Fill Up On Healthy Fats
Fat tastes good and is satisfying, both mentally and physically. It also helps stabilize blood sugar, Alpert says. Thats key, since dips in blood sugar were shown to activate areas in the brain that produce a greater desire for high-calorie food in study subjects who were shown images of tasty treats, reports the Journal of Clinical Investigation. So making sure every meal contains some healthy fat from foods such as avocados, nuts, olives, fish, or cheese can help you enjoy your food and feel less deprived.
Why Do We Feel Sugar Highs
Scientifically speaking, our body identifies artificial sugar as a simple carbohydrate that quickly converts to glucose in your blood. Carbohydrates cause your brain to release the happy hormone. This process makes you believe you need sugar to feel good, and it becomes a cycle, not to mention that they also taste good.
These are commonly reflected after a meal or at various times throughout the day. Surprisingly, not only chocolates and candies count, but processed bread, cakes, and pastries.
There are many reasons why your dentist is right to recommend avoiding sugars. Here are some reasons:
- Overeating sugar leads to bacteria growth in your mouth. Candies, for example, leave a large amount of sticky residue on your teeth that are too strong for your saliva to wash away
- Sugar can lead to gum disease in the mouth
- Some sugars with added colorants may be staining your teeth, affecting the appearance of them
Ways To Kick Your Sugar Cravings
When times are hard, theres nothing quite like warm chocolate chip cookies or pie à la mode to take the edge off. And times, they are hard. Since COVID-19 arrived, snack and processed food sales have soared, to nobodys surprise.
Indulging in a treat every so often can feel good. But if youve been overdoing it on the sweet stuff for a while, the damage from eating all that processed sugar may sneak up on you, and not just in the form of weight gain.
Sugar is not a friendly molecule, says Baton Rouge family physician Renee C. Daigle, MD. Elevated blood sugar can damage blood vessels. That damage shows up as inflammation, Daigle says, which can affect joints and cartilage and contribute to swelling that makes you feel bad.
Chronic inflammation has been linked to all kinds of conditions, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, Crohns disease, and ulcerative colitis.
Eating a lot of sugar may also cause you to crave it more. Studies on mice have shown that sugar triggers a release in the brain of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine. Whenever we have sugar, says Daigle, pleasure centers in the brain light up.
If youre feeling trapped by your sugar cravings lately, have no fear. Here are some tips to help you resist.
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Fruit And Yogurt Parfaits
Liz Weiss, MS, RDN is the voice behind the blog and podcast, Liz’s Healthy Table and her sweet vote goes to yummy layered yogurt parfaits. “I start with plain Greek yogurt and layer with seasonal fruit and whole grain granola. Labels come in handy when choosing granola and other cereals because you can compare ingredients like fiber , protein and sugar. Satisfying my sweet tooth naturally with fruit does a great job at squashing my cravings.”
Dont Quit It Cold Turkey
The human body relies on many elements of food and drinks to run efficiently sucrose is one of those elements. This is the reason many health professionals do not recommend that a person cuts it completely out of the diet when attempting to detox. Instead, they recommend that one reduces sugars to a more refined amount, possibly just eating a little fruit after a meal, for example.
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Dr Frank Lipman On Sugar
As a serious sugar addict still struggling with my addiction I know first hand how difficult it is to get off sugar, and to stay off it. Part of the reason its so hard to kick the habit is that over time our brains actually become addicted to the natural opioids that are triggered by sugar consumption. Much like the classic drugs of abuse such as cocaine, alcohol and nicotine, a diet loaded with sugar can generate excessive reward signals in the brain which can override ones self-control and lead to addiction.
Reduced Immune System Function
Your immune system is the main line of defense against invading organisms in your body, and it is always working hard to keep you healthy.
However, there is a link between sugar addiction and reduced immune system function.
High sugar consumption can have multiple impacts on your immune system it can prevent you from getting adequate sleep at night as well as increase inflammation .
If you are struggling with sugar addiction and have noticed that you have been ill more frequently, chances are you could be feeling the negative effects of sugar addiction on your immune system.
There Is Hope For You
Change begins with realizing that there is a problem with ones sugar addiction. Modifying ones diet and practicing self-control can help, but going cold turkey isnt ideal. Someone with a sugar addiction, especially if they have another substance abuse disorder or a co-occurring mental health condition, will likely have difficulty in ridding themselves of cravings. If you or someone you know has a sugar addiction, especially if complicating factors are present, please contact a treatment provider today to find out more about your options.
Deborah Montross Nagel
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.
