Sugar Addiction: How to Overcome for Better Health- Thomas DeLauer

Sugar Addiction: How to Overcome for Better Health- Thomas DeLauer

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Sugar Addiction: How to Overcome for Better Health- Thomas DeLauer… Join me in the Kitchen to learn more- http://www.ThomasDeLauer.com
Sugar Overview: Humans have an evolutionary pull towards sweet foods. Consuming too much sugar is tied to many health problems, most notably:
● Type-2 diabetes
● Obesity
● Cardiovascular disease
● Chronic inflammation

Sugar is hidden in processed foods – breads, candy, frozen foods, baked goods, sodas and even canned goods. We are recommended from the FDA is to keep our daily added sugar intake to less than 10% of our total calories, but the closer to zero the better. The World Health Organization suggests a lower quantity of sugar each day, suggesting that the FDA guideline may be a bit too high. The average American consumes around 13% to 16% of their total calories from added sugars. This is about 32 teaspoons of added sugar daily! These kinds of foods are new to humans, so our bodies are not made to consume so much sugar.

These added sugars are extremely dangerous for our health – some of the many names of added sugars include:
● Dextrose
● Fructose
● Corn syrup
● High-fructose corn syrup
● Glucose
● Sucrose
● Maltose
● Lactose
● And many more!

Sugar is Addictive! So why do we consume so much sugar even when we know that it isn’t good for us? Consuming sweet foods triggers the reward centers in our brains. This reward circuitry is similar to that of drug abuse!
● Both induce the release of dopamine and opioids, which give us positive feelings

Additionally, sugar displays the 4 characteristics of an addictive substance:
1. Bingeing
2. Withdrawal
3. Cravings
4. Cross-sensitization
a. Example is when one is sensitized to amphetamines they will tend to show an escalated intake of cocaine (ie gateway drugs)

One study on rats found that sweet foods are actually more addictive than cocaine!
● Rats were given the choice between saccharin-infused water (a calorie-free sweetener) and intravenous cocaine
● 94% of the rats chose the sugar!
● The same preference was shown for sugar water
● This preference did not change even when the rats were highly addicted to cocaine

Imagine of the human brain has found neuroadaptations in the brains of obese individuals that mimic those of individuals cocaine and other drugs. How to Overcome the Addiction? Just like any addiction, a sugar addiction can be overcome.

Here are some tips:

1. Avoid processed foods
a. Eat more whole foods, eat less to no processed foods.
b. Processed foods have tons of added sugar in them, often as high-fructose corn syrup, a highly processed sweetener that is horrible for your health.
2. Eat natural sweets, such as berries.
3. Eat a full breakfast, lunch and dinner, and keep healthy snacks around
a. Try not to allow yourself to get too hungry or you will likely give into temptation
4. Exercise and meditate
a. Moving your body and calming your mind will help you control cravings
5. Get 8 hours of sleep
a. When we are exhausted or stressed we are more likely to give into temptation
6. Drink 8 or more glasses of water per day
a. This will keep you full and cravings low

Do these things for 2 weeks and you will find your cravings disappear! When you do decide to use added sweeteners, use natural sweeteners, such as local honey and 100% maple syrup. Make your own desserts to be sure that you are not consuming processed sugars. When you have a craving, have an apple, go for a run, or take a small meditation break.

References:
1. Know your limits for added sugars
https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/data-statistics/know-your-limit-for-added-sugars.html

2. Intense sweetness surpasses cocaine reward
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1931610/

3. Where people around the world eat the most sugar and fat
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/02/05/where-people-around-the-world-eat-the-most-sugar-and-fat/?utm_term=.7df3efe1c55c

4. Evidence for sugar addiction: behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar consumption
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2235907/

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