Reward Taste And Satiety Is Likely Driver Of Sugar Consumption
Instead of sweet foods being addictive, some scientists believe their reward value and satiating potency may be why people keep coming back to them. That means the reason for overconsumption is because they taste so good, but don’t provide satisfying nutrients like protein and fiber that fills you up.
There are some brain imaging studies showing similarities in terms of the areas of the brain that are activated when individuals view certain foods, such as sugary, high carb, high fat foods, similar to those activated in individuals with substance abuse. There’s definitely something here in terms of reward, and executive control, that we see in these brain imaging studies, but it’s not necessarily evidence for us to call it an “addiction”.
The addictive nature of sugar continues to be a hot topic that is often up for debate in the medical and research communities. There is evidence to support both sides, but more research is needed to make a conclusive statement.
E Gateway Effect: Increased Alcohol Intake During Sugar Abstinence
Numerous studies have found that sensitization to one drug can lead not only to hyperactivity, but also to subsequent increased intake of another drug or substance . We refer to this phenomenon as consummatory cross-sensitization. In the clinical literature, when one drug leads to taking another, this is known as a gateway effect. It is particularly noteworthy when a legal drug acts as a gateway to an illegal drug .
Rats maintained on intermittent sugar access and then forced to abstain, subsequently show enhanced intake of 9% alcohol . This suggests that intermittent access to sugar can be a gateway to alcohol use. Others have shown that animals that prefer sweet-taste will self-administer cocaine at a higher rate . As with the locomotor cross-sensitization described above, underlying this behavior are presumably neurochemical alterations in the brain, such as adaptations in DA and perhaps opioid functions.
Can Artificial Sweeteners Help
Some studies suggest artificial sweeteners may leave you craving more sugar. That could make it harder to control your weight. The problem is, some experts say, that artificial sweeteners don’t help you break your taste for sweets. Pay attention to your body. Are sweeteners making you crave even more sugar? If so, look elsewhere for that sweet taste.
Also Check: What Are The Addictive Chemicals In Cigarettes
What Deficiency Causes Sugar Cravings
Magnesium is used in the regulation of glucose, insulin, and the neurotransmitter dopamine a deficiency can manifest in the form of intense sugar cravings, especially for chocolate. Zinc is needed for proper insulin and glucose utilization a deficiency can also lead to sugar cravings. Supplement with L-glutamine.
Do You Feel Guilty About Consuming Sugar
Sugar seems to be a preferred substance for many people when it comes to food. It releases happiness hormones, which make the consumer feel good. It goes without saying that when you feel good, you want more of the same good feeling, which is where sugar addiction comes in. Moreover, if you have feelings of guilt about eating sugar, then it is a sign of being a sugar addict that you must recognize and begin dealing with. Sugar is bad for you it is addictive and causes a host of diseases, such as diabetes and a number of heart diseases. You should cut down on your sugar consumption, and if you can’t do that, it is time to get help.
Read Also: Treatment Plan For Drug And Alcohol Addiction
Add Some Protein To A Carb
“A study that looked at MRI scans of people eating a high-protein breakfast found reduced activity in the regions of the brain associated with cravings,” Cassetty says. Try adding some protein to your breakfast and see if it helps you cut down on sugar later in the day. “You can serve your hot or cold cereal with some Greek yogurt, or have it with a couple of eggs on the side to boost your protein intake. If you’re eating a bagel or toast, include some smoked salmon to get the benefits of protein.”
Extraordinary Awakenings And The Disappearance Of Addiction
The deconditioning process is the same regardless of the food category. The idea is to slowly and methodically reduce the amount of sugar or sweetener in the foods that you eat. As you reduce, you will notice your palette changing to prefer less sweet. If you worry that you will end up doomed to a bland diet, dont. Remember, you are doing this slowly, which means that you will gradually come to prefer less sugar. Tony may have helped create your sweet tooth, but you can be the one to undo it.
Don’t Miss: Why Do People Get Addictions
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.
Sugar & Insulin Resistance
Your brain and body need glucose to survive. When your body perceives that blood sugar is getting too low, it sends you a signal that it needs fuel. You get hungry, or maybe you crave sugar because your body knows its a calorie dense and efficient way to give you a fast boost. When you eat sugar, white flour , alcohol, sodas, candy, cookies, pastries, etc, your body uses a hormone called insulin to transport the glucose to your cells for usage. When you eat too much sugar, your pancreas releases a whole lotta insulin to usher all that glucose into your cells, and blood glucose levels drop again , and your blood sugar levels drop too low, so you crave sugar again to bring the levels back up.
