Oh, that sweet, sweet sugar addiction most of us have. For most children, and even adults, sugar has been a big part of their daily diet. Some of us can’t even go through the day with stuffing our mouths with sugary treats such as candies and soft drinks.
Sadly, this guilty pleasure of ours is one of the greatest causes of diseases and deaths worldwide. It is one of the leading causes of obesity and diabetes globally. Dr. Robert Lutsig, an expert in obesity among children has stated that sugar is 11 times more likely to cause diabetes compared to other calories. (1)
The most common sugar, as known as the table sugar, is known to cause various health problems with long-term consumption. Some of which include weight gain, increased low-density lipoproteins (bad cholesterol), decreased High-Density Lipoproteins (good cholesterol), high blood pressure, and much more. (2)
For us to live longer and healthier lives, we need to rid ourselves of this horrible addiction. There are many tips and guides out there that show people how to kick this addiction of our’s permanently. Some even involve hypnosis, however, we shall focus on how to kick sugar addiction according to science.
First, we will discuss the symptoms to watch out for to know if you already have a sugar addiction. Then, we shall discuss in depth how to effectively break your sugar addiction. Finally, we will discuss the possible side effects of consciously removing sugar from your diet.
Watch the trailer for the movie Fed Up by Stephanie Soechtig to get a glimpse of how sugar has damaged our society:
Symptoms of A Sugar Addiction
1. Not Being Able to Consume Sugar Can Affect the Patients Mood
Sugar like any other drug can affect the chemicals in our brain that determine how we feel, think, and act. Positive experiences, like eating sugar, causes a chemical called dopamine in our brains. Dopamine is a compound that makes you feel good and light.
Sugar addiction causes our body to be addicted and dependent that is provided by dopamine. When you remove sugar from your diet, the body will feel as if it was deprived of something positive. Thus, causing the patient to become irritable, or moody.
2. You Undergo Withdrawal Symptoms When You Stop Consuming Sugar
Secondly, sugar is a highly addictive substance, some even say that it is more addictive than cocaine. The reason for this addiction is that eating or even thinking about sugar can cause your brain to produce a powerful neurotransmitter called Dopamine.
Dopamine is controls how our body feels pleasure. Hence, removing it from our diet causes our body to react in negative ways so as to force us to go back to our addiction. Some symptoms include headaches, lethargy or lack of energy, muscle pain, anxiety, cravings, insomnia, nausea, and chills.
3. You Find Excuses To Include Sugar In Your Diet
Your brain, once addicted to sugar, unconsciously find ways to supply it with a hint of sugar. You may consciously or unconsciously choose diets that would provide you with the highest amounts of sugar.
Some of this may include you choosing to eat at a fast food rather than cooking a healthy meal, choosing soft drinks over water, rewarding yourself with sweets for the littlest of reasons, or simply eating a teaspoon of sugar because you believe it won’t harm you.
How To Beat Sugar Addiction
Now that you have determined whether or not you are addicted to sugar, you must now address the problem by following these following instructions. Make sure to be religious in doing so to obtain the best results.
1. Substitute Fruits For Sweets
Whenever you feel like you want to eat sweet foods or candies, substitute them with healthy fruits. To do this, always have a ready supply of fruits, and get rid of your stash of junk foods. Eating fruits will not only reduce the amount of sugar that you intake, it also provides you with healthier and more nutrients and vitamins.
However, keep in mind that not all fruits contain the same amount of sugar. Some fruits still contain high amounts of sugar such as lychees, figs, mangoes, cherries, and grapes. While fruits such as avocados, and some berries contain considerably lower amounts of sugar. (3)
2. Always Check the Nutrition Facts Attached to Processed Food Products
Most countries regulate food manufacturers by requiring them to disclose in the packaging of their products that amount of nutrients, calories, and carbohydrates that their products contain. This can be an easy way for you to accurately control your diet.
With the help of the nutritional value label, you can easily compute how much sugar you have eaten or drank in a day. Make sure to follow the daily recommended value of sugar.
The American Heart Association recommends that adult men consume about 37.5 grams of sugar a day, while 25 grams for women. However, these are just rough estimates, thus it would be wiser to consult a health professional before making your own diet. (4)
3. Add More Green Leafy Vegetables to Your Meals
Vegetables are rich in nutrients and vitamins. They can provide you with the necessary nutrients to satisfy your body’s cravings. For example, vegetables such as spinach are rich in magnesium. A study has shown that eating enough magnesium every day can fight a person’s craving for chocolate. Thus, more spinach means fewer chocolate cravings.
An abundance of fiber, and having to chew more makes vegetables good buffer foods. This means vegetables have the ability to make you feel fuller faster. Hence, when you eat vegetables, there is smaller chance that you’ll be looking for dessert afterward.
Always Remember to Consult a Health Professional
Treating any kind of addiction is not a simple do-it-yourself project. It is important that you consult health professionals every time you decide to alter anything in your diet. There are a lot of diseases that require you to consume a specific amount of sugar.
For example, Hypoglycemia is a disease that causes our body to have low levels of sugar. If you are afflicted with this disease, it would be wiser to avoid completely removing sugar from your diet.
Sugar Addiction is truly a damaging disease, not just for individuals, but for the society as a whole. Realizing it sooner than later can help us improve our health, and reduce the lives that are destroyed by sugar addiction.