Wednesday, July 17, 2024

How To Not Be Addicted To Sugar

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What About Artificial Sweeteners

Sugar Addiction Explained: Why Am I Addicted to Sugar?

During the low-fat decades, artificial sweeteners like sucralose and aspartame were kings. People felt like they could have their cake and eat it too, since these sweeteners dont have very many calories. However, their safety is questionable, despite the fact that they are approved by governments.

Artificial sweeteners are associated with a host of risks, including tumours, digestive issues , diabetes, obesity, neurological symptoms, and many many more. You can read an extensive list of scientific abstracts about artificial sweeteners, and read more about my thoughts on them here.

Other common brand names for artificial sweeteners are:

  • Nutrasweet
  • Corn sweetener

Kick The Habit In Baby Steps

If you make small, simple changes to your diet, it’s easy to keep them up. Start by eating more fruits and vegetables. Drink extra water. Check food labels, and pick those that don’t have a lot of sugar. Cut out a little bit of sugar each week. After a few weeks, you’ll be surprised at how little you miss it.

How I Know You Are Not Addicted To Sugar

I am fully aware that this is a bold statement. For some it could feel triggering and for others it could give you a glimmer of hope. I knew though that I had to share this with you specifically during this holiday season. Why? Because you are going to be hit hard with diet culture telling you that you are addicted to sugar. Diet culture, which remember is a 70 billion dollar a year industry, wants and needs you to believe that you are addicted to sugar so they can sell you the next sugar detox, the whole 30 diet, the barely eat enough calories to keep a small child alive meal plan,or the try to swallow this down weight loss program. Diet culture banks on you believing that enjoying those delicious holiday cookies you baked with your family has wrecked you.

First let me say, I know what you are thinking and feeling. I know what you are believing about yourself because I believed it all too.

There was a Princeton study done with rats and they concluded that the controlled group became addicted to sugar, but when you look closer at the study the rats that were consuming sugar at a large rate were limited in their eating all together. The other group had no limits on their food or sugar intake and saw no loss of control with their sugar intake. This study has never been replicated on humans, but what I can tell you is that we do know that deprivation or any food restriction leads to your body compensating later. Youre not addicted, youre just hungry!

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Sugar Addiction And Mental Health Issues

Sugar addiction is linked to anxiety and depression. Excessive intake of sugar has been shown to potentially contribute to depression, whether it is a pre-existing condition or one that is actually created by the excessive sugar itself. Part of the reason for this is because foods that are rich in sugars and carbohydrates actually interfere with the neurotransmitters that help stabilize an individuals mood.

A Study Published In The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition Suggests That High Sugar High Glycemic Foods Are Just As Addictive As Table Sugar

Sugar Addiction, The perpetual cycle

David Ludwig and his colleagues at Harvard, did a study that showed that foods that raise blood sugar even more than table sugar such as white flour, white potatoes and refined starch, have a high glycemic index, and trigger a region in the brain nucleus accumbens which is the area in the brain that is ground zero for a drug abuse addiction.

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Be Patient With Yourself

Remember that breaking a sugar addiction takes time, so it’s important to be kind to yourself throughout the process. “Dealing with any kind of addiction takes time and effort,” Rebecca Lewis, registered dietitian at HelloFresh, told me. “Take it one day at a time and if you ‘fall off the horse’ don’t let your addiction spiral out of control, instead take a deep breath, remember this is a journey, and get back to recovery.”

We all slip up in the sweetness department, so just brush yourself off and try again.

Get Your Gut Health Checked

When it comes to our sugar cravings, we get to be the detectives. Once we figure out what our triggers are, we can set ourselves up for success. Some people crave sugar because they have a bacterial imbalance in their guts, so changing their overall diets could be helpful.

A bacterial imbalance could be the result of many issues, but a common one is chronic antibiotic use. Antibiotics kill bad bacteria, but they also kill our good bacteria, making it easier for yeast to start growing in our guts. “In order to live, yeast organisms feed on sugar, which somehow can throw off your balance enough that you will crave even more sugar and carbs,” Functional Medicine Physician Wendie Trubow wrote in the Huffington Post. “The more sugar you ingest, the more the yeast grows and the more sugar you then crave, creating an endless cycle.”

So how can you tell if you have an imbalance going on? Trubow recommended starting with an easy test at home. Next time you’re hungry and grab a snack, pay close attention to your cravings. “Eat something with real nutritional value that is minimally processed and still resembles the food it started as,” Trubow wrote. “If, after eating, you’re still craving carbs or sugar, it’s possible that there is another issue at play.”

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How An Emotional Bond With Sugar Develops

Seeking out sugar is an attempt to feel safe in the presence of discomfort or overwhelming emotional pain. The safety is found in the sugar itself the chocolate, brownies, or ice cream. Eating the sugar brings relief from pain and arouses feelings of warmth and connection, which is why you return it again and again.

