Ooey, gooey, goodness in the form of a cinnamon bun. In the south, it’s 5 packets in some ice tea. A handful or two or ten of skittles or M&M’s.
Sugar. It’s everywhere. In everything.
And it’s deadly addictive. In fact, it’s more addictive than cocaine. A 2009 study by Dr. Serge H. Ahmed, Is Sugar as Addictive as Cocaine?, published in the journal Food and Addiction, proved sugar was eight times as addictive as cocaine. Findings state that sugar creates a craving and reward and like addictive drugs. Higher-sugar, higher-glycemic foods are addictive in the same way as cocaine and heroin, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Foods with a high-glycemic index trigger a part of the brain, known as the pleasure center of the brain. When activated, this pleasure center makes us want more-more of what makes us feel good. And when that pleasure comes from sugar, its sugar we crave. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, “foods that spike blood sugar are biologically addictive.”
Why should you care?
That pudgy stomach? It’s there because your body stores excess calories as belly fat. We are designed to carry those storehouses with us to provide us with fuel when food is scarce. The problem for most of us is we never have to go without food, so the storehouses aren’t used up.
Chances are you are one of the 70% of Americans who is overweight or obese. And your sugar addiction is fueling your problems. Why do I say problems? Extra weight and obesity are leading contributors to chronic diseases such as stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary heart disease and even cancer.
If sugar and overeating are so bad for us, why don’t we have a natural defense against them? Our bodies are divinely and beautifully made and we do have a defense against these addictions. But, that defense has been damaged by sugar and processed foods. Eating too much sugar through processed foods, added sugar and carbohydrates will cause your body to release too much insulin. Your body will lose its sensitivity to insulin and your cells won’t know to absorb the excess sugar out of your blood. You will have excess sugar floating around your blood vessels and as a result, could develop chronic diseases.
Are you addicted to sugar? These tell-tell signs may give you an indication that you are:
You crave sugar and carbs
You have trouble losing weight on a low fat diet
You eat when you aren’t hungry
You are sluggish from over eating
You have High Blood Pressure or High Blood Sugar
You become easily agitated
You can’t sleep
You suffer withdrawals when you don’t eat sugar
You hide food
You snack in secret
You hide your feelings about food
There is help. You can learn new habits and make changes to conquer your addiction to sugar. It won’t be overnight, but the life-long benefits will be worth it!