It’s the late afternoon at work, and you’re rummaging through your snack drawer with an intense craving for something sweet. You find that last Hershey’s Kiss left over from Valentine’s Day, unwrap it and are immensely satisfied the moment you taste the sweet chocolate-sugary goodness on your tongue. Many of us have struggled with sugar cravings, but studies show there are several negative effects sugar can have on your body.
As Addictive As Heroin or Cocaine
Recent studies have reported that sugar can create a cycle of craving and reward similar to that of cocaine or heroin. In fact, sugar stimulates the reward center in your brain more than cocaine, which is why so many people are unable to stop themselves because their brain tells them I don’t want this, while their body says, I need this.
If you think you might be cutting down on sugar, think again. Added sugar is found in more places than you think. Store bought tomato sauces have added sugar to for taste, a packet of maple-flavored oatmeal has six teaspoons of added sugar. According to Harvard School of Public Health, over 70 percent of Americans consume at least 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day.
Unhealthy Effects of Sugar
In addition to its addictive qualities, added sugar is also terrible for your health. Bacteria thrives on sugar and added sugar provides easily digestible calories for cavity creating bacteria to live on. High fructose can lead to fatty liver disease which is incurable and can only be controlled through treatments and changes made to diet and activity. Over consumption of sugar can also lead to insulin resistance, which is the leading driver of metabolic syndrome, obesity, cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes.
Signs You’re Addicted to Sugar
You may not realize your tastes buds have been hijacked to prefer sweeter things, or that your brain has become a sugar addict. Below are five signs you might be addicted to sugar.
- You eat certain food even if you’re not hungry
- You sluggish or fatigued after eating
- You crave more of the same foods to experience the feelings of pleasure or reduce negative emotions
- You worry about cutting down on certain foods
- You have health problems due to food issues, yet you keep eating the same way
Fight Your Sugar Addiction
If you find you are addicted to sugar, here are a few things you can do to help yourself detox from the substance.
- Follow our guide on How to Curb Your Sugar Cravings
- Work with a healthy living specialist to design your 30,60 or 90 program
- Remove all processed sugary temptations from your home
For more information on how to start living a healthy lifestyle at any age, contact our Covington weight loss clinic. Call (504) 475-9817 to schedule your free consultation.