addiction to narcotics and nicotine. For example, the investigators found that the brain chemical dopamine is released when hungry rats drink sugared water and that a surge of dopamine occurs in the brains of hungry rats that binge on sugar. Over time, these increased dopamine levels resulted in fewer of a certain type of dopamine receptor and more opioid receptors in the animals’ brains. The same studies showed that rats deprived of sugar exhibited anxiety characteristic of withdrawal. ~Dr. Andrew Weil
Sugar is 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.
You can read more about this topic, ways to get over sugar addictions, and watch a video on a post I wrote HERE.
Here is Today’s Sample Menu:
Lunch: Heart Stopping Chicken Salad. Vegan Option: Substitute chicken for beans or vegan protein of choice.
Dessert: Carnival Cookies
Thought-provoking, mind-prodding question of the day:
How are your first few days of sugar-free going?
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