Before we get into this, it’s important to understand why sugar consumption is so important. Sugars and starches from carbs are used by the body to provide glucose to the brain and energy to cells throughout the body. Carbohydrates also provide the body with fiber and other nutrients.
Because emotional and physical well-being goes hand in hand, the most vital component of eliminating sugar cravings is our mental control. When we know what we’re consuming and what the greatest sugar substitute is, it’ll be easier to break sugar cravings, which will undoubtedly help us on our way to overcoming sugar addiction.
Sugar may be found in a variety of foods, from cupcakes to pies to iced coffee drinks, and it’s nearly impossible to avoid. Sugar addiction, often known as emotional or psychological dependence on sugary foods and drinks, is a serious worry among American health professionals.
When processed meals and refined carbohydrates are metabolized, they produce more sugar in the body. Sugar is not toxic in moderation; nonetheless, many people overdo it.
HOW IS SUGAR ADDICTION DEVELOPED?
A blood sugar imbalance is the root of many sugar cravings. When you eat sugar, your blood sugar rises, and your body releases an internal secretion to bring it down to a safe level. If your glucose level drops due to internal secretion, as it generally does, your body seeks things that will raise it and give you more energy.
Sugar consumption can give the body a short-term high and a burst of energy. Sugar, according to some research, is just as addictive as cocaine. Sugar causes a dopamine release, which many people love.
Sugar overindulgence, however, is associated with long-term health consequences such as obesity and diabetes due to its addictive nature. Sugar addiction, like other compulsions or behavioral addictions, is especially dangerous for persons who have low moods, anxiety, or stress.
Additionally, folks who are fatigued all of the time may turn to carb-rich, sweet foods for a boost. Sugar causes a rush of energy by releasing endorphins and combining them with other substances in the body. When a person cognitively associates sugar with generating energy, they may become addicted to it (usually inadvertently).
Sugar cravings might develop as a result of irritation, emotional lows, and other circumstances. There is frequently little control over eating patterns at this point, and a sugar addiction has developed.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF SUGAR ADDICTION
Sugar addiction, unlike many other substance use disorders or behavioral compulsions, is typically straightforward to detect. Consumption of huge amounts of sugar-laden food or beverages is one of the most obvious indicators of sugar addiction. The person may eat incessantly, eat to avoid boredom, and become hyper and crash as a result. They may even express a need for sweetness following stressful or frustrating life events.
Emotional Eating and Sugar Addiction
Sugar’s capacity to deliver rapid energy, along with the delicious flavor of sugary meals, may appeal to some people. Sugar provides a “quick cure” for some people after a long and stressful day. People who are going through breakups or other emotionally unpleasant events frequently turn to chocolate or scoops of ice cream to help them cope.
Those who use sugar to cope with emotional concerns, on the other hand, are more likely to get hooked. Weight gain and difficulties focusing on daily responsibilities are also signs of sugar addiction for emotional relief. These negative effects can harm one’s self-esteem, generate emotions of powerlessness, and reduce one’s self-worth, leading to more sugar consumption and more serious addiction.
Binge eating with sugar addiction
Binge eating is a particularly dangerous element of sugar addiction. Binge eating is defined as eating a large amount of food in a short period of time, followed by feelings of guilt, embarrassment, and disgust. This can involve an emphasis on sweets for the same mood-regulating and self-medicating consequences as non-sugary foods binge eating.
It’s important to remember that eating, particularly sugar, is only a temporary remedy for emotional problems. Consider counseling or rehab if you or someone you care about is depressed and using food as a crutch.
Anxiety and sugar craving have a direct relationship. Eating disorders like binge eating or anorexia occur for underlying reasons. Oftentimes, the person suffering from such disorders is struggling for psychological and emotional reasons. Stress eating is a common example of the relationship between eating disorders and anxiety, and sugar consumption is commonly associated with stress eating.
Anxiety causes the stress hormone cortisol to be released in the body, which can suppress appetite in some. On the other hand, stress may encourage people who already like sugar into more cravings. When sugar addiction co-occurs with eating to soothe anxiety, the end result is typically weight gain. Despite sugar initially boosting serotonin levels in the brain, sugar can worsen anxiety as sugar lows create feelings of fatigue and depression.
