In the past 20 years we have seen an incredible rise in the consumption of sugar among the populous in the US. Starting only about 100 years ago, we began eating processed and refined sugars, that are very high in carbohydrates. Before this time, we typically only ate foods that were naturally sweetened, such as those with fruit as part of their ingredients. As a result, it’s hardly surprising to find out that our bodies cannot typically deal with this level of sugar intake from artificially refined sources. This is known to cause all sorts of health problems, from diabetes, to obesity, to heart disease. Sugar also causes a series of highs and lows that can cause anxiety, mood swings and even exhaustion early in the day.
Research has suggested in recent years that the decreased immunity caused by sugar is that it will actually absorb and then remove Vitamin C from our white blood cells. The more sugar we eat, the worse our immune response ultimately becomes. Another compounding factor, of course, is that sugar stimulates insulin production which causes your body to produce triglycerides. We know from hundreds of studies that triglycerides can cause stroke, heart disease and obesity as well. Sugar is also addictive, causing our bodies to crave it whenever we are without it for too long. As a result, controlling this craving is tantamount to a weight loss methodology in and of itself.
Dr. Frank Lipman Talks about Sugars
Dr. Lipman is a physician with years of experience helping patients lose weight. Yet, he knows the difficulty we face when attempting to stop our sugar intake as well. Dr. Lipman has struggled himself with this “addiction” and knows first hand how difficult ti can be. One of the reasons he cites that causes the difficulty in cutting out sugars, is that our brains become adapted to their intake into our bodies. Sugar is not altogether dissimilar to many addictive drugs, such as alcohol or nicotine. The “reward” that it provides is much the same, and impacts our brains in the same manner as well.
The actual term “addiction” is defined as three separate elements: bingeing, withdrawal and cravings. Sugar meets all of these criteria. Recent research on the use of sugar and how it interacts with our body has shown that it causes craving, relapse, withdrawn and of course bingeing as we are all familiar with. This research cemented sugar as not only bad for us, but a highly addictive substance for out bodies.
Defying these feelings we have about how bad sugar for us is how we identify it as part of our diet. We associate sugar to something “sweet” or familiar which we have had in our past experienced. Whether that’s from parents who give it as a reward, or other causes, we associate sugar intake with good feelings. Our first food as infants is also milk, something that is contained in many candies such as chocolate. This makes this an even more powerful “comfort” food. We cannot be satisfied with our meal or food unless there’s something sweet at the end. We self medicate as children and as adults, in an effort to boost mood or energy. This is no different than any other addiction.
The takeaway we all need to have from this is that, sugar is addictive, it triggers the same reward pathways in our brain as many illegal substance. It harms your health, causes disease, and can even cause premature death over time. The harmful consequences are no different than fat, or other things we all know are harmful to our bodies.
Taking The Sugar Addiction By the Horns
The best way to break this addiction happens to be one of the more difficult. You want to have meals that are both regular in interval and often. For example, it’s better to have 5 smaller meals throughout the day than 3 larger ones. This helps reduce cravings for sweet things. Whole foods, protein, and smoothies (naturally sweet things) are ideal to help break through these cravings as well. Oftentimes something like a fruit yogurt for breakfast can be enough to sate even the biggest craving.
Exercise is another way to limit these cravings, as it helps to reduce tension and boost energy naturally. This cuts down on the demands the cravings make on your body. Other things you can add to your diet are vitamins and minerals such as D3 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids. These guidelines are not a cure all solution, wherein you will never crave sweets, but they can certainly help you to control the cravings more easily. What’s important to realize is that these feelings are beatable, and you can succeed!