Sugar addiction, also called sugar fix or sugar buzz, is defined as a situation when an individual finds it difficult to stop the habit of excessive sugar intake. High quantity of sugar in the body can lead to serious health consequences, and it is necessary to get over sugar addiction.
Sugar addiction can be as dangerous as any other addiction like alcohol or drug abuse. It is not that sugar is present only in sweets like cakes, chocolates or cookies, in fact, it is present in almost all food items like bread or snacks made from white flour. Thus, it is difficult to completely avoid the consumption of sugar. However, the sugar present in milk and fruits is healthy sugar, and our body can utilize these sugars without any harm.
Excess sugar causes health problems like diabetes, heart diseases, and even cancers. The body gets used to the consumption of sugar on occurrences of situations like depression, anxiety or phobia. The effect of sugar in such situations is temporary, and thus, as soon as the effect reduces, the body needs more sugar to get relief from the stress.
The symptoms of sugar addiction are not particular, and observing only one of the symptoms does not prove that a person is addicted to sugar. However, if a person observes more than two of the following symptoms, the condition should be taken seriously.
- Restlessness: When you do not eat food containing sugar, you start feeling restless by the end of the day.
- Anxiety and Depression: You eat sugar foods when you are depressed or feel sad. You get relieved soon after eating something sweet.
- Diet: A large amount of your diet contains sugar. You like to keep eating sweets all the time. When you do not get sweets to eat, you get frustrated or panic. You try to reduce consumption of sugar in your diet, but this results in headaches, anger, anxiety, and low mood.
For breaking away from sugar addiction, one needs to be highly determined, and a lot of self-control needs to be practiced, as a complete change in the lifestyle is required. Here are some steps one can take to tackle the problem.
- Awareness About Food Products: Whenever you buy any food product, find out whether it has any sugar content. Strictly restrict eating food items that have a high sugar content.
- Homemade Food: Avoid eating food outside, and increase consumption of homemade food with no sugar.
- Use a Sugar Substitute: Find substitutes for sugar; you can use honey for the same. Use honey in the food you cook, as there are numerous health benefits of honey.
- Reduce Alcohol: Alcohol is made up from sugar, so reduce alcohol consumption.
- Diet: Do not include white flour or potatoes in your meals. These food items contain equal amounts of sugar as in refined sugar. Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits. Include sweet potatoes, brown rice, and red potatoes in your meals. Have breakfast that includes protein-rich food. This stabilizes the blood sugar level, and reduces the need for sugar. A herb called Stevia has many health benefits, and can be used as a substitute. Try to make dishes from Stevia, which has a sweet and licorice taste.
- Water: Water is a vital component for a healthy body. Drinking plenty of water everyday will reduce the craving for sugar. Avoid drinking fruit juices though.
- Tackle Cravings: Whenever you feel like eating something sweet, engage yourself in some other activity, like watching your favorite movie or listening to music. You can eat something sweet after your meals, as this has lesser effect on the blood sugar levels.
Sugar addiction can be a cause of serious health problems. Prevention is always better than cure. Recovery can be a long process, and one needs the support of family and friends.