Love Sugar? How to Break A Sugar Addiction
Are You Addicted To Sugar?
If you hide your sugar-eating habits, crave sugar or binge on sugary sweets, you probably have a sugar addiction. If you are diabetic or pre diabetic, or overweight then you are probably eating too much sugar.
Like cocaine and other illicit drugs, sugar affects our brain and make us feel good. Sugar does something to our brain that no amount fat nor protien can.
Virtually no one binges on apples and oranges, hides a hummus-eating habit or sneaks to the kitchen to get their fix of green beans, yet all of these are common behaviors for anyone feeding a sugar addiction.
In fact, sugar obsession is laughed and joked about even though the body may literally be starved of proper nutrients with excessive sugar consumption cited as a contributor to a barrage of health issues including hypertension, heart disease, liver disease, dementia, type 2 diabetes and obesity. In addition, sugar is thought to feed cancer and accelerate the aging process. Too much sugar may also cause depression, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue and mood swings while amplifying pain and inflammation.
Why Do We Love Sugar?
Sugar enhances the flavor of anything. The sweeter the better.It’s the nation’s love of sugar. The once expensive luxury item now sweetens food by the spoonful whether in homemade or processed and packaged foods. However, to the nation’s benefit, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now requires “Nutrition Facts” labels to include a line for “Total Sugars” with the American Heart Association (AHA) setting helpful guidelines regarding daily sugar intake (six teaspoons or 25 grams for women and nine teaspoons or 38 grams for men).
So, how much sugar is hiding in the snacks and beverages you consume? While you probably expect a can of cola to contain nine teaspoons of sugar, it might be surprising to learn a canned energy drink contains anywhere from five to 13 teaspoons, depending on serving size. One blueberry muffin contains up to nine teaspoons of sugar and a slice of birthday cake with frosting contains a whopping 14 teaspoons.
It’s easy to see how a typical daily diet could far exceed healthy sugar levels. All of the food and beverage items mentioned above share a high sugar content that sits right at or grossly above the threshold set for recommended daily sugar intake, and that’s for beverage and snack items alone.
How To Start Tracking Sugar Intake
It’s time to strike back and wean your taste buds off sugar. Begin by increasing your awareness of the sugar content in foods you regularly choose. Read product labels and nutrition facts with an overall goal to reduce the amount of sugar you allow in your daily diet.
Fight sugar cravings by eating nutritious, healthy foods that fuel your body with quality nutrients instead of empty sugar calories. While white sugar contains zero nutrients, fresh fruits and vegetables are a beneficial source of natural sugar and fiber and are packed with essential vitamins and minerals.
How to Start You Sugar Detox Journey
Defend yourself against temptation – don’t bring sugary sweets home and stock your kitchen with healthy alternatives. Rather than reaching for a cookie or candy bar, snack on plain yogurt topped with fresh fruit. Add a dash of flavor to your food with cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract. Mix up a healthy snack of quick oats, a dollop of peanut butter, unsweetened cocoa and a drizzle of honey or sip on a soothing cup of licorice or mint tea.
Be mindful of what you allow in your daily diet even when you’re on the go. Carry healthy snacks and meals with you. Veggie wraps, salads, fruit kebabs and sweet potatoes drizzled with coconut oil are all packable, healthy choices.
Kicking your sugar addiction is a reachable goal which requires awareness, extra effort, creativity and determination on your part. Consciously change your food choices as your taste buds conform to non-sugary foods and you leave your cravings for sweet-imbibed, unhealthy foods in the past.