A recent study conducted by Harvard’s David Ludwig found that sugar can, in fact, be quite addicting. Why? You see, foods high in sugar content raise blood sugar dramatically – more than other types of foods. This spike in blood sugar stimulates a portion of the brain that is infamous for additions – even hard-core addictions like gambling or drug abuse.
Simply craving and consuming sugar wouldn’t be such a hardship if it weren’t so unhealthy. Consuming large amounts of sugar can lead to weight gain and a host of illnesses including Type 2 diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure. And, as with all addictions, the more sugar you consume, the more you will crave it.
How to Fight Sugar Addiction
Willpower alone will not stop sugar addiction, you must develop a fail-proof plan that will serve you well even when you’ve exhausted your willpower. Follow these 5 tips for eliminating sugar from your diet and stopping sugar addiction:
- Find unlikely and hidden sources of sugar in your diet by reading food labels. You would be surprised by how many foods contain hidden sources of sugar. Learn all the names of sugar and carefully scan all nutrition labels before purchase. If you eliminate hidden sources of sugar, you can further control the roller coaster ride of blood sugar spikes followed by intense cravings.
- Stock your kitchen with healthy foods to eliminate temptation. It’s also a good idea to create menus and a grocery list to keep you on track. It’s a lot harder to stray from a solid game plan than it is a vague concept of eating better.
- Eat more fruit. Not only will fruit satisfy your sweet tooth, it is also a healthy way to add a flavorful twist to otherwise boring dishes. Unlike processed sugar, the natural sugar found in fruit will not cause unhealthy spikes in blood glucose levels.
- Cut out or dilute sugar wherever possible. If you consume a lot of sugary drinks, cut the sugar content by adding less sugar or adding seltzer. Gradually reduce the sugar content of your drinks while cutting down the number of times you imbibe to eliminate this source of sugar from your diet.
- Combat cravings by finding healthy substitutes. Foods high in protein such as nuts and peanut butter are a good place to start. Not only will these foods stop cravings, they will keep you feeling full.
The more you eliminate sugar from your diet, the less often you will crave it. As your blood sugar levels become constant, you will find that you have more control over your cravings and that you have been able to successfully overcome sugar addiction. Granted, it doesn’t get better overnight, but if you take small, gradual steps to fight sugar addiction, you will find that the battle only gets easier as time goes on.