The problem with this cycle is that eventually, your cells stop responding properly to insulin. They already have enough glucose, so they lock the door and dont allow insulin to escort glucose into the cell. Your pancreas is overworked as it continues to churn out insulin in response to all that sugar youre eating, but now you have become insulin resistant because your cells dont want all that excess sugar. This causes your blood sugar levels to rise, setting you up for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Read Also: How To Help Someone Addicted To Heroin
Why Is Sugar Addicting
Sugar addiction can turn into a vicious cycle. At first, the sugar you eat tastes good, bringing on a “high” when your brain initiates the dopamine release. Then, the sugar causes your insulin levels to increase, leading to a drop in blood sugar levels. As your blood sugar falls, your appetite and hunger levels increase. Your body then craves sugar again to fix any hunger deficiencies or feelings of unease, even if the fix is only temporary.
What’s wrong with sugar, you ask? Everything. Outside of making things taste better, sugar has no nutritional value and is full of empty calories. These calories can create weight problems and, in turn, heighten your risk of heart disease and stroke.
That’s only the physical downside. The psychological component is real, too. Sugar releases dopamine and can increase serotonin production, a hormone that can boost your mood.
In reality, sugar isn’t any different than comfort food or a satisfying fast food meal loaded with simple carbohydrates. These carbohydrates are high on the glycemic index, meaning it takes less time to turn them into glucose. During this quicker digestion process, you may feel good in the short term, but hunger will quickly set in since sugary foods lack nutrients and leave you unsatisfied.
What Causes Sugar Cravings
Sugar cravings can come at any time and for a number of reasons, which can be both physical and psychological. A sugar craving may be the body’s natural response to hunger however, there are many other reasons you may want to reach for something sweet. Be aware that some sugar cravings may be indicative of an underlying medical issue.
Also Check: How To Quit Alcohol Addiction
Sugar Addiction Can Show Itself In A Subtle Way And Easily Vary For Each Individual
This is why you need to pay close attention and learn the most significant symptoms of sugar, refined flour and processed food addiction, giving you a better understanding of your energy levels and health.
So, lets talk about the most significant signs of sugar addiction and the steps to take to help curb it.
If Youve Got It Really Bad Here Is Supplemental Support
- 500 mg 1000mg of glutamine really helps some people. Break open the capsules and empty under your tongue, then swallow with water. This does not work for everyone.
- certain minerals like chromium help arrest sugar cravingsyou can often find them in blood sugar balance blends with other herbs or nutrients to help stop sugar cravings. Examples are gymnema, alpha lipoic acid, and even cinnamon. Body Ecology Ancient Minerals is awesome.
- Try this crave arrest to help balance brain chemicals that can cause cravings.
- Have a cup of green tea. It may sound preposterous, but we sometimes mistake hunger or craving cues for thirst, and the minerals in green tea give you a boost. Minerals in general also help stop sugar cravings. Drink lots of green juicesvery high in minerals!
- Have a protein snack using suggestions above. As I mentioned, when blood sugar is low, you actually need protein, not sugar.
Stick to dark chocolate it has health benefitsor truffles over hard candy, and bring treats that dont contain refined sugars to parties. Its ok to treat yourself every once in a while, and I often recommend sugar busting snacks in the afternoon, like coconut butter or coconut oil melted with almond butter and a bit of honey that can satisfy a craving. Remember that indulging in too much sugar every day will only make sugar cravings worse, so save the treats for parties and special occasions.
Recommended Reading: Can You Get Addicted To Morphine
Do You Need Sugar To Soothe Yourself
Sugar addiction is an ailment that can swiftly destroy your health and leave your body with multiple diseases. We must keep in mind that a sugar addiction should not be ignored like it has been for too long. You must be thinking about how to find out that you are a sugar addict. Let us tell you that there are certain signs and symptoms that can help you know if you have sugar addiction. One of them is if sugar soothes your body or you crave it when you go through an emotional or physical pain. You must see a doctor without second thoughts if you experience anything like that.
Are Artificial Sweeteners Better
Artificial sweeteners, which are sugar-free and typically lower in calories than sugar, might seem like healthier options, but that idea is controversial. A 2012 scientific statement from the AHA concluded that using artificial sweeteners such as aspartame , saccharin , and sucralose can reduce the number of calories in your diet, thereby helping you lose weight.
However, there’s also evidence that eating these sweeteners, which are generally hundredsor even thousandsof times sweeter than sugar, can make you crave sweets even more. You undermine the benefit of using artificial sweeteners, for example, if you use a glass of diet soda to justify having a bowl of ice cream.
However, if artificial sweeteners can help you cut back on calories in a meaningful way, then they can be helpful in controlling weight and blood sugar. “For people who are trying to make small changes to their diet, artificial sweeteners are sometimes a good stepping stone, but they’re not a permanent fix,” Dr. Hauser says.
