Post # 4 – Why Is It so Hard to Kick the Sugar Habit?

Tommy and LaDonna CecilUncategorized

lips with sugar

The Seductress

She’s sexy and seductive. She’s sweet and rich and eminently satisfying. She brings us joy and comfort and pleasure. She’s our reward, our indulgence, and our gift to ourselves. She hides in plain sight and try as we might, we cannot let her go. We do our best to stay away. We set the intention to resist her. We focus our mind on other things, but like an irresistible temptress, she calls us back and makes us want her again. She is ubiquitous, unavoidable and compulsively compelling. She is … sugar.

It’s not just “hidden” sugar that’s a problem. A reason why it’s so hard to cut down on sugar is that we simply love to eat it. A common indicator of addiction is if a person suffers from a loss of control. If a person is obsessing about how he or she will get their sugar fix, and they simply can’t focus on anything else, and they have a psychological dependence, then you’re probably talking about a food addiction.
While we expect to find sugar in candy bars and cookies, sugar is a common ingredient in fruit drinks, coffee drinks, cereals, salad dressing, ketchup, pizza and spaghetti sauce, and yogurt. Many people don’t realize that a small yogurt with fruit or fruit flavoring can often have as much sugar as a can of soda! While clearly yogurt is a better choice, the sugar levels in many processed and prepared foods can be much higher than you would ever imagine.
So how can we regulate our sugar intake? Look at the ingredients list. If sugar or any one of the following terms are listed high on the label, you want to avoid that food: corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, agave, honey, molasses, and anything ending in ‘ose’; dextrose, fructose and sucrose are all code words for sugar.

While we expect to find sugar in candy bars and cookies, sugar is a common ingredient in fruit drinks, coffee drinks, cereals, salad dressing, ketchup, pizza and spaghetti sauce, and yogurt. While clearly yogurt is a better choice, the sugar levels in many processed and prepared foods can be much higher than you would ever imagine.
There have always been sweets in our diets: raw honey, maple sap, fruits and berries, and dates have long been used to add some sweetness in countries around the world. In generations past, we might, for example, indulge in a tablespoon of honey, burning off those 60 calories with our physically active lifestyle. Today, our average sugar consumption is a cup of sugar a day. At 774 calories and given our more sedentary lifestyles, that’s a huge caloric shift.

sugarsubstitutes_612

It’s not just “hidden” sugar that’s a problem. A reason why it’s so hard to cut down on sugar is that we simply love to eat it. While it’s not known if sugar is actually addictive, some research shows it fires off the same reward centers in the brain as cocaine.
A common indicator of addiction is if a person suffers from a loss of control. If a person is obsessing about how he or she will get their sugar fix, and they simply can’t focus on anything else, and they have a psychological dependence, then you’re probably talking about a food addiction.
While we expect to find sugar in candy bars and cookies, sugar is a common ingredient in fruit drinks, coffee drinks, cereals, salad dressing, ketchup, pizza and spaghetti sauce, and yogurt. Many people don’t realize that a small yogurt with fruit or fruit flavoring can often have as much sugar as a can of soda! While clearly yogurt is a better choice, the sugar levels in many processed and prepared foods can be much higher than you would ever imagine.
So how can we regulate our sugar intake? Look at the ingredients list. If sugar or any one of the following terms are listed high on the label, you want to avoid that food: corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, agave, honey, molasses, and anything ending in ‘ose’; dextrose, fructose and sucrose are all code words for sugar.

While we expect to find sugar in candy bars and cookies, sugar is a common ingredient in fruit drinks, coffee drinks, cereals, salad dressing, ketchup, pizza and spaghetti sauce, and yogurt. While clearly yogurt is a better choice, the sugar levels in many processed and prepared foods can be much higher than you would ever imagine.
There have always been sweets in our diets: raw honey, maple sap, fruits and berries, and dates have long been used to add some sweetness in countries around the world. In generations past, we might, for example, indulge in a tablespoon of honey, burning off those 60 calories with our physically active lifestyle. Today, our average sugar consumption is a cup of sugar a day. At 774 calories and given our more sedentary lifestyles, that’s a huge caloric shift.

Sugar-Addiction-The-Perpectual-Cycle-Slender-Suzie-Sugar-Stike-Abia-Health

Tips for avoiding cravings:

  1. Eat a large breakfast:When you eat breakfast, you are able to avoid the drop in blood sugar levels that cause you to have cravings.
  2. Drink plenty of water:Drinking water has several health benefits. Drinking water will help you to feel fuller longer and avoid grabbing junk food especially when you are on-the-go.
  3. Chew sugar-free gum:Chewing gum, especially when you are feeling hungry, can help to combat cravings.
  4. Grab some fruit:When you are craving sugar, go for some fruit instead of a candy bar. Fruit contains Fructose, an all-natural type of sugar. The fiber and other nutrients found in fruit slow down the digestive process and keep your blood sugar levels stable. Because of this, you are much less apt to crave junk food.

Post # 5, the last in this series is complications of sugar addiction.