White sugar, known as the silent killer, has been infamous for several years for good reason. What are the symptoms of addiction to this food product and how to fight this unhealthy addiction?
The sugar trap. Why sugar is addictive?
Before we present effective ways to fight sugar addiction, it is worth to look at the source of this problem. Why do we become addicted to cane and beet sugar so quickly and easily? It’s all because of dopamine and serotonin – two neurotransmitters that make it hard for us to stop ourselves from eating something sweet.
The fact that sugar is now added to almost every food on the shelves doesn’t make it any easier – and often unnecessarily so. Many people don’t realize that sugar is an ingredient in over 80% of processed foods! What diseases can sugar cause?
The health consequences of sugar addiction
Why is being a “sugar addict” so dangerous to your health? Overweight and obesity are the most common consequences of consuming too much sugar, but they are not the only ones. As specialists alert, sugar also contributes to the development of:
- many metabolic diseases,
- type II diabetes,
- tooth decay,
- cardiovascular disease,
- appetite disorders.
This is not the end of health problems, of which sugar may be the main culprit – the excess of this component in our diet weakens the immunity of our body and makes us less able to cope with various infections.
What are the symptoms of sugar addiction?
The alarming symptom is frequent and strong craving for sweets, which we are not able to control. Addicts are able to overcome certain obstacles to be able to satisfy their unhealthy urge to consume something sweet, such as going to a faraway store or visiting a supermarket or gas station at night.
Common symptoms of sugar addiction also include decreased mood, fatigue, and headaches if you don’t eat something sweet for an extended period of time. Other symptoms include trouble concentrating or obsessive thoughts, such as about cookies, candy bars or candy. In the classic mechanism of addiction, the body demands larger and larger doses of a given substance.
How to fight sugar addiction?
The first step is to get rid of all sweets and sweet snacks from home (in moments of crisis we should reach for fruits and vegetables instead of cakes or pralines). What else can we do to take care of our health?
In order to wean ourselves off sugar, we should read the labels of all the products which land in our shopping carts. Instead of sweetening tea and coffee with sugar, use substitutes such as stevia or agave syrup. Introduce sporting activities into your daily routine to distract you from constantly thinking about sweets, such as a daily walk or bike ride.
Sugar can be as addictive as alcohol or drugs and can wreak havoc on your body. If you feel that you no longer have control over the amount of sugar you consume (in various forms), it’s a good idea to seek professional help – see a nutritionist or psychologist.
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