It is widely known that consuming large amounts of sugar can be detrimental to our health. Over and over again studies have shown the dangerous link between sugar and weight gain, increase in blood pressure, higher risk for diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Most alarming is the lack of awareness of the actual addiction that forms when you continuously consume high amounts of sugar in your day to day eating.
In an eye opening article by Dr Mark Hyman, the actual causes behind the obesity epidemic are discussed. He also compares the uncontrollable desire for sugary foods to that of extremely dangerous drugs such as cocaine or heroin. The science behind how our brain chemistry is effected when we consume large amounts of sugar is explained and the importance of closely examining what is being put into our food and the effects this may have on our short and long term health.
It appears part of the reason almost 70 percent of Americans are overweight or one in two Americans has pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes may not be gluttony, lack of willpower or absence of personal responsibility but plain old, garden variety biological addiction.
Debate has raged recently about whether junk food, the hyper-processed, hyper-palatable food that has become our SAD (standard American diet) is addictive in the same way that heroin or cocaine is addictive. A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that, in fact, higher sugar, higher glycemic foods can be addictive.
David Ludwig, author of Ending the Food Fight, and his colleagues at Harvard, in a very sophisticated study, showed that foods with more sugar, foods that raise blood sugar even more than table sugar such as white flour, white potatoes and refined starch have what is called a high glycemic index, trigger a special region in the brain called the nucleus accumbens that is known to be “ground zero” for conventional addiction, such as gambling or drug abuse.
Dr Hyman also includes in his article the 5 Clues You May Be Addicted To Sugar. These five questions will give you a closer insight to your own eating habits and the extent of the sugar addiction you may be unknowingly battling as well.
Kelly Brownell from Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity has created a validated food questionnaire to help you determine if you are a food addict. He recently also published a textbook, Food and Addiction, that lays out the science of how our hyper-processed, hyper-palatable, hyper-sweet industrial food has hijacked our brain chemistry and biology.
Here are five clues you may be addicted to sugar, flour and processed food:
You consume certain foods even if you are not hungry because of cravings.
You worry about cutting down on certain foods.
You feel sluggish or fatigued from overeating.
You have health or social problems (affecting school or work) because of food issues and yet keep eating the way you do despite negative consequences.
You need more and more of the foods you crave to experience any pleasure or reduce negative emotions.
I highly recommend you read Dr Hyman's entire article, it is extremely powerful and will open your mind further to paying more attention to what you are consuming each day and the changes that can be made to get you on a healthier path. Just click that link: Dr Mark Hyman, 5 Clues You Are Addicted To Sugar.