Is Sugar Addiction Real?
Sugar fuels your brain and in turn, your brain sees sugar as a reward. If you’re eating a lot of sugar, you’re reinforced that reward, making it harder to break the habit.
On top of this, the American Heart Association recommends that the average woman eat a maximum of six teaspoons a day, while the man should eat nine teaspoons a day. But what’s the reality? People are actually consuming around 20 teaspoons a day. (Source)
Some studies go as far to say that sugar is more addictive than cocaine. One reason someone might compare sugar addiction to drug addiction is because the surge of dopamine will make you want the taste of sweet. The withdrawal can be compared to drug withdrawal because of the similar changes in behavior and brain chemicals according to researchers at Princeton University. Withdrawal from sugar can also lead to increased anxiety and depression, followed by cravings. (Source).
Sugar can also lead to obesity, hypertension, high blood pressure, headaches, and fatigue. Now that we know a bit more about sugar and the effects it can have, let’s talk about the signs.
Signs of Sugar Addiction
- Physically craving sugar
- Eating more than planned
- Feeling sluggish or fatigued from overeating
- Craving carbohydrates
- Craving meat or salty foods
- Eating until you don’t feel well
Ways to Cut Down Sugar
READ THE LABELS: If you don’t read the labels, you’re probably not even sure how many things have sugar in them. Sugar can be found in sauces, dressings, deli meats, canned soups, baked goods, sports drinks, and so much more. Read the labels so you’re aware.
EAT FRESH, FROZEN OR CANNED FRUIT: If you choose the canned option, make sure the fruit is canned in water, not syrup.
CUT THE SERVING BACK: When you’re baking on your own, whatever the sugar amount is, cut that by 1/3 or even 1/2.
REMOVE IT COMPLETELY: There are other ways to enhance flavor instead of adding sugar. Instead try adding spices (ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon) the options are endless!
SKIP THE SODA: This might seem obvious but soda really contains SO MUCH SUGAR. Look at the next soda you pick up and check the grams of sugar, you might be shocked!
NON-NUTRITIVE SWEETENERS: These can satisfy your sweet tooth without adding calories to your diet. These sweeteners are aspartame, sucralose or saccharin (Source)
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