Why sugar addiction is so hard to beat

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Of all the changes one might try to make to improve one’s nutrition, eliminating or reducing the intake of added sugar is probably one of the hardest (but also one of the most crucial) things to do. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Sugar is everywhere. It is ever-present and very socially acceptable, being used as part of every gathering, food treat, or celebration. Children get candy as a reward for good behavior. Almost every occasion, from birthday party to wedding reception, is impossible to imagine without cake. Furthermore, many alcoholic drinks – another social convention – are heavily sugar-laced.
  2. The love of sugar is biologically ingrained. On a biological level, sweet taste allows one to assess the ripeness of fruit, therefore helping choose the ones which offer most nutritional benefits – as in nature, sugar is a component of nutritionally dense foods. The consumption of sugar is chemically rewarded by the brain – it acts on the pleasure-center and triggers the release of serotonin, which in turn floods our bodies with pleasant sensations. The problem is, this kind of biochemical high is also addictive – when the consumption of sugar is over-indulged, on attempting to break it one might literally find oneself feeling and behaving like a junkie on withdrawal.
  3. Commonly used in food industry – sugar is one of the favorite ingredients of food industry, and do you have to ask why? It’s cheap, has a pleasant taste and an almost infinite shelf life. It is used, therefore, to entice innocent people, cover up for bland taste inferior ingredients are responsible for and, in short, to line the pockets of the food conglomerates.

I have stated before that I am an acknowledged sugar addict. I’m not saying “recovered” or “former”; I will probably struggle with this affliction for as long as I live, but eating well, resting well, and being aware of the problem helps quite a bit. One interesting book I am reading now is The Carbohydrate Addict’s Diet. It isn’t a new book, and some of the things they recommend and/or allow are outdated, but overall they have an interesting approach. Their attitude, in a nutshell, is reducing hyperinsulinemia by limiting carbohydrate-containing meals to one per day. Other favorite reads of mine are Sugar Blues and Beating The Food Giants.

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8 thoughts on “Why sugar addiction is so hard to beat

  1. I love sweets because I’m not sweet enough .On the other hand , too much sugar intake is detrimental to health .Moderation is key to everything .But then , since sweets is deeply entrenched in our society , there is nothing we can do except to resist temptation whenever we can.

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  2. I think one way to battle sugar addiction is to actually limit the consumption of sweets to these special occassions you mentioned. My downfall is everyday life when I get the craving for a snack and then choose these little treats instead of fruit, for example.
    Another way I’m trying to avoid too much sugar is by cookin as much as possible from scratch and not choose ready-made meals.

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  3. Balancing the pH in the body is hugely helpful! I used to be a total sugar addict and after getting my body alkaline I can take or leave it most days. If the body is acid it craves sugar to stay acid. also an acid body is prone to have high levels of infection and sugar feeds the infections and in order to feel well you must keep the infections fed and that is why when you go off sugar completely you can get so sick. All those dying infections really cause an overload and are begging to be fed.

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  4. Shalom Anna:

    Thank you for posting on this topic. I need to hear this again and again! At one point I was a sugar addict but then read the book, years ago, “The Sugar Blues” and finally got off of all sugars! I felt much better! The strangest thing was that when I did have sugar again, after being off of it for awhile, it tasted sickeningly sweet!!! It did not taste “pleasant” to me at all. Not in the least! One thing that happens when you really do come completely off of sugar is that not only does it not taste good anymore to you but it also is not missed at all whatsoever! This happens once you’ve not had sugar in like 8 to 10 days, so fairly quickly. All of the sugar cravings go away completely!

    However, for some reason I did try out sugar again, thinking that I could just have it that time and then turn it down again after that. I guess I was a true “addict” because I found that I was not able to “take it or leave it”! I got back on sugar again and over the years am back as a “sugar addict” once again now! I do need to stop and get off of the sugar again! Hopefully, I will do so soon!

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