Don’t fall for sugar’s dirty tricks
Sugar addiction affects many people, as “Morning Joe” host Mika Brzezinski wrote recently in her op-ed, “My Lifelong Struggle With Sugar.” Brzezinski said she has struggled with food issues and sugar addiction for decades and wrote, “I feel gutted and empty when I haven’t had sugar for a few hours and start searching for it.”
Although she said sugar soothes her, Brzezinski conceded that it “also has countless negative impacts on (her) health and productivity.”
Brzezinski is not alone — she joins millions of others who are addicted to sugar.
Addiction to sugar is real — and harmful. The sugar industry has known about the dangers of excess sugar since the early 1970s, while the food industry has been hiding the truth about sugar for decades — devising ways to get you even more addicted to their products, regardless of the consequences to your health.
But thankfully, an influential group of medical researchers has been spreading the word about the strong associations between sugar consumption and the rising rates of obesity and major diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
Refined sugar can be found in virtually every processed food — typically in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. Consequently, often you are simply unaware of just how much sugar you’re consuming. Added sugar is often hidden under other less familiar names, such as dextrose, maltose, galactose and maltodextrin, for example.
But it’s not just candy, pastries and soda that are loaded with added sugars. Savory foods contain it as well, as do most, if not all condiments, and even infant formula and baby food.
This outrageously excessive sugar consumption literally causes your appetite regulation system to go awry. Because of this, leptin, the hormone responsible for satiety, isn’t working properly anymore in a majority of people.
It’s a well-proven fact that sugar increases your insulin and leptin levels and decreases receptor sensitivity for both of these vital hormones. This can lead to:
- High blood pressure and high cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Weight gain
- Premature aging
Fortunately, there are solutions to unhealthy junk food cravings. One of the most effective strategies you can try is intermittent fasting, along with diet modifications that effectively help reset your body’s metabolism, such as replacing sugars and nonvegetable carbs with vegetables and healthy fats.
Another helpful technique, which addresses the emotional component of food cravings, is the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). If you maintain negative thoughts and feelings about yourself while trying to take physical steps to improve your body, you’re unlikely to succeed. Fine-tuning your brain to “positive” mode is absolutely imperative to achieve optimal physical health. Along this same line, as Brzezinski writes in her op-ed, mindfulness therapy is another option for fighting a continuous friction with food and a sugar addiction.