You say you can’t live without your daily donut
Are you really “addicted” to sugar?
Evidence may suggest a dependency on sugar may lead some people to show addict-like behaviors. Sugar even affects the same “feel-good” brain hormones as drugs. No one is saying sugar is like heroin, but it can still mess with your brain and body!
Sugar fuels every cell in our brain. When we overload on sugary foods and drinks, it may alter the parts of the brain that control how much we eat.
In some studies, rats that binged on sugar had brain changes like those of getting off drugs. In humans, just seeings pictures of sugary foods triggered brain effects like those seen in drug addicts. It was strongest in women whose answers showed they were more hooked on eating.
Why do you get a rush when you eat a midday candy bar?
The sugar in it is called a simple carbohydrate and is quickly turned into glucose in your blood. Your blood sugar levels spike. Simple carbs are also found in fruits, veggies, and dairy products. But these have fiber and protein that slow the process.
Syrup, soda, candy, and table sugar don’t have that.
Your body needs to move glucose out of the blood and into your cells for energy use. In order to do this, your pancreas makes insulin.
As a result, your blood sugar level may have a sudden drop. This rapid change in your blood sugar leaves you feeling wiped out, tired and shaky and searching for more sweets to regain that sugar “high.” So that midday candy bar has set you up for more and more bad eating.
Think you don’t have a sweet tooth, but crave bagels or potato chips?
These starchy foods are called complex carbohydrates that the body breaks down into simple and more digestible sugars. Eaten without healthier foods, starches can make your blood sugar rise and crash like sugar does. White rice, white flour, and potatoes do this. Highly refined starches like white bread, pretzels, crackers, and pasta are worst.
You don’t need sugar as much as you think you do!!!!
Try cutting out one sweet food from your diet each week. Slowly reduce the sugar in your coffee or cereal and pass on dessert one day!
Over time, you will lose your need for that sugar taste.
You don’t have to give up sweetness all together.
Just get it from other sources. Try fresh berries or fruit on oatmeal instead of sugar.
If you make small, simple changes to your diet, it’s easy to keep them up.
Start by eating more fruits and more vegetables. Drink lots of water and use fewer processed products, which hide loads of sugar! Start buying foods without sugar and add just enough to satisfy your taste buds. Cut out a little bit of sugar each week and after a few weeks, you’ll be surprised at how little you miss it.
When you’re starving, every cookie cries out to you. Hunger robs you of the willpower to resist those sugar cravings. Eating protein is an easy way to curb cravings. High-protein foods digest more slowly, keeping you feeling full for longer periods of time. Protein doesn’t make your blood sugar spike the way refined carbohydrates and sugars do. Pick proteins like lean chicken, low-fat yogurt, eggs, nuts, or beans.
Fiber helps fight a sugar itch in many ways. First, it keeps you full and high-fiber foods also give you more energy. Because they don’t raise your blood sugar, there’s no hungry crash after either.
Look for soluble fiber from fruits and vegetables, as well as insoluble fiber from whole grains or smear some natural peanut butter on an apple for a protein/fiber combo.
Exercise can help wipe out those sugar cravings and change the way you eat in general. As people who work out start to feel better, they often feel a desire to eat more healthy foods. Do what you like, such as walking, riding your bike, or swimming. Start out slow and work up towards at least 30 minutes at a time, five days a week.
Studies suggest artificial sweeteners may leave you craving more sugar. That could make it harder, not easier, to control your weight. The problem is, some experts say, that fake sugars won’t help you break your taste for sweets.
Pay attention to your body. Are sweeteners making you crave even more sugar? If so, look elsewhere for that sweet taste.
You don’t always see the word “sugar” written on a food label. It can still be hiding inside the package under another name. Some names sugar goes by:
- Agave nectar
- Brown rice syrup
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Evaporated cane juice
- Malt syrup
Packages that list any form of sugar in the first few ingredients, or contain more than four total grams of sugar aren’t worth the calories.
Sugar can hide in foods where you least expect it. Although they don’t seem sweet, ketchup, BBQ sauce or pasta sauce can have tons of sugar.
Get in the habit of reading labels. Get rid of high-sugar foods altogether!