Are You Addicted to Sugar? Probably Not.

Healthy Living

June 9, 2016

SUGAR: Fact or Fiction?

There are many forms of sugar, some healthy and others not and the affect they have on your body and brain vary just as much. There is a lot of hype about sugar detox diets out there today, but are they healthy and do they really work? Let’s discuss some of the real truths about sugar detox diets that promise to cure you of that sweet tooth you’ve developed, whether they can actually work and the healthy ways to undo the damage sugar may be causing you.

In extensive studies conducted over numerous years and in tandem with a specific study utilizing all the data compiled researchers were able to make some definitive correlations between sugar consumption and other addictive substance comparisons under certain criteria. The study conducted on rats showed evidence that when given intermittent access to sugar and food a “dependency” phenomenon was capable of being created just as seen in drug and alcohol abuse. The study showed a similar correlation to that in humans with bulimia or binge eating disorders and thus that this is evidence that sugar can be addictive. However the researchers also acknowledged that no matter how striking the correlations are that “whether or not it is a good idea to call this a “food addiction” in people is both a scientific and societal question that has yet to be answered.”

Who Is At Risk Of A Sugar Addiction?

Some people use sugary snacks and foods to curb stress, depression or other uncomfortable situations as a coping method and though these are not healthy behaviors it doesn’t mean they are addicted to sugar. Actual addiction would include more severe behaviors that would put your life in more immediate danger, for example a diabetic binging on sugary foods or drinks that could induce a diabetic coma. True addicts have lost the ability to have any sense of control over their actions.

In most cases the craving for sugar is a result of the bad eating habits you have created, sugar fuels your brain cells and your body begins to see it as a reward which makes it a hard habit to break. The more sugar you consume the more your brain sees it as a reward.

What Are The Good And Bad Sugar Foods For Your Body

Most foods contain some type(s) of sugar in them, some are good for your body and others aren’t. For example sweets such as candy bars and candy contain added sugars that are called a simple carbohydrate and are rapidly turned into glucose and rushes into your bloodstream. These simple carbohydrates will cause your blood sugar levels to get a quick rush spiking them and then dropping nearly as quickly and has been associated with increased risks for obesity and diabetes.

Simple carbohydrates are also found in foods naturally such as fruits and veggies, but these simple carbohydrates contain fiber in them as well as protein which causes the glucose to be more slowly absorbed into your bloodstream. But even too much of healthy fruits and vegetables can add too much glucose to your system, so if your are too many of them at a sitting it can be unhealthy and produce increased blood sugar levels that can increase your risk for diabetes. Dairy products also contain sugar that will increase your blood sugar levels, but again these foods contain fiber and protein and when consumed in recommended daily amounts are good for your body and general health.

Another type of food that produces a craving for sugar is complex carbs. Complex carbs are found in starchy foods such as pasta, white rice, bagels, breads, crackers and pretzels etc. which are broken down in your body producing simple sugars. These simple sugars can have the same effect on your cravings for sugar as a candy bar does, but the difference here is that simple sugar foods can be eaten in moderation in a healthy diet when consumed with other foods without causing that sudden surge in blood sugar levels.

Are Sugar Detox Diets Healthy And Do They Work

Any type of detox diet is a drastic purging your body of a substance, when it comes to food and sugar in particular most people cannot sustain this type of diet as a permanent lifestyle. Sugar detox diets typically require you to remove all sugars from your daily diet, that means giving up fruit, dairy, starches (refined grains) and of course sweets and white sugar. For most people a diet that drastic is not one they will stick with for a lifetime, so most doctors believe detox diets will not work for people trying to kick their sugar habit.

Most doctors and nutritionists believe making slow gradual changes in your diet such as start by eliminating sugary beverages or reducing the amount you consume is a good, healthy way to approach reducing your sugar cravings. By slowly eliminating sugary foods and drinks gradually you begin to retrain your taste buds and your cravings for sugar will decrease over time. Changes like these are much more likely to work because they do not make you feel deprived and become a lifestyle change rather than a “diet”.

There are plenty of healthy sweet foods you can incorporate in your lifestyle change that will keep you from feeling deprived of sweetness in your daily diet and as long as eaten in recommended daily amounts will have you sugar free and enjoying it.