Sugar addiction may be both emotional and psychological and may be particularly difficult to overcome. However, there are a few means to curb your addiction. The first step is to understand why sugar is dangerous to your health; then you should look for solutions to reduce the amounts of sugar in your diet.
Dangers of Sugar
Sugar is obtained from sugarcane and may be found in nearly all processed foods (even in foods that are not necessarily sweet, such as pizza, French fries or pasta), sweets or sodas. When consumed in excess, sugar may have destructive effects on your health:
- May trigger the occurrence of diabetes
- May disrupt normal brain function (may affect memory and attention span)
- Has been linked to heart disease
- May cause high blood pressure (hypertension)
- Is believed to be among the causes of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Causes obesity, when consumed in excess
- Slowly destroys teeth (only if you fail to brush your teeth after consuming sweet snacks)
Causes of Sugar Addiction
Sugar will stimulate the production of dopamine and serotonin and these substances are known to give a feeling of happiness and calmness. The release of these neurotransmitters in the brain happens also when alcohol or other recreational drugs are consumed. You may develop a resistance to the effects of sugar in time: the more sugar you eat, the more you will need to get the comforting feeling.
Symptoms of Sugar Addiction
If you look for something sweet whenever you feel depressed, lonely, bored or nervous, you may be addicted to sugar.
You may be addicted to sugar if you don't eat sugar for 24 hours and if you experience the following symptoms:
Curbing Sugar Addiction
Curbing your sugar addiction requires a strong will and patience. You may beat your addition by following a few steps:
- Eliminate sugar and other products that contain sugar from your house
- Introduce healthy snacks instead of processed sugars, such as fruits, vegetables or seeds and consume these whenever you have a sugar craving
- Eat 3 times per day at about the same time every day. This will ensure that your blood glucose levels will be constant, so you will be less likely to be hungry and look for a sugary snack. Your diet should include fibers, carbohydrates (i.e. from whole grains and vegetables), fats and lean proteins.
- Exercise, as this will reduce the need for sugar. During exercise, your levels of serotonin will increase, and exercise can have the same effect on your mood as eating a sweet snack.