Deborah has a Masters Degree from Lesley University and has been certified as an Addictions Counselor in PA since 1986. She is currently a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor CAADC. She is nationally certified as a MAC Master Addictions Counselor by NAADAC . Her 37 years of experience and education are in addiction, recovery, and codependency. Addiction affects the entire system around the addict. There is no “bad guy” in the system. Fight the addiction, and help the addict. I help loved ones restore sanity to their lives and hence encourage change. Recovery is possible!
Death From All Causes
It may sound quite extreme to hear that sugar can kill you, but technically it is true.
The consumption of sugar has been well documented over the past several decades, and many sources have outlined how it can be detrimental to your health.
And sugar addiction caused by the overconsumption of sugar can lead to premature death.
A recent study outlined the negative effects of sugar on your health: eating too much sugar is clearly harmful.
This study, which looked at subjects over the course of 15 years, found that individuals who consumed 25% or more of their calories each day from sugar were twice as likely to die from heart disease as those who got less than 10% of their calories from sugar.
The takeaway here is that sugar can have a harmful effect on your health, and while it may not directly cause a heart attack, it is linked to heart disease and other conditions.
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How To Break Sugar Addiction
There are many health consequences to sugar addiction and while it may seem like it should be easy to just stop eating sugar, remember that sugar is as addictive as illicit drugs.
With that said, there are some things you can do to break sugar addiction.
Some of the most challenging parts that adults face when trying to break the addiction are when cravings set in. Cravings can be a major challenge in the fight against addiction, but there are ways to fight them.
For starters, consider reading our article on what to eat when craving sugar.
In addition to those foods, read on for some helpful tips to help in your successful journey to breaking a sugar addiction.
Ten Tips To Break A Sugar Addiction
Just to reiterate, addiction is a serious issue that should be treated with care and under the guidance of a licensed healthcare professional. But, these ten tips should help get you started on the right path for addressing your sugar addiction, stopping the cravings, and, ultimately, finding freedom.
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Ask Yourself Why You Want It
If you have sweets in the house and find yourself confronting a craving, do a gut check before you indulge. Stop and think before you go searching for the cookies. Sometimes we open the freezer out of boredom. Take a breath and pause. Ask yourself if youre hungry, bored, stressed, or whether you really want it.
If you really want a particular dessert once in a while, Fumagalli suggests skipping the 100-calorie cookie packs and eating what you really like. If youre going to eat the cake or the cookie, get the real thing and enjoy it, she says. Tell yourself, Im going to eat this and savor the heck out of it because its delicious. And Im not going to feel bad about it.
A Word Of Caution About Sugar Substitutes
You can choose to use sugar substitutes to ease sugar cravings. However, if you have a strong sugar addiction sometimes too many of these sugar substitutes can cause you to crave the real thing.
Everyone is different and learning your personal triggers is vital. I know that for me this is sometimes the case. This is not easy since I share my low carb/ keto recipes on this blog and many are substitutes for high carb treats that I may be missing.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
The key for me has been in seeing even my low-carb desserts as an occasional treat. I also use sugar substitutes that will not cause an insulin spike. Whats more, I will make it a point to either freeze the leftovers or to share them with others.
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The Effect Of A Sugar Addiction On Your Health
People with a sugar addiction typically eat too much sugar, and there are several negative effects of excess sugar on your health. Eating or drinking too much sugar may cause you to gain weight. Sugar is calorie dense, and excess calories lead to weight gain. This can start a vicious cycle, as eating too much sugar leads to craving more, and greater feelings of hunger prompt you to eat more than you need.
Sugar can also cause skin problems or exacerbate existing skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, and dry skin.
Sugar can also cause skin problems or exacerbate existing skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, and dry skin. It can prevent your body from rejuvenating new skin and make your complexion look dull and lifeless. High-sugar diets can also cause acne or cause your acne to worsen. Vascular diseases, such as hypertension and atherosclerosis, are another effect of too much sugar. Theres a correlation between high-sugar diets and a greater incidence of heart problems. Obesity, inflammation, and high blood pressure can sometimes partially come from eating too much sugar, and these conditions, in turn, increase the chances of heart and vascular diseases.
How To Attack Sugar Addiction And Win
Sugarthe public cant get enough of it. No matter how hard we try to stop it, sugar is there staring us in the face. We quit and then return back.
We have you defeated in the battle but lose the war. Why is it so hard for us to escape the clutches of sugar? In order to understand why we have to understand the origins. Where did it come from, who benefits from its widespread use. We have to take a look back in time and understand the history.
