Got you, didn’t I? Addiction is such a buzzword. Most people associate addiction with skid row types or the weak willed. The very opposite is true. All of my patients are addicted to something, but usually it’s to socially acceptable things. Coffee, soda, love, alcohol, shopping, approval, and dairy are at the top of the list. The hardest to give up? And the most prevalent? Sugar. Yep. Sugar. This epidemic of abuse of sugar in this country has gotten so bad that a 12 year old needed a liver transplant due to his intake of soda.
It is now a common occurrence to see children taking blood pressure medication and having what used to be called adult onset diabetes- type 2 diabetes. 5-year-olds weighing more than 100 pounds is normal. 100 pounds. Almost 13 percent of children ages 6 to 17 are obese. Something is very wrong. Teenage boys consume an average of 34 teaspoons of sugar a day. It’s recommended that adult males should eat no more than 9 teaspoons of added sugar per day.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study conducted at Harvard proving that sugar consumption and foods that drastically raise blood levels triggers activity in the brain associated with addiction. Sugar and other stimulating addictions increase dopamine in the short term, leading to wanting more. Dopamine is released when you experience pleasure. Since 1970, American sugar consumption has gone up 17 percent. See the connection?
Unless you make all your own food from home, sugar is hidden in everything including tomato sauce/ketchup, salad dressing, soup, flavored chips, yoghurt, cereal, canned vegetables, breakfast bars, bread, fast food and chain restaurants, Do you think you’re choosing the healthier option at fast food places by ordering a salad? Think again. A McDonald’s Big Mac has 9 grams of sugar and the chicken salad raspberry vinaigrette has 13 grams. Jarred pasta sauce isn’t any better. A serving of Prego tomato sauce has more sugar than one serving of Oreos.
Tips for getting off the junk.
* Daily acupuncture is an effective way to ease the suffering of withdrawal. It helps with cravings. It also safely and effectively aids a patient in dealing with whatever emotions might come up.
* Avoid having sweet breakfasts, such as sweetened yoghurt and fruit, sugared cereal, and sugar-laden oatmeal. Starting your day off with sugar sets up your entire day to wanting more.
* Eat healthy snacks to give you energy instead of reaching for an energy bar, coffee with sugar, or donuts. Try hummus, veggie sticks, and nuts.
* Stop eating and drinking all sugars, sweeteners, and fruit juice. The slightest amount can retrigger your cravings.
* Enjoy plenty of omega 3 rich foods- walnuts, kale, hemp seeds, and seaweed snacks. They help with insulin control and healthy brain function.
* If you are having something sweet, add a little cinnamon to help regulate blood sugar levels.
Addiction. It can be an action or substance that is in any way negatively affecting your daily life, and you find it virtually impossible to stop. How many times have you said to yourself, “No more,” only to reach for another piece of cake? It’s time to take charge of your health and give up sugar.
Live natural. Live well.