I need to talk this morning about sugar addiction. Because I myself have fallen off the wagon and need to get back on. So, I talk to myself as I talk to you, and hope you get value out of the discussion too.
It’s been SUCH a stressful month, goodness Lord. Too busy to workout every day, and so easy to comfort myself with a sweet treat, I’ll just have one. But I never have just one. Guh.
I’ll link to an NIH article (wildly brainiac, enjoy) that details the neurochemical evidence that sugar is an addictive substance. Most of us who have ever eaten an entire box of Girl Scout Cookies (and were left wanting more) already knew this.
Why do we crave sugar? It’s comforting. To say “it tastes good”, doesn’t even come close to describing the array of neurochemical bells and whistles that sugar sets off in our brains and bodies. Sadly, like all drugs, we are left needing to eat more and more to get the same effects. For some of us, this effect is more pronounced than in others.
If sugar was a neutral substance to my health, this would not be a big deal. However, there are so many negative effects to an overload of high GI sugar consumption (fresh fruit being an exception to this) that I need to be concerned about it.
Among the negative health effects of added sugars (not naturally occuring): increased risk of death from cancer and heart disease, increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, and increased risk of high cholesterol (by stimulating the liver to dump fats into the bloodstream). There is SO MUCH evidence of the negative effects of added sugar, that I cannot possible link to all the JAMA, NIH and Harvard Health articles about it.
I KNOW too much sugar is bad for me. I know it is addictive. What I need to do is break the addiction monster. (Again.) So, what I’ll do, starting today, is: add more fresh fruit to my diet (God’s own candy) as a way of feeding the monster in a healthy way, get back to daily exercise as a way of elevating my body’s healthy processing of sugar and cholesterol (no more weekend warrior, exercise needs to happen every day), and find a different way to reward myself (a phone call to chat with some of my favorite girlfriends is as quick a pick-me-up as a high GI treat).
If you, like me, have struggled with this, then you have my deepest, deepest sympathies. Let’s get back to good health together, shall we?
It starts now.