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White Powder Addiction : Effects Of Sugar On The Body
Sugar hits the same dopamine centers in our brain that drugs like cocaine do Why Sugar Makes Us Feel So Good.
So we get that same kind of kick and boost that we get from a viral social media post, a pay raise, getting a potential dates phone number, etc. But imagine to get that same chemical rush, all you had to do was eat a cookie. No work involved, no interesting funny viral post, no work for a pay raise, just open your mouth and insert a sugary treat and boom you got your dopamine.
To break the chemical sugar addiction to sugar it takes around 8 months or so according to numerous anecdotes Ive read.
The sugar addiction damage is real to both the body and the mind.
Craving Sugar Your Body Is Probably Lacking This Nutrient
In This Article
Like most people who think about food constantly, I take snacking very seriously. Growing up, Id gravitate toward salty and crunchythe crisp bite of a Lays potato chip or whatever those disturbingly orange, peanut butterfilled biscuits were. Lately, however, Ive noticed my salt tooth taking a decidedly sweeter turn, and its baffled me to no end. Suddenly Im craving chocolate, doughnuts, candy, those green Haribo frog gummies that are inexplicably peach-flavored The list goes on. Surely this must mean something about the inner workings of my body.
This cant be a good thing, right? According to research, sugar is said to be as addictive as some street drugs, with similar effects on the brain. Excess sugar consumption may also lead to cavities, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and a slew of other health problems. Knowing all of this, I was determined to stop eating sugarbut each day, Id get tempted by a new sweet delicacy and thus, fall off the wagon . Why cant I quit something thats so clearly bad for my health, my brain, and my body? All around me, my fellow sugar worshippers bemoan the same question, all while stuffing more chewy morsels of Momofuku birthday cake into their mouths. I was determined to get to the root of the issue, and consulted two top nutritionists to help me find out what my sugar cravings mean, and hopefully, quell them.
Meet the Expert
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You Crave Comfort Foods At Dinner
One of the first signs that you have a sugar addiction is when you crave comfort foods at dinner time.
For some people, the idea of heading home or out to dinner with friends and enjoying a big bowl of pasta, bread, or other simple-carbohydrate-rich foods can be enticing, especially if you have a sugar addiction.
For starters here, carbohydrates are not necessarily to blame for your sugar addiction, but your brain may be craving the glucose that is processed from the carbs you eat.
Similarly, addiction may be apparent when you crave salty and fatty foods as well.
Keeping a close eye on these subtle signs may help you to recognize what form your sugar addiction takes.
What Happens After One Quits Sugar
Within hours after stopping sugar consumption, a bodys hormone levels will change. The insulin levels will start to decrease and allow the body to burn stored fats for energy. After a few days, lipid and triglyceride levels will drop, and taste buds will crave less sucrose to feel satisfied. However, one may suffer from many of the side effects listed above. Since the addiction is more mental than physical, it is not out of place to ask, is sugar a drug? Those who are addicted to sugar may suffer health problems, but it is not a controlled substance and does not alter cognitive abilities hence, it cannot be referred to as a drug.
There are cases where individuals who realize that they have a sweetener problem seek counseling on how to stop eating sugar. The following are simple techniques on how to stop eating sugar.
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The Science: What Is Sugar Made Of
The substance known as sugar breaks down into two categories: Monosaccharides and disaccharides.
Monosaccarides : Simple sugars
- Lactose A milk sugar that loses digestibility post-infancy
- Maltose Grain sugar often found in beers.
- Sucrose Sugar beet and sugar cane.
Monosaccharides provide the body with quickly available energy. It enters the bloodstream immediately after consumption.
Eating a piece of fruit before any physical activity will give you energy without the crash. Disaccharides are more complex. The sugar has to be broken down further before you get that energy burst.
So what we get is simple sugars and more complex sugars. Not all sugar is created equal. I refer you to Heathline for a list of the tricky names sugar disguises itself as: 56 Sugar Names.
Sugar Addiction And Emotional Eating
People may find sugars ability to provide instant energy, combined with the good taste of sugary foods, enticing. Sugar provides some with a quick fix during a long and stressful day. People who are enduring breakups or other emotionally stressful situations often turn to chocolate or pints of ice cream to comfort themselves during the difficult time. However, those who turn to sugar to deal with emotional issues are more likely to become addicted. Other indications of sugar addiction for emotional relief are weight gain and difficulty focusing on daily responsibilities. These side effects can damage self-esteem, cause feelings of helplessness, and lower self-worth this in turn leads to more sugar consumption and a more severe addiction.
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