There is often trauma, isolation, or some form of loss underneath this pull for sugar – either in the past, or in the present. I talk to many people who speak of painful times in their lives – a death of a parent, child or spouse, divorce, bankruptcy, financial loss, and more – as a time when their “love” for sugar began or developed.

In the face of loss and pain, the sugar becomes a “home,” a secure base.

Over time, you may become bonded to the sugar what you turn to repeatedly in order to feel safe, soothed, and secure. In psychological terms, the sugar is a secure attachment an emotional bond.

There is hope – the emotional bond with sugar can be healed.

You heal this emotional bond with sugar through connection, compassion, and imagination. The bond with sugar needs to be grieved so that it can be let go. And you replace the bond with sugar with other, deeper bonds, with true refuge loving relationship with yourself, with Life, and with others.

Dangers Of Added Sugar

Here’s How to Break Your Sugar Addiction in 10 Days

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:

  • corn syrup
  • ice cream
  • etc.

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.

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B Intermittent Sugar Intake Alters Enkephalin Mrna Expression

Enkephalin mRNA in the striatum and the NAc is decreased in response to repeated injections of morphine . These changes within opioid systems are similar to those observed in cocaine-dependent human subjects .

Rats with intermittent sugar access also display a significant decrease in enkephalin mRNA, although it is difficult to judge its functional significance . This decrease in enkephalin mRNA is consistent with findings observed in rats with limited daily access to a sweet-fat, liquid diet . Assuming this decrease in mRNA results in less enkephalin peptide being synthesized and released, it could account for a compensatory increase in mu-opioid receptors, as cited above.

Q Can You Explain More About Your Mindful Approach To Eating

Sarah: Yes, this is really important. A lot of people simply eat out of habit or addiction. Wouldnt it be better to feel you have a choice of what you eat, and that the food you choose does you good? For me, being mindful means being aware of what we eat, where we buy it from, and how we actually eat it. One thing I do differently now is make a conscious effort to chew food properly, and my digestion is so much better. So although my topline message is quitting sugar, the underlying message is about how to lose that negative attitude, where you keep eating out of addiction, and then feel guilty. I see a lot of women who feel guilty after eating a chocolate mousse for dessert, and beat themselves up after eating it. I simply dont feel like that any more. Ill happily eat lots of cheese after a meal and enjoy every mouthful!

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Eat A Healthy Breakfast

Each day that you’re cutting back on sugar, it’s important to set yourself up for success. Plan your meals ahead of time and make sure to focus on a healthy breakfast with plenty of protein.

“Many of my female clients who are attempting to cut out sugar don’t eat enough, which can lead to cravings,” Laura Schoenfeld, a holistic nutritionist, told Prevention. “Simply loading up on enough healthy whole foods at all three meals, breakfast in particular, can greatly reduce these. Eating plenty of protein at each meal, especially breakfast, is also crucial, as it helps keep blood sugar stable and is the most satiating macronutrient.”

Some good sources of protein for breakfast include eggs, egg whites, vegan protein powder, and turkey bacon.

You Always Crave Sweets

Sugar is an addictive poison

After a sugar binge, your blood sugar will fall because insulin pushes that sugar into the cells to prevent sugar damage, explains Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, a health, diet and nutrition expert and author of Hormone Balance, The Magnesium Miracle and The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to Womens Health. That fall causes low blood sugar and more cravings.

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Hunger Hits You Like A Brick Wall

If your hunger comes on suddenly, urging you to eat immediately or else, you could be suffering from hypoglycemia, or bouts of low blood sugar. Riding the blood sugar roller coaster makes us crave sugary foods when our blood glucose drops, and hypoglycemia becomes a health hazard when blood sugar levels plummet too low.

The solution: Eat a protein and fat at every meal and snack, especially if youre eating carbohydrates. Dont ever eat carbs in isolation .

Youre A Coffee Hound And Crave Sugary Alcoholic Drinks

The sweeteners and mixers used in coffee and alcoholic drinks can contribute substantially to sugar intake. Many people who quit drinking alcohol or coffee find themselves craving other sources of sugar to replace whats been lost from these drinks.

The solution: Add fat to your coffee and skip on the honey and other coffee sweeteners. Be sure to drink alcohol in moderation, and skip on the dark-colored liquors, mixers, and beer, which are all loaded with sugars.

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Am I Addicted To Sugar

A sweet tooth is harmless that is until it starts reaching levels in which you need sugar to function daily. The over-consumption of sugar can lead to dental, health, and overall wellness problems. Those who have a strong craving for sugar may be asking themselves the question, am I addicted to sugar? Listed below are signs that you may have a sugar addiction.

Do Rats Develop Tolerance For Sugar

Can You be Addicted to Sugar?

