Help! I’m addicted to sugar.

I hear this cry for help more often than you know. 

Ok, so maybe I’m not a sugar addict now and am celebrating in this pic but I once was addicted to sugar.

Ok, so maybe I’m not a sugar addict now and am celebrating in this pic but I once was addicted to sugar.

It’s funny because it may not even be someone verbalizing the fact that they’re addicted to sugar but if they’re in my practice, I can hear their body crying out. 

I’d venture to say that sugar addiction is one of most common addictions there is.  It’s real. It’s heavy. It’s common. 

If you’re old enough (ahhemmm), let us reflect on the 80s. If you’re too young to remember allow me to paint a picture for you... 

The convenience food scene gained tremendous momentum during this time.

Fat was bad (everything was low fat which meant more sugar).

Microwaves were the hot new thing (no pun intended).

Coca-cola came out with cherry coke. 

Kool aide commercials came on during cartoons.

Pasta and stuffed baked potatoes became KING and QUEEN of all meals.

All was right in the world. 

Folks were eating foods that contain simple carbohydrates such as these as their primary source of nutrition and sustenance. 

I bring this up to point out that a sugar addiction doesn’t just look like craving candy, sweets or desserts. If most of the food you eat is made of refined grans or simple carbohydrates then you could create a dependence on sugar. 

Let me break down the meaning of a simple carbohydrate. 

It’s a carbohydrate that is broken down easily in the body to be used for energy.  This includes sugar (cane, raw, table sugar…), fruit, honey, soft drinks and syrups.  It also includes white pasta, white potatoes, white rice, white flour and white flour products.  The body uses the sugars that are broken down from the simple carbohydrate quickly.

We create a problem when the body then becomes dependent on more and more “sugar” for energy.  Plus, sugar consumption can trigger a neurotransmitter release (it’s different for everyone) that makes you feel good. This can eventually cause addiction. 

Much of our American diet is focused on food that tastes sweet. We put ketchup (sweet) on hamburgers, fries, hot dogs, eggs…. We drink fruit juice (sweet)… We eat breakfast with pancakes/waffles/muffins (sweet)… We LOVE bread (sweet)… We eat rice, pasta, or another grain with meals (sweet)… We sometimes have dessert (sweet)… Many of our habits and meals are based on a sweet treat.  It’s no wonder so many are addicted.

What’s one to do?

Well there are a few simple steps you can apply to battle the beckoning of sugar.  I’ll share a few of my simple tricks for battling sugar addiction:

  • When you crave sweet, go for something sour instead.  Believe it or not, the sour taste will help alleviate the need for sweet.

  • Diversify your the flavors on your plate. Aim to eat bitter, salt and sour foods in addition to sweet.

  • Try to avoid buying foods that are simple carbohydrates and instead consume more fibrous options.  For example, brown rice instead of white rice, whole sprouted grain brain instead of white bread, seeded crackers instead of flour based crackers, brown rice pasta instead of semolina pasta…

  • With regards to energy medicine and holistic healing, examine what may be missing in your life. What space is sweetness filling for you?

  • Aim to eat low glycemic foods that have less of an impact on the blood sugar than high glycemic foods.

I hope this has been helpful for you.

Remember, you’re not alone in this.  Feel free to share with a friend of family member who may need to hear this message.