Enormous cravings for sugar, loss of control and eating without restraint, are just some of the signs of sugar addiction. Sugar fuels every cell in the brain, which sees it as a kind of reward, which makes you continue to want more of it. It turns out that if you eat a lot of sugar – the brain will strengthen this sense of reward, which will also make it difficult to get rid of this bad habit.
What happens in the body when we consume sugar?
When we eat carbohydrates, the sugar in them quickly turns into glucose in the blood, and as a result, blood sugar levels rise, explains Adina Bachar, Clinical Dietitian at the DMC Center for the Treatment of Diabetes and Obesity. Simple carbohydrates can also be found in fruits, vegetables and dairy products but, these also contain fiber, protein or fat which slows down the absorption of sugar into the blood. Sugary sodas and candies contain only sugar so when we consume these foods we actually flow sugar into the blood and the result is a dramatic rise in sugar.
The body needs to transfer glucose from the bloodstream to the cells for energy. To do this, the pancreas produces the hormone insulin. A rapid rise in insulin levels can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, leaving a person feeling down. This creates a situation where you are looking for something sweet to raise your sugar levels. That is, that sweet treat at lunch may put us in a vicious circle of eating more and more sweet and thereby upsetting the balance in blood sugar levels.
Get to know the “hidden” sugar
Sugar can be hidden in foods where it is least expected, says Bachar. Although they do not look sweet, ketchup, barbecue sauce, pasta sauce, salad dressings and even flavored coffee can be high in sugar. Start reading the labels and try to give up sugary foods.
Starchy foods (like French fries) are also complex carbohydrates that the body breaks down into simple sugars. When eaten separately and not as a supplement to healthier foods, starches can cause an increase in blood sugar levels just like simple sugar. Processed starches like white bread, pretzels, crackers and pasta are the worst.
How do you overcome your sugar addiction?
Gradually reduce sugar use – You can train the taste buds to enjoy things that are not sweet. Try to reduce one sweet food each week. For example, transfer the dessert to once a day, or once every two days or start adding less sugar to the coffee. Over time, your taste buds will get used to the gradual change, and you will lose your need for that sweet taste.
Prefer “good sweets” – There is no need to give up the sweetness forever, you can just get it from other sources. Instead of jam, prefer to eat fresh fruit or alternatively opt for low-sugar yogurt instead of sugar-rich yogurt. When making small, simple dietary changes, it’s easier to maintain them – start by planning nutritious meals that you can eat for a week when you feel hungry and avoid the unhealthy snack. Drink at least 6 glasses of water a day, check food labels and choose ones that don’t have a lot of sugar. After a few weeks you will be amazed at how little you will miss the sugar.
Consume protein and fiber Eating protein is an easy way to curb cravings for sugar. Protein-rich foods are digested more slowly, maintaining a feeling of satiety over time. Protein does not cause blood sugar to rise like carbohydrates and refined sugars. Choose proteins such as eggs, cheeses, chicken, meat and fish (tuna is also fine, it should be in the pantry for quick retrieval and preparation of a nutritious and easy meal, vegetables can also be bought washed or pre-cut to make you smile from the fridge at home or office). Fiber gives a feeling of satiety and may help in the war against the need for sweet. High-fiber foods also provide more energy. Because they do not raise blood sugar, there is no drop in sugar levels and consequent hunger.
Exercise – Exercise can help to blur the craving for sugar and influence the change in eating habits.
In conclusion, Ronaldo was not mistaken in his media act of getting rid of the sweet and addictive drink and drinking only water, says Bachar. Ultimately, water is a major component of our body. Carbonated drinks are often high in sugar and as you can understand, sugar is an addictive thing. Small changes like reading food labels, changing eating habits and meal planning can be beneficial to health and even prolong life.