When you consume a lot of sugar, this gives you a feeling of a sudden surge of energy as it provides your body a temporary rush. Some think that this is good for them because it uplifts the mood which enables you to perform your tasks better.
But is it really a good thing? In this two-part article series, we will learn all about sugar rush, the reasons why we get addicted to sugar, and the effects of sugar in our diet.
The Nature of Sugar Addiction
Every cell in your body needs sugar or glucose to survive and function. This works when your digestive system breaks down the carbohydrates you eat into glucose to fuel your body. Today, we see a major problem in our society concerning the modern diet that shows enormous amounts of sugar present in foods.
From the earliest human civilization until now, we have been eating small amounts of sugar found naturally in fruits and plants. We are designed to crave high-energy foods like sugar. In nature, sweet taste means high calories, and to our ancestors, those calories could spell the difference between survival and starvation.
Sugar stimulates the release of feel-good chemicals in your brain, making you crave not just the sugar calories but also its sweet sensations. Nowadays, Americans consume more than 130 pounds of sugar each year, half of which comes from artificial corn sweeteners. But, our body isn’t designed to handle the overload of sugar that comes from modern diet.
So, what makes us addicted to eating foods with lots of sugar in them? First of all, an addiction is anything that one acquires to avoid a negative feeling, or the compulsion to artificially produce a pleasurable sensation. People who are addicted in sugar typically use sugar as an energy booster to avoid feeling tired and hungry, and a mood lifter because sugar triggers the production of serotonin and dopamine, which are hormones that make you feel happy and satisfied.
Here are the symptoms of being addicted in sugary foods:
- You suffer extreme fatigue or have trouble concentrating without the consumption of sugar.
- You eat sugar compulsively, even though you realize the negative consequences.
- If you go without sugar for a day or two, you experience physical withdrawal symptoms.
- You get obsessed over what your next sweet treat will be and when you get to have it.
- You hide your sugar consumption from other people or lie about your eating behaviour.
- You’re craving more and more sugar to experience the boost. Foods that used to taste sweet to you don’t seem so
- You repeatedly eat too much sugar, even though you promise yourself that you will not do it again.
- You focus on eating sugary foods to uplift your emotions when you feel lonely or when you are having a bad day.
Effects of Sugar in Diet
There are many processed foods, sweetened beverages, engineered sweeteners, and refined grains in the market that overload your body with unmanageable amounts of sugar, chemicals, and additives. Because of overconsumption of sugar, this leads to various health problems which place an enormous burden in our society.
In the United States, obesity rates have doubled over the last 30 years, with a full two-thirds of Americans currently overweight or obese. The skyrocketing number of obese individuals worldwide runs parallel to the increase in the sugar consumption over the same 30-year span. According to the report by the American Diabetes Association, about 9% of Americans, both children and adults, have diabetes, with millions more diagnosed every year.
So, sugar when overly consumed is really dangerous to your health as it is the main cause of obesity, diabetes, liver disease, autoimmune disorders, chronic fatigue, hypothyroid disease, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, and metabolic syndrome. Unfortunately, there are many young people who are experiencing the devastating conditions and illnesses because of eating sweet foods.
If you’re suffering from compulsive eating or overconsumption of sugary foods, you must take the initiative to prevent yourself from having health problems. Improve your eating habits and put your effort in cutting down your sugar intake. Reducing your sugar intake will help you to start burning fat, you will feel less hungry, you belly will get flatter, you’ll no longer have the risk of diabetes, and you’ll feel more energized and healthy for a longer time than before.
Based on the article by Andra Picincu in Livestrong, if you consume around 200 grams of carbs daily. That’s 800 calories per day from carbs alone. Each pound of fat is roughly 3,500 calories. If you cut 800 calories per day by eliminating sugar and starch from your diet, you’ll lose about one pound of fat in four days and 3.2 pounds within two weeks.
Eating sugary foods may satisfy for a short amount of time but doing this constantly will eventually harm your overall health and well-being. Therefore, start your day by eating healthy foods and filling up yourself with high-protein and high-fiber foods. Watch your calorie intake carefully and eat with your good health in mind.
In the next article, we will discuss more details about the effects of eating sugar in depression and weight gain.
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