By Scroll reporter Lagos, Nigeria.
Are you addicted to sugar?
Addiction to sugar is stronger for some people than others, but the truth is sugar is a powerfully addictive substance. If you have overindulged in cookies, candy, cake, or ice cream. Food manufacturers bank on it when they load sugar into soft drinks, breakfast cereal, soups, salad dressings, spaghetti sauce, energy bars.
Addiction to sugar is probably more common than you think. Some people consume an average of 20 to 30 teaspoons daily of this substance, which has been linked to variety of health problems, including obesity, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, attention and memory problems, hyperactivity, anxiety and depression. Every month a new study comes out adding to the list of dangers posed by consuming sugar. Despite the risk, we continue to eat sugar because it is so addictive.
Infact, sugar meets all the criteria for an addictive substance:
It stimulates release of neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine and serotonin in a manner similar to alcohol, cocaine and other drugs of abuse.
People eat it compulsively, despite negative consequences and intention to stop.
With continued use, people develop a tolerance to its effects.
Heavy sugar consumers have trouble fuctioning without it.
When consumption ceases, withdrawal symptoms occur. Breaking free from a dependency on sugar addiction are both physical and emotional, you need a combination of physical and psychological approaches. The less you eat sugar, the less you will crave for it. If you get withdrawal symptons, know they will only last a few days and then you’ll feel more balanced and energetic than ever.
Recommendations will make it easier to get it easier to get a sugar problem under control
Keep sugar and sugar products out of your house. This include white and brown sugar, corn syrup, and maple syrup.
Eat enough healthy food to satisfy your hunger. Eat healthy, whole food snacks like fruit, carrots, red pepper, cherry tomatoes. Drink plenty of water. Add a little fruit juice to sweeten iced tea, carbonated water, and other sugar-free drinks. Frozen fruit, whole or purred, make a delicious alternative to ice cream. Once you have cleared sugar from your system, your taste buds will become more sensitive, and these whole natural foods will become more sensitive and these whole natural foods will taste sweeter and more satisfying. If you slow down and eat mindfully, you will enjoy these foods even more.
Eat three regular meals each day that combine complex carbohydrate, vegetables, whole grains, fruits, lean protein, poultry, fish, meat, diary, tofu and healthy fats, milk cheese, omega-3’s, olive oil. These will help you maintain a steady blood sugar level throughout the day and reduce your sugar cravings. Eating a diet high in fiber also helps to reduce sugar cravings. Eating a diet high in fiber also helps to reduce sugar cravings.
Take a multivitamin and mineral supplement.
When you go out, make sure you are not ravenously hungry, especially if sugary sweets will be the only food available. Bring your own healthy snacks with you, or eat before going out.
Get regular exercise, plenty of sunlight and adequate sleep to reduce sugar cravings.
Learn to identify and manage cravings that are not a result of physical hunger, but instead are rooted in stress: take a book, play with your pet, watch a movie. Breathe, meditate, listen to activate your body’s relaxation response. Relaxation helps to balance your blood sugar and reduce cravings.