Proponents of the food addiction theory like to point to animal studies, specifically, the rat studies. In these early studies rats were fasted for a period of time, then given access to highly palatable foods. Specifically, sugar water solution, icing, bacon grease, or a sugar-fat mixture .

Over the course of the 28 day study period, the rats ate progressively more and more sugar and fat. These studies seemed to prove that the rats were developing a tolerance for sugar.

However it is important to note that the rats were deprived of food for a period of time, which could alter the results of the study. According to Corwin and Grigson, two published researchers who performed similar studies:

Two of the report, as well as our own work, suggest that even highly palatable food is not addictive in and of itself. Rather, it is the manner in which the food is presented and consumed that appears to entrain the addiction-like process.

It seems that these studies may not have proven that sugar is addictive, but they may have proven something else: that restriction and gorging similar to dieting behaviors in humans leads to increased sugar intake over time.

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Behavioral Similarities Between Drug Self

The concept of sugar addiction has been bandied about for many years. Clinical accounts of sugar addiction have been the topic of many best-selling books and the focus for popular diet programs . In these accounts, people describe symptoms of withdrawal when they deprive themselves of sugar-rich foods. They also describe food craving, particularly for carbohydrates, chocolate, and sugar, which can trigger relapse and impulsive eating. This leads to a vicious cycle of self-medication with sweet foods that may result in obesity or an eating disorder.

Although food addiction has been popular in the media and proposed to be based on brain neurochemistry , this phenomenon has only recently been systematically studied in the laboratory.

How To Stop Sugar Cravings

The sweet taste of sugar from ice cream, candy, cola, and even breakfast cereals seems to dance on the tongue, oftentimes leaving one craving more.

Studies have found that sugar is addictive, and people who are addicted to sugar even experience withdrawal symptoms such as depression and mood swings when they try to cut it out of their diets completely.

This can be problematic for people with diabetes, who by definition cannot properly metabolize sugar and must manage their cravings for optimum blood sugar control.

This article will outline the ways to stop your sugar cravings and kick the habit for good!

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Sugar Addiction And Anxiety

Anxiety and sugar craving have a direct relationship. Eating disorders like binge eating or anorexia occur for underlying reasons. Often times, the person suffering from such disorders is struggling for psychological and emotional reasons. Stress eating is common example of the relationship between eating disorders and anxiety, and sugar consumption is commonly associated with stress eating.

Anxiety causes the stress hormone cortisol to be released in the body, which can suppress appetite in some. On the other hand, the stress may encourage people who already like sugar into more cravings. When sugar addiction co-occurs with eating to soothe anxiety, the end result is typically weight gain. Despite sugar initially boosting serotonin levels in the brain, sugar can worsen anxiety as sugar lows create feelings of fatigue and depression.

Anxiety And Addiction To Sugar

5 Signs that You Are Addicted to Sugar

This is no different for sugar and anxiety. However, this link is becoming more widely known for quite some time. A major cause for an increase in anxiety and panic disorders is weight gain, and part of what is driving this weight gain is excessive sugar intake. Beyond this, eating too much sugar will result in an individual becoming overstimulated, which can result in heightened anxiety.

For those individuals with a history of anxiety disorders, too much sugar can result in more panic or anxiety attacks. It also results in a vicious cycle of depression and anxiety, fluctuating with the amount of sugar that they eat.

Many physicians and psychiatrists suggest that you limit or avoid foods that are high in sugar if you want to get your depression and anxiety under control . Yet limiting your sugar intake can be difficult. It takes research and help in order to figure out just how much sugar you are currently eating and how you can best wean yourself off of this pervasive and tasty substance.

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C Daily Intermittent Sugar Intake Repeatedly Releases Dopamine In The Accumbens

One of the strongest neurochemical commonalities between intermittent sugar access and drugs of abuse has been found using in vivo microdialysis to measure extracellular DA. The repeated increase in extracellular DA is a hallmark of drugs that are abused. Extracellular DA increases in the NAc in response to both addictive drugs and drug-associated stimuli . Unlike drugs of abuse, which exert their effects on DA release each time they are administered , the effect of eating palatable food on DA release wanes with repeated access when the food is no longer novel, unless the animal is food deprived . Thus normally feeding is very different than taking drugs because the DA response during feeding is phased out.

However, and this is very important, rats fed daily intermittent sugar and chow apparently release DA every day as measured on days 1, 2 and 21 of access . As controls, rats fed sugar or chow ad libitum, rats with intermittent access to just chow, or rats that taste sugar only two times, develop a blunted DA response as is typical of a food that looses it novelty. These results are supported by findings of alterations in accumbens DA turnover and DA transporter in rats maintained on an intermittent sugar-feeding schedule . Together, these results suggest that intermittent access to sugar and chow causes recurrent increases in extracellular DA in a manner that is more like a drug of abuse than a food.

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