Sugar continuously proves to be the drug we know it is. The more research it generates, the further confirmation there is on the dangers of consuming too much sugar. In general, sugar is overused, present in almost every product on the market, shockingly addictive and unfortunately, a silent killer through conditions like obesity and insulin resistance.
Are you addicted to sugar? Personally, this is a problem for me. It is an especially frustrating vice as a personal life coach and a healthy living advocate. My struggle with sugar motivates me to talk about it, however, and to share experiences with others going through the same sticky ordeal.
A full blown sugar addiction is both subtle and devastating. It pervades every part of our lives and stealthily changes brain and body function over a short period. Sugar addiction reaches a point where we no longer notice the damage to our bodies or the abnormal state in which we operate on a daily basis.
The overconsumption of sugar not only affects our health and quality of life but the health of our children and families, too. Our unhealthy habits have the potential to transfer to our children as the unyielding food industry increases its profits. There is an urgent need to recognize the dangers of consuming too much sugar before it is too late.
How do you know if you are addicted to sugar?
Start with a quick self-assessment:
- Can you eat a small piece of cake or do you always cut a bigger one?
- Can you stop at one sugary treat or is there lack of self-control in this area?
- Do you sometimes eat sweets until you make yourself sick?
- The cookies in the pantry, do they call your name?
- Do you often choose to consume sugar-sweetened drinks, sweet tea or milk over water?
If you just cannot resist any of the areas above, there is a good chance you are addicted to sugar.
Sugar addiction is a common problem all over the world. Fighting sugar addition is another story. As sugary foods and complex carbohydrates become more readily available, sugar is creeping into processed food and beverages at an alarming rate. In the United States, sugar addiction takes the form of candy, chocolate, dessert, and donuts, but people also crave carbohydrates.
Both ‘real sugar’ and carbohydrates open us up to sugar addiction and are harmful in excess. What can we do about it? I have presented three ideas for tackling the sugar addiction problem: Natural sugars, Alternative Sweeteners, and Sugar Education.
Fighting Sugar Addiction Step One: Natural sugars
The first step to fighting sugar addiction is to gradually cut the amount of sugar consumed on a daily basis. The first phase ends at total elimination of sugar from your diet. Start focusing on the replacement of all additive sugars (added or free sugars) with natural alternatives.
Honey, coconut sugar, date sugar, molasses, maple syrup, and agave are all naturally occurring sugars that can serve as alternatives. These are still not the healthiest option as natural sugars, like additive sugars, will be broken down by the body in the same way. Overconsumption of any sugar will wreak havoc on your system.