Beyond The Sweet Tooth: The Real Threat Of Being Addicted to Sugar
In reality, being addicted to sugar is a serious health concern. More than just the desire to have an extra helping of sweet treats after dinner, sugar addiction can be just as serious as a dependency on any other substance such as drugs and alcohol. Find out more about the causes of sugar addiction, the impact it can have, and what treatment options are available.
What does it mean to be Addicted to Sugar?
Sugar addiction is just one category of food addiction. Food addiction is characterized by a disordered relationship between an individual and food. The behaviors associated with a food addiction include craving, binging, and withdrawl.
Sugar is a physical addiction for the body. An individual can become addicted to the substance because of the effect that it has on the body. Sugar can cause a temporary burst of energy as well as an elevated mood. After the effect wears off, the individual will suffer from a crash, the drop in blood pressure that causes the person to feel a sudden drop in energy. To compensate for that loss of energy, the person will usually look to more sugar to regain the energy, causing a cycle that is difficult to break.
Why Is It Dangerous To Be A Sugar Addict?
An unhealthy dependence on any substance is dangerous. However, there are certain dangers that are specific to a reliance on sugar.
- Sugar is readily available and used by nearly every individual. Unlike many addictive substances, sugar is not only legal, but so common that many of us don’t even think twice about consuming it on a regular basis. Even those who attempt to maintain a sugar free diet probably ingest a large amount of sugar from everyday foods like bread, snack foods, and beverages.
- Sugar is a toxic substance. Because we all ingest so much sugar, it’s easy to forget how damaging it can be to the body. Ingesting too much sugar can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes, among other health problems.
- Sugar addiction often leads to obesity. Obesity is a problem that seems to be overtaking the country. While people are eager to encourage exercise and a healthy to diet to combat the problem, they often overlook the fact that a dependency on sugar is not easy to break.
Signs of being Addicted to Sugar
Are you sugar addict? Answer the following questions to help determine if you may have a sugar addiction.
- Do you find that you have a need to indulge in sweets, even after finishing a large meal? Do you often take more than one serving of dessert, even after becoming full?
- In the afternoon, do you experience headaches, fatigue, and a loss of energy?
- When you experience a loss of energy, do you find yourself reaching for a sugar snack to give yourself a boost of energy?
- Do you go out of your way to obtain a food containing sugar when it is not readily available?
- When recognizing the negative effects of sugar on your lifestyle, do you ignore the information and continue to consume sugar anyway?
- When going without sugar, do you experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, irritability, insomnia, and cravings?
If you answered yes to these questions, you may suffer from an addiction to sugar. It’s important to recognize the effects that the substance can have on you, both mentally and physically, and take steps to overcome the dependence.
Overcoming Sugar Addiction
Overcoming a substance dependency is not easy. However, there are some steps that an individual can take to get back to a healthy lifestyle.
- Work slowly toward eliminating sugar from your diet.
- Swap out sugary, processed foods for healthy snacks that are naturally sweet.
- Be aware of hidden sources of sugar like bread and beverages.
- Develop a support network to maintain accountability.
- Exercise to reduce the likelihood of cravings.
- Maintain a healthier diet.
- Consider speaking with a counselor to overcome emotional issues with food.