Healthy Ideas

Are You Addicted to Sugar?

addicted to sugar

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Do you feel powerless when it comes to sugar cravings? Have a constant urge or a sweet treat or bread? Sugar has invaded our foods, even foods we consider healthy. The average american consumes 150 pounds of sugar each year. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition claims that sugar can be as addictive as cocaine.(1)

The obvious sugar is easy to avoid pop, cookies and candy. It’s the hidden sugar that really starts to add up. Did you know peanut butter, barbecue sauce, crackers and canned soups contain sugar? Let’s take a look at some of the effects of sugar consumption.

Sugar consumption immediately lowers the body’s immune system. The production of white blood cells drops by 50%-60% and can last for 24 hours.(2)

According to Dr. Lustig “Over time, consuming large quantities of added sugar can stress and damage critical organs, including the pancreas and liver. When the pancreas, which produces insulin to process sugars, becomes overworked, it can fail to regulate blood sugar properly.”

Your body is made to have about 1-2 teaspoons of sugar in your bloodstream at a time. When we intake more than this it causes the pancreas to pump out insulin to lower the blood sugar level.  Day after day high insulin levels cause the body to become resistant to the insulin, resulting in blood sugar levels that are dangerously high. When the body become resistant it’s entering the diabetic stage.

Sugar has been linked to Alzheimer’s, depression, diabetes, tooth decay, mental illness, arthritis and autoimmune diseases.

In order to lower our sugar intake we need to eliminate processed foods from our diet. Anything that comes in a package or in a can has a high chance of containing sugar.  I must say the first few days of not having sugar are very hard.  The withdrawal really sets in and you come to realize how dependent your body has become to the sugar.  There have been multiple studies to show that your brain scans on sugar and on cocaine look very similar.  Sugar stimulates the pleasure center of your brain just like a street drug.

If your addicted to sugar, or just consume a large amount, you may want to gradually decrease the amounts you have on a daily bases before trying to cut it out all together.

Take notice of the labels on products.  Sugar can be known in other forms such as high fructose corn  syrup, date sugar, fruit juice, molasses, rice syrup and up to 50 plus names!

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