I thought I was OK because I don’t eat the foods that blatantly scream “sugar” like store-bought cookies, soda or sugary cereals, but I still consume way too much sugar. I HAVE to have a special treat every night and I look forward to it all day, which is usually “light” ice cream (which is still high in sugar), No Pudge brownies or pudding. I’ve noticed lately that the more sugar I eat, the more I crave.
I wanted to conduct research on this to see if I was the only one who experienced this crazy cycle of cravings. The study, Sugar and Fat Bingeing Have Notable Differences in Addictive-Like Behavior, published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2009 found that sugar affects the brain chemistry and produces neurochemical changes in the brain, similar to those seen during drug cravings. The same chemical, Dopamine (DA), that has been suggested to have a common role in drug abuse, produces similar effects in the brain with sugar bingeing. Additionally, this study also found that withdrawal from sugar produced the same neurochemical balance as did withdrawal from drugs such as morphine, alcohol and nicotine.
Wow, sounds like sugar addiction is real.
I am going to write a series of posts on this topic to help shed some light on the mystery of sugar. Look for additional blog posts this week on:
- Top 10 “sneaky” sugar foods
- Understanding nutrition labels & identifying the many names of sugar
- How to limit the added sugars in your diet
- The effect of sugar on children’s behavior
In the meantime, read this great article about sugar by Joy Bauer. This week I’m going to try to limit the amount of “added” sugars that I consume. I’m only on day 2 and have already found this extremely hard. I am not going to try to eliminate added sugars, because that is way too hard and I’ll be setting myself up for failure. Instead I’m just going to try to limit the amount of added sugars I consume, especially in products that don’t “need” sugar.
Have you tried to cut out added sugars? Have you had any luck? I’d love to hear from you!