Nutrition

The Dangers Of Sugar Addiction And How To Stop It

We all know that addictions are bad. We are aware of the dangers of alcoholism, drug addiction, workaholics, etc. Very seldom do we hear about the dangers of sugar addiction even though fructose is just as bad for the liver as alcohol is. Obesity is a major killer in this country and what is the major cause of this epidemic? Definitely sugar consumption is partly to blame. Sugar can also cause an onslaught of other health problems.

Diabetes

DiabetesMost people think of eating too much sugar as resulting in diabetes. This is true. Sugar can cause diabetes, but many people don’t understand what diabetes actually looks like. Diabetes is the body’s inability to control the blood sugar levels in the body. Symptoms include fatigue, always being thirsty or hungry, and numbing in the feet and hands. Severe cases can include vision problems, hyperventilation and nausea. Diabetics are constantly checking their insulin levels which is uncomfortable to say the least.

Hypertension

HypertensionHypertension is the development of high blood pressure which if left untreated can cause your blood vessels to narrow and eventually can lead to heart problems.

Dyslipidemia

DyslipidemiaDyslipidemia is a disorder causing a lipoprotein metabolic inefficiency. This can also happen with high cholesterol. This disorder causes fat deposits in the blood.

Pancreatitis

PancreatitisThis is a disease in which the pancreas becomes swollen. Pancreatitis causes severe pain in the upper abdomen and might get worse when eating fatty foods. It also causes fever, nausea, vomiting, and tender parts of the stomach.

Fetal Insulin Resistance

Studies have shown that the amount of sugar a pregnant woman consumues can have a direct effect on the babies ability to process sugar. It may result in diabetes beginning while the baby is still in the womb.

NASH(Non Alcoholic Steatohepatitis)

This dysfunction is causes by fatty deposits in the liver causing it to get inflammed. If the disease gets worse it can eventually lead to cirrhosis of the liver.

Sugar addiction can cause many other health issues including metabolic syndrome, obesity, and insulin resistance. When you eat too much sugar, your body can’t break it down fast enough and it gets stored as fat and can become toxic. In fact, when you look up the effects of alcoholism, you will find many of the same conditions that were listed above. Just like alcohol should be consumed in moderation for the sake of your health, the same is true of sugar. The key is to make new habits that will help you get your mind off sugar and retrain your body to have less sugar cravings.

This isn’t as easily done as said, especially if you have been eating a sugary diet for years but it isn’t impossible. Here are a few things you can do to help to balance out your sugar intake:

Exercise

ExerciseIf your sugar cravings are a result of an imbalance in hormones, exercise is a great choice for you. Exercise releases endorphins to the brain that help to regulate your hormones and improve your mood. Exercise can also help to reduce your appetite as well, working as a double defense for your sugar intake.

Avoid stimulants and artificial sweeteners

Stimulants such as caffeine in coffee or soft drinks, energy drinks, or artificially sweetened beverages can cause an imbalance in your body’s blood sugar levels. It is important to avoid these, at least keep them to a minimal because they can cause you to have sugar on the brain; not good for your ability to cut down on your sugar intake.

Low GI diet

Low GI dietCarbohydrates on the high side of the GI (glucose index) cause a sugar spike in the bloodstream because they are turned into glucose and absorbed very quickly. This causes the body to fight back and lower the glucose levels in the body causing a roller coaster ride for your body’s blood sugar levels. This makes your body all out of whack, and in result, you have major sugar cravings. By keeping your carbohydrates to those on the low side of the GI, anything lower than 35, you can curb these crazy cravings. Good choices for your carbohydrates are vegetables, whole grains, fresh fruit, brown rice and beans.

Eat all regular meals

If you skip any meals throughout the day your blood sugar levels can become very low. When you do end up eating your choice of foods will go more towards the high sugar and fatty foods that you don’t want to eat for premium health. Regular intervals for your meals, which mean three meals a day and perhaps two snacks in between, will make sure you don’t break down and eat the wrong way.

Supplements

There are supplements that help to support your blood sugar levels. Most of these involve a mixture of L-Glutamine, chromium picolinate, and a B vitamin complex. However, this is not an automatic fix. Taking a supplement can take up to three days to help curb your sugar cravings. Since it can take a while to take effect, other forms of blood sugar leveling should be implemented during that time.

Emotional eating

Emotional eatingSugar cravings can also be from a simple mental attitude of thinking that we need sugar to make us feel better. We can break that habit of turning to food for comfort by redirecting our train of thought to something else. When we feel that urge to eat sweets coming, bypass it by getting busy with something else, whether it be a hobby, a walk around the block or a project that needs done. As long as it is something active that keeps your mind and body occupied you can successfully stop yourself from reaching for those cookies, pies, or cakes.

With any type of life change you will make some mistakes but that doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel. Get some help from your doctor and/or nutritionist. Enlist family members in helping you stay on task. Do whatever you need to for success. Your life depends on it!

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Shaw Academy

Updated: Oct 28, 2015

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