If you feel as though you are addicted to sugar, you are definitely not alone. In recent years, the idea that sugar may be addictive has been gaining attention. Numerous scientific studies have pointed to the fact that sugar is extremely detrimental to human health and may, in fact, be addictive. Let’s take a closer look at why sugar can be addictive and what you can do to combat this addiction.
Your brain needs glucose in order for you to stay alert and function properly; that is where sugar addiction comes into play. Glucose is brain fuel. From birth, the human brain loves and craves sweet tasting food options. Infants, for example, will gravitate towards sweeter food offerings, which underscore the difficulty of kicking a sugar addiction. Humans are literally wired to crave sugar. Unfortunately, this is only part one of the bad news.
Sugar is Constantly Hiding from You
The second part of the bad news where sugar addiction is concerned is that sugar is now literally hiding almost everywhere. Fast food and processed food is packed with sugar. Even foods that most people would never suspect have sugar, such as bread or salsa, for example, can be packed with added sugar. Food manufacturers understand very well the human brain’s desire for sugar and lots of it. They respond accordingly with their products.
Sugar’s Secret Names
Adding to the complexity of trying to avoid sugar is the fact that sugar is often labeled as many different ingredients. Sugar now goes by many different names ranging from high-fructose corn syrup to corn solids and more. Once the public became aware that high-fructose corn syrup was very unhealthy, the food industry simply changed the name to corn solids.
Sugar is everywhere and it has zero nutritional value. This fact is more serious than it might at first sound. When your body needs nutrition in the form of healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins and minerals, you get hungry. That means that consuming sugar can lead to overeating as your body craves the nutrition it needs.
If your diet consists of sugar-packed fast food and processed foods, then you may find yourself on a vicious cycle where you are consuming more and more sugar and more and more calories. In turn, this situation leads to obesity and all the harmful and diverse health consequences that stem from obesity.
Beating Sugar addiction
Beating sugar addiction begins with finding the sugar in your diet. Step one is to read the labels of the food in your home and the food you are considering buying. Knowing where the sugar is hiding is critical if you are going to win this battle against sugar addiction.
Step two is to find replacement foods that are either lower in sugar or have no sugar at all. Step three is to eat more whole foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, lean protein choices and omega-3 rich foods.
Step four in winning the battle against sugar addiction is to say no to sugar substitutes such these substitutes may have serious side effects. Step five is to realize that change will take time and that your efforts are an investment in your long-term health.
Sugar addiction can be beaten. If you are persistent and dedicated to making the necessary dietary changes you can win.