With Halloween just finishing the bulk of us are still feeling its effects. Whether it is the low hum from our hearts racing or the constant shaking in our hands, it is clear that our sugar consumption has left its mark. Are we slowly building up a tolerance to sugar and its effects? Unfortunately, we are definitely increasing our sugar consumption and it is easy to see why. Sugar releases opioids and dopamine which trick our bodies in to making the connection that sugar makes you happy. Given that opioids and dopamine are released to relax and bring us joy naturally our bodies crave anything that can recreate this sensation. Thus, making sugar extremely addictive.
Feeling the Sugar High?
One of the many reasons sugar consumption has been steadily increasing over the years is definitely due to its addictive properties. In fact, studies have shown that it is more addictive than cocaine. When we look back over the years in 1822, the average American consumed around 45 grams of sugar every five days, which is just over 10 teaspoons. Compare that to 2012, where the average American consumed over 756 grams of sugar every five days, that is over 180 teaspoons! When you take into account the fact that the daily recommended intake of sugar for men is less than 9 grams and for women it is less than 6 grams. It is easy to see that Americans are clearly over doing it.
Sugar is Everywhere!
What is causing the biggest spike in sugar consumption? Good old fashioned greed. It’s no secret that a spoonful of sugar helps just about anything go down. That is why so many companies put it in everything. And when I say everything I mean EVERYTHING! Sugar seems to be hiding in just about everything from garlic salt, table salt, ketchup, peanut butter, even soy sauces! The unfortunate reality is that we as consumers don’t check the list of ingredients as often or as closely as we should. It is easy to see why we are all quickly becoming addicted to sugar.
Are You Addicted to Sugar?
There are several different signs and symptoms to look out for that will help you determine if you too are addicted to sugar. Given that sugar is one of the most addictive substances on the planet, and easily one of the most consumed, it may surprise you to find out that you too are addicted. Be on the lookout for the following: feeling the need to snack all day, coffee addict, find yourself craving sugar, chronically stressed out, consume a lot of fruit or juices, crave something sweet after meals, hunger hits you hard, craving carbs, and if your sugar cravings increase the longer you go without it. You would be surprised to find that the majority of people are currently addicted to sugar. Just like any other addiction you can and will suffer withdrawal symptoms when you burn through your sugar stash.
The Light at the End of the Tunnel
Don’t worry there is hope! It is totally possible to get that sugar monkey off your back. Here at the Best Holistic Life and Ask Dr. Dee we pride ourselves on providing you with a solution to whatever problem you may face. That is why this article also includes safe, all natural ways to counteract sugar withdrawal symptoms. Given that we all will experience some form of sugar withdrawal at some point in our lives, these are great tools to keep on hand. When you find yourself craving something sweet grab some whole fruits (like an apple or berries). Make sure to ditch all of your artificial sweeteners, studies have shown that they can increase your sugar cravings rather than reducing them. Try a more natural approach with stevia and monk fruit (I love the Whole Earth sugar). Clean out all your processed sugars from your house! Read your food labels and make as much as your own condiments as possible (I will post some of my favorite recipes for you to use here). Diffuse grapefruit. The smell of grapefruit helps naturally reduce sugar cravings. Add some cinnamon, it helps create the illusion of sweetness (a little cinnamon magic). Lastly, manage your magnesium levels. If you find yourself craving sweets, especially chocolate, you may need to increase your magnesium.
Why Should You Give Sugar The Boot?
There are so many amazing benefits you can look forward to once you kick sugar to the curb. One of my favorites is the benefits it has on your skin. Not only does removing sugar help clear up your skin it also reduces wrinkles! Most people don’t know that sugar inhibits white blood cell development and therefore weakens your immune system that’s why removing it can help strengthen your immune system. Cancer and bacteria feed on sugar which is why removing it from your nutrition can help greatly reduce your risk for cancer and candida overdose. Removing sugar can also improve your mood and increase your energy. When we consume sugar it gives us a surge of energy and joy only to be followed quickly by fatigue and depression that is why removing it can help create a steady flow of energy and joy. Not to mention the fact that kicking sugar from your diet helps to naturally lose weight!
Tell Me More!
While it is almost impossible to remove all forms of sugar from your nutrition everyone can benefit from removing as much excess as possible. That is why I highly recommend removing all forms of processed sugar from your daily nutrition. That doesn’t mean you cannot still enjoy natural sugars such as maple syrup, honey, dates, fruit, dark chocolate, stevia, monk fruit, and agave. Like all things in life we just need to use moderation as much as possible. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your current sugar intake please feel free to contact me directly at [email protected] or leave a comment below. In an attempt to provide you with additional healthy sweet treat options be sure to subscribe. This will ensure that you won’t miss out on the tricky treats posts. I will be posting a series of sweet treat recipes that are healthy and delicious. If you have a favorite treat you would like me to tweak so you can enjoy it without any of the guilt be sure to post it in the comment section and get ready for some tasty treats!