Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Sugar Addiction is Real: Ways to Kick Your Sugar Habit

As featured on HubPages

Before you head to the corner store to grab your next glazed doughnut and cup of white chocolate mocha, listen up! Have you considered the fact that you along with most people who enjoy an American diet full of junk foods, convenience foods, processed foods, and foods high in refined sugars are addicted to the white stuff? No, the other white stuff - sugar.

Were you aware that sugar addiction leads to physical health conditions such as reactive hypoglycemia and diabetes and causes mental health issues such as memory loss and learning disabilities, due to its impact on the brain? Sugar is an addiction and the symptoms of sugar addiction are real. Unfortunately, they may not be evident until you send sugar packing. Headaches, fatigue, nausea, hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, and shakiness are all common symptoms that may occur when you try to cut back. This is what makes kicking your sugar addition to the curb so hard.

How does one get addicted to sugar? Well, its almost like any other drug and it can lead to a lifelong trail of abuse. Morphine, heroin, and sugar all stimulate the same receptors in your brain. Once you begin feeding your body refined sugar, and this is usually in the mothers womb and continues with baby formula and eventually processed foods, your body gets into the habit using these refined sugars as its main energy source because refined or simple sugars are broken down and turned into glucose in the body rapidly giving your brain an instant boost. This sugar high doesn't last very long and the brain will send signals that it wants more sugar and thus the cycle continues.

If you can't quit cold turkey, which can lead to binges and depression, you can do some things to start kicking sugar to the curb. I understand how difficult it can be to kick the sugar habit. I've searched the Internet to find articles filled with tips on ways to kick your sugar habit and I'll share them with you.

The Hidden Dangers of Sugar Addiction
Women's Heath: Curb Your Sweet Tooth | Are you addicted to sugar? Learn How to Fight the Craving and Reap the Sweet Rewards
Sugar Addiction Symptoms and Overcoming Food Addictions
Whole Living: Break the Sugar Habit
Dr. Oz: How to Kick Your Sugar Addiction
Runner's World: Kick Your Sugar Addiction in 9 Steps
Science Daily: This is Your Brain on Sugar - Study Shows High Fructose Diet Sabotages Learning and Memory

Once you have made the decision to kick your sugar habit, here are a few tips that will boost your efforts: 

Start slow.
You can begin by reducing your sugar intake over a matter of weeks. You must be sure to include all foods that contain refined sugar and refined carbohydrates as an ingredient, not just the obvious table sugars, syrups, candy, cakes, cookies, pastries, and sugar cereals. After a few days you should begin to notice a decline in your cravings for sugar.

Clean out the cupboards.
You need to send sugar packing. Starting with your refrigerator, you'll want to toss out any foods containing refined sugars. If you're like I was you have that one junk drawer that includes things like candy bars and honey buns. Toss them! Take a look through your cabinets and look at those labels. Almost everything in your cupboards, such as packaged, boxed, and canned foods must go. Read the labels! You may be tempted to donate or give these items to your neighbor. Don't contribute to their addiction. Just say goodbye and put the lid on it.

Say no to artificial sweeteners.
Replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners can make matters worse. They are merely teasers. Your sugar should come from complex carbs and natural sources, like fruit. If you have reactive hypoglycemia you should be aware that your body may be sensitive to natural sugars as well and you may have to put fruit aside for now. One more thing - don't be fooled by dried fruits. They contain a high amount of sugar.

Drink plenty of water.
Water is crucial in helping your body to properly digest foods and flush toxins (including sugar) from your body. Symptoms of dehydration can mimic symptoms of other conditions like sugar addiction. Those symptoms can include headaches and fatigue.

Exercise daily.
Exercise deserves the number one spot in preventing or fighting addictions, diseases, and illnesses. Exercise will not only help you feel better, it will help your body maintain its strength to ward off pesky little invaders, help your body move toxins through to be released, keep your body hyper-efficient at digesting foods, and help keep your body's control systems strong and functioning. You don't have to run a marathon or start lifting heavy weights. A simple walk, jog, swim, bike ride, or any type of physical activity will do wonders for your body.

Low blood sugar and reactive hypoglycemia.
Although I am against treating low blood sugar, reactive hypoglycemia or any type of hypoglycemia with sugar, I understand how difficult it can be to break your sugar habit. For person's with reactive hypoglycemia, your challenge is two fold. You're trying to kick your sugar habit and incorporate more natural healthy sources of sugar like fruit, but your body may be sensitive to ALL sugars. Until you treat your underlying problems, you may have to eliminate all foods containing refined and natural sugars for now. This includes fruit and sweet vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes.

Linked recommended readings are for informational and learning purposes only. This blog post is based on the personal experiences and expressed opinions of its author. The information is not intended to replace your doctor's recommendations and advice. If you experience severe low blood sugar, seek emergency help.

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