Did you know that sugar can more addictive than cocaine?
Eating sugar releases dopamine into our bodies. This is what links sugar to addictive behavior. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is a key part of the “reward circuit” associated with addictive behavior.
That being said – you aren’t crazy when you feel like you are addicted to sugar and crave it. It is a very real thing.
Sugar sneaks into lots of what we eat & drink everyday if we aren’t careful. Soda consumption has increased dramatically causing the major soft drink companies to make billions of dollars from sales. It is estimated that approximately 33% of added sugar is from soft drink consumption alone.
There are lots of fancy, eye catching ads promoting these brands but what the ads don’t say is that soft drinks have been shown to increase the risk of obesity which then increases the risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and the list goes on. Eating too much sugar can also cause us to not think clearly- that brain fog we have all experienced, tooth decay, pre-mature aging, insomnia, and so on… Today, the average American consumes 30 teaspoons of sugar a day! This is more than twice the daily recommendation from the World Health Organization.
(you can find a study at on this topic at http://geti.in/17ErkaX )
Here are some tips to deal with Sugar Addiction:
- Reduce caffeine – caffeine can cause dehydration, blood sugar swings and sugar cravings
- Drink water – sometimes craving something sweet can be a sign of dehydration
- Eat naturally sweet veggies/fruits – would include sweet potatoes, squash, berries
- Avoid chemical or artificial sweeteners – use more natural sweeteners like maple syrup, dried fruit & honey
- Get more active – simple things like gentle yoga or walking even for 10 minutes a day helps to balance blood sugar levels
- Get better and more sleep – Sugar is the easiest available energy source for a tired body. If you are stressed and/or exhausted, your body will crave a quick form of energy – sugar
- Eliminate fat-free or low-fat packaged foods – these usually contain high amounts of sugar. Start adding healthy good fat into your daily diet. This can include olives, avocados and nuts.
These are some ways you can begin to deal with a sugar addiction. Reach out to schedule a free consultation with me if you are interested in going deeper and receiving some direct help in this area.