Growing up, you probably were treated to something containing sugar as a reward or a treat. I remember going with my mom to the bank and they would always have lollipops and getting that lollipop would be the highlight of my day! Was it because of the gesture or because of what was contained inside that lollipop? As a country, we have been facing a major obesity problem this century. While there is certainly a multitude of factors, sugar consumption plays a very major role. To anyone reading this I challenge you to start reading food labels of anything you regularly eat and look for the sugar contents! The results will surprise many of you. Let us take a look at if sugar really is that big of a threat to our health and if there really can be an addiction to it.
How Does Sugar Affect Us?
A big reason that sugar is popular and heavy consumption is how the brain reacts to it. Once somebody indulges in sugar it releases a large amount of dopamine in the brain. If you are unfamiliar with dopamine, it is nothing more than a chemical in your brain that makes you feel good! Some like to call it the pleasure chemical and who doesn’t like some pleasure every now and then? Initially eating a bunch of sugar can make somebody feel great, but shortly after there is a major crash and the good feeling does not last long. As quickly as your blood sugar shoots up from intake, your cells absorb that sugar and give you a ‘crashing’ feeling that is very unpleasant. Sugar can also affect your skin, bones, teeth, and most notably the heart. Excess sugar consumption can lead to clogging your arteries thus leading to a heart attack or a stroke.
Can You Get Addicted?
As mentioned earlier, the dopamine dumps that are involved when eating anything with sugar also result in heavy sugar cravings if we eat it too much. Your brain and body get so used to your usual sugar intake that if you try to have less, you will technically crave it as a drug addict could potentially crave more drugs. This is exactly why the term sugar addiction exists. It is very possible to develop a dependency on sugar that it seems like an insurmountable task to give it up! Many full-grown adults can probably genuinely say they have not gone a single day without sugar, it is such a staple in almost everything we eat even when we feel we are being ‘healthy’
What To Do If Sugar Is A Problem?
If you really feel that your sugar intake is too much then there are many measures you can take. A lot of people literally refer to it as a sugar detox and it is not an easy process. Many studies have been done that show sugar can be more addictive than cocaine. So while yes, putting down the sugar altogether is a great plan, you might want to take it a little further. Find someone who is in the same boat as you and is trying to quit sugar so you can hold each other accountable. Maybe see a doctor who you hold you accountable as well. Also, it is important to do research online or get in contact with a nutritionist who can point you in the direction of where to start and what foods to focus on.
Sugar is no joke, it has been in a lot of our foods throughout our lives without us knowing thus making it a tall order to overcome. After reading this I hope you can see why it is very viable to call a sugar problem an addiction for many people.