Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sugar Makes You Crave...... MORE SUGAR

If you are trying to lose weight or change your eating habits it might not be as easy as you think if you are still eating sugary treats.

I was quickly reminded of this myself. Last week we bought our groceries and the grocery store was giving away free chocolate bars. If you know me, you know that I cannot turn down chocolate - especially the yummy Toblerone bars they were giving away.  My husband and I sometimes splurge and buy dark chocolate (90-95%) with only a tiny bit of processed sugar, but that's about the extent of our processed sugar intake. My body isn't used to eating such sugary treats like toblerone, but I just couldn't resist. I had a couple of small squares each day for three days. On the third day I realized that I was craving more toblerone - something that isn't common to my personality or food habits. On top of that, I wasn't only craving Toblerone, I was craving anything and everything else that had sugar (including foods high in carbs and calories). I felt like a drug addict. Fortunately, we didn't have any other sugary treats in the house - otherwise I think I may have eaten every last crumb.

I decided to do a sugar detox the next day - I stayed away from all foods that had carbs (including fruit) and instead ate vegetables and protein. That broke the small sugar addiction I had developed from three days of sugary chocolate.

During the three days of my sugar 'addiction' I also paid attention to my mood. Twenty minutes after I ate the toblerone, I felt a sugar-high... like I could bounce off the walls if I wanted to. After a couple hours I felt myself coming down off the high and that was when I started craving more sugar.

I can see why the stuff is so addictive!!!! If I wasn't so conscious about my health I think I would seriously be addicted to sugar.

And for those of you who need more scientific proof, I have compiled a bit of data from scientific journals (*note - there are thousands of articles out there that show the same evidence) See below.

  • One study reported: Preclinical studies, beginning in Bart Hoebel's laboratory at Princeton University, have shown that rats overeating a sugar solution develop many behaviors and changes in the brain that are similar to the effects of some drugs of abuse. Further, preclinical studies suggest that overeating sugar produces different addiction-like behaviors compared with overeating fat. (Very interesting!! I found this article after I wrote this blog - totally confirms what I felt about the sugary treat)
  • Another study reported: Sugar is noteworthy as a substance that releases opioids and dopamine and thus might be expected to have addictive potential... The evidence supports the hypothesis that under certain circumstances rats can become sugar dependent.
  • A third study showed: Bingeing on sugar may activate neural pathways in a manner similar to taking drugs of abuse, resulting in related signs of dependence...The findings suggest that a diet of bingeing on sucrose and chow followed by fasting creates a state that involves anxiety and altered accumbens dopamine and acetylcholine balance. This is similar to the effects of naloxone, suggesting opiate-like withdrawal. 
 Sugar should be classified as a drug. And we wonder why our children can't sit still in school!!!

**When I use the word sugar I am not referring to natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. I am referring to the processed and refined sugar that is in most processed foods and sugary treats.**


Svea Lynn is a traditional Naturopath, classical homeopath and holistic doula. Her private doula practice can be found here. Her Montreal Natural Fertility site can be found here

1 comment:

  1. I love this post! I wish I had the discipline to avoid sugar...permanently...let alone do a 3 day detox. Oy sugar!