Chronic inflammation is the number one cause of chronic disease including diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. Sugar feeds systemic inflammation. It also serves no purpose to the body even though we all love a little sweetness from time to time. However, sugar addiction is real. It is time to break free and help your family fight the urge, if a constant sweet tooth is cause for health concerns.
Sugar Is A Drug
Recent studies have shown sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine. So why not try to do something about it?
Let’s understand the physiological response. Our brains are pleasure seekers. Consuming sugar happens to have the same effect on the pleasure centers of the brain has illicit drugs. This means the brain can exhibit the same sort of addictive response with chronic sugar consumption. Unfortunately, depending on how addicted the brain is to sugar depends on how the brain and body will respond to attempts to break the chemical cycle. Make no mistake sugar addiction is real.
Sugar’s Role In Chronic Inflammation
The Harvard Public Health Study tracks the lifestyle and diet of thousands of women but it also tracks disease. There is strong evidence to support women with higher dietary sugar consumption are prone to a