Many people who cut sugar out of their diet experience irritability, fogginess, moodiness, and low energy as withdrawal symptoms. Because many people who are addicted to sugar have binged on sweet meals, withdrawal and cravings can be severe.
Regrettably, many people prefer to revert to eating sugary foods in order to achieve the same chemical release in the brain. A far better method is to undertake a nutritional swap, in which the sugar addict replaces unhealthy sweets with natural and healthful alternatives to regain control.
There is an unexpected genetic link between children of alcoholic parents and sugar addiction. A recent study found that when sugar is taken, dopamine receptors in the brain light up, similar to how they light up in the brain of someone who abuses alcohol. This may encourage persons who have a sweet tooth to become alcoholics.
Individuals who are addicted to alcohol have a higher predilection for sweets and suffer from sugar cravings and withdrawals. Alcohol-abusing parents’ genes, as well as their sugar preferences, can be passed down to their offspring. As a result, the child could be prone to both of these compulsions.
HOW TO SATISFY SUGAR CRAVINGS
In the body, whole grains are immediately turned into sugar. You get about 2 grams of fiber for every slice of 100 percent whole wheat bread, but you also get 20 grams of carbohydrates (starch and sugar) and 100 calories.
There is no added sugar in plain, unflavored yogurt. Plain yogurt has about 11.5 grams of sugar per 8-ounce serving. When you prepare yogurt at home and let it ferment for 24 hours, the gut-friendly bacteria digest most of the milk sugar, lowering the sugar concentration to near nothing.
Vegetables, with their natural sweetness and nutrients, are an excellent choice for such longing occasions because they will not only satisfy your appetite but also benefit your health.
Milk chocolate and white chocolate have more sugar than dark chocolate. Dark chocolate with higher cacao solids content usually has even less sugar.
Legumes have a low glycemic index, making them a better choice for controlling blood sugar levels than many other starchy foods. Beans are also high in protein and fiber, making them a nutritious 2-in-1 addition to any meal.
ALTERNATIVES OF SUGAR
There are a number of healthier options instead of sugar. Let us have a look at them,
It provides 380 calories per 100 grams (g), compared to 385 calories per 100 grams (g) for white sugar (g). It has 83 milligrams (mg) per 100 g of calcium, compared to one milligram (mg) per 100 g of white sugar. Different minerals, such as iron, are slightly more abundant in brown sugar.
Maple syrup, as well as a variety of other sweeteners, is a healthier alternative to refined sugar. It’s an excellent sweetener because it has fewer calories and a higher mineral concentration than honey, for example. Simply ensure that the maple syrup you use is 100 percent pure.
Honey has been used as a sweetener and medicine since ancient times. Honeybee venom is a viscous liquid that ranges in color from straw yellow to dark brown.
It’s a type of carbohydrate that’s a natural sweetener found in fruits and vegetables, and it’s the healthier kind of sugar to eat. Sugar alcohols like erythritol, xylitol, and maltitol are commonly used as sugar substitutes.
A WORD ON BREAKING SUGAR ADDICTION
Realizing that one’s sugar addiction is a problem is the first step toward change. Dietary changes and self-control exercises can assist, but going cold turkey isn’t recommended.
Sugar addicts, especially those who have another drug abuse disease or a co-occurring mental health issue, will find it difficult to overcome their cravings. Please contact a treatment provider today to learn more about your choices if you or someone you love has a sugar addiction, especially if complicating conditions are present.
The methods and techniques listed above are likely to yield positive results. Overconsumption, on the other hand, can be dangerous. If we plan ahead of time and become more aware of the nutritional value of sweet foods, we can start living a sugar-free lifestyle and exercise on a daily basis.
Then it will be the icing on the cake in terms of general bodily enhancement. Remember that your discipline has the ability to lead you down the path of disease-free and healthy walking. Please get medical advice if you are experiencing any health problems.