You may wonder which artificial sweetener is best. All of the sweeteners on the market are considered safe. There were reports during the 1970s linking saccharin to bladder cancer in rats that were fed extremely high doses of the sweetener. However, later studies didn’t find any evidence of the same effect in humans. Aspartame was also linked to cancer at one time, but that association has also been disproved.
You May Like: What Makes Cat Treats So Addictive
How I Broke My Addiction To Sweets
For most of my adult life, I thought I was one of those people who was legitimately addicted to sweets. I dreamt of towers of cupcakes with frosting that floweth over. A stack of chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast sounded like my version of heaven. Just one cookie was a foreign concept. Simply the thought of foods like that had this magical, almost euphoric feeling attached to them.
But the truth is, thats not because I was addicted to those foods. Its because I was forbidding myself from eating them.
But for me, I found literally the exact opposite to be true. The more I allowed myself to eat sugar and sweets, the LESS I found myself feeling addicted to them.
Before I go on, please note that I am NOT a health/medical/mental expert, and this is just my own experience/opinions. Please seek a professional before making any changes to your health routine.
So, how exactly did I do it? Well for starters, I was heavily inspired by what I learned from the book Intuitive Eating ).
There were some weeks I had a cupcake after lunch every single day. Dessert after dinner when dining out was an obvious yes. I made sure to always have some sort of sugary, gluten-filled treat in my apartment that I allowed myself to have whenever I wanted to.
Id love to learn more of your thoughts on this. If you havent yet, be sure to join my where were building an amazing community of likeminded gals discussing all sorts of topics!
You might also like:
Am I Addicted To Sugar 8 Tips To Break The Sugar Habit
I love my chocolate as much as the next girl, but theres a dangerous side to sweet treats that you may not be aware of.
Most Americans know that sugar is bad for their health. You got the message that it can cause brain fog, weight gain, diabetes, and even heart disease. While you know the risks, the temptations are real, and you may not be able to stop yourself. Thats because your body could quite literally be addicted to sugar.
If youve ever thought to yourself, I would love to take sugar out of my diet, but its so dang hard! Am I addicted to sugar? Dont worry. Its not about willpower, it is biochemical. Your body is programmed to like sugar. It doesnt help that the food industry hides sugar in just about everything.
In this article, Im going to share all about sugar addiction, what sugar does to your body, why you should consider cutting out sugar, and how to break sugar addiction. If you want to break free from your sugar addiction, keep reading!
Read Also: How To Break Weed Addiction
Dangers Of Added Sugar
The sucrose composition in diet, beverages, and other consumables can either be natural or added. Naturally occurring sugars may be found in food in their natural state, such as glucose and fructose in fruits and lactose in milk.
Added Sugars are Those that are Used During Food Processing to Improve the Taste of the Food, such as:
The prevalence of high-level intake is widespread. A survey showed that at least 95% of cereals, sugar-beverages, corn syrup, cane sugar, granola bars contained high-calorie sweeteners.
The world health organization proposed reducing its daily use by a little lower than 5% of calorie intake, which is approximately 6 teaspoons. The WHO also warned that sugar abuse had dire consequences such as the risk of heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, weight gain, and obesity.
Quiz: Are You Addicted To Sugar
Is your relationship with sugar pretty much fine, totally out of whack, or somewhere in between ? Our throwback-style quizdevised with the help of registered dietician Ilyse Schapirowill help you figure out the answer.
1. How often do you eat or drink sugary foods or beverages ?A) Once or twice a month, at most. Im not big on sweets.B) Ill have dessert a couple of times per week, but I rarely drink regular or diet soda.C) Pretty much every day.
2. Whats your typical breakfast like?A) Scrambled eggs with vegetables, avocado toast, or even last nights leftovers.B) Greek yogurt, oatmeal with fruit, or a smoothie.C) Sugary cereal, a muffin, or a breakfast cookie.
3. How much sugar or sweetener do you usually add to your coffee?A) None.B) A teaspoon or one packet.C) Two teaspoons or two packets. At least.
4. How often do you go out of your way to get something sugarylike stopping at the store just to buy candy?A) Almost never.B) Every once in a while, if I get a crazy craving for something.C) Oftenlike, at least once a week.
5. Do you ever eat sugary foods secretively?A) No. If Im having dessert, its part of a meal or an event with others.B) A couple of times a year I definitely feel like polishing off a pint of ice cream on the couch by myself.C) I usually wait to eat dessert until Im alone, so I can really chow down without anyone judging me.
OK! Now its time to add up your score. If you got
Recommended Reading: What Are The Two Types Of Addiction
You May Like: Medication Prescribed For Alcohol Addiction