How to Stop an Addiction to Sugar
Any artificially created addiction is not a great thing for our body. And if you have a sweet tooth you should fully realize the harm that can be caused by excessive amounts of glucose. Read on to find out the reasons you are craving sweets and how to stop an addiction to sugar overall.
Why We are Drawn to Sweets
The overwhelming majority of people consider cravings for something sweet a lack of willpower, however, this isn’t such a simple problem as it seems at a first glance. For a detailed explanation, we turned to Nutrilite brand expert and dietician. In her opinion, there are three main reasons that lead to sugar addiction.
The most harmless is the craving for sweets when on an improperly planned diet or a rigid diet. If you only eat grass or low-carb diets, then the body is just trying to compensate for the energy deficit, forcing you to choose something sweet and fatty.
The second reason - a habit of eating away your problems with sweets is a type of a psychological sugar dependency. As a rule, you can say thank you to your good relatives who consoled you with sweets and not embraces when you were a child. Or bribed you: let’s go to the doctor, and if you don’t cry, I'll feed you cake after. And now, after many years, as an adult, having received a nagging from the boss, you go to the coffee shop and buy a cupcake.
The third and most complex reason for sugar addiction is the congenital defect of the serotonin system of the brain. In this, incidentally, sugar is a remedy that helps to remove anxiety and improve mood. Getting into the body, glucose increases the permeability of the blood-brain barrier for the amino acid tryptophan, from which the brain synthesizes serotonin - a hormone that normalizes the mood.
How Dangerous is Sugar?
From the very childhood, we have gotten used to hearing, that if you eat too much sugar - your teeth will get ruined. Well, that’s true, tooth decay - a headache for dentists - directly depends on the amount of absorbed sugar, especially simple and easily digestible.
In addition, the so-called "simple sugars" are instantly absorbed by the body and converted to fat, and the problem is further aggravated because surpluses of adipose tissue can reduce the activity of the hormone insulin, designed to utilize glucose in the blood. As a result, the risk of developing diabetes mellitus - a serious disease that requires constant self-monitoring and the intake of hypoglycemic drugs - increases.
In addition to the complications associated with diabetes, excess sugar in the blood increases the likelihood of fungal and infectious diseases, and pathogenic intestinal microorganisms love sweets very much and successfully reproduce in the gastrointestinal tract, triggering dysbacteriosis and disrupting the internal organs.
Foods Rich in Serotonin
Since the main and the most serious cause of craving for sweet is the lack of serotonin in the body, it’s logical to assume that you should try to supplement its level in every possible way. And for that, it’s important to know the list of foods rich in serotonin - an essential amino acid tryptophan.
- Dutch cheese and other hard cheeses - 790 mg of tryptophan in 100g of product;
- Melted cheeses - 500 mg in 100g;
- Soybeans - 714 mg per 100g;
- Peas, beans, lentils - 260-280 mg in 100 g;
- Meat (turkey, beef), eggs, champignons (mushrooms) - 200-230 mg in 100g;
- Cottage cheese - 180-210 mg in 100g;
- Cereals, pasta - 120-180 mg in 100g;
- Bread (rye, wheat) - 70-100 mg in 100g;
- Milk, sour-milk products - 40-50 mg in 100g;
- Vegetables, fruits - 5-30 mg in 100g.
It’s enough to remember that a person should receive about 1-2 grams of tryptophan with food a day, and then the body's need for serotonin will be completely satisfied. If you go without eating sweets your day seems depressing - contact a nutritionist or psychologist. You might have a more complex psychological problem, and it should be handled by a qualified specialist.
Why You Can’t Completely Give Up Sugar
There’s no doubt that if you go to an extreme and completely deprive yourself of sugar, you simply won’t last long. Here’s why.
In the absence of sugar, the process of normal circulation in the brain and spinal cord will inevitably be disrupted, which will soon lead to serious atherosclerotic disorders and thromboses.
Normal blood sugar levels prevent the occurrence of rheumatological diseases, including arthritis. Without sugar, the normal functioning of internal organs such as the spleen and liver is impossible.
So why punish yourself, completely getting rid of sugar? A snickers bar within reasonable limits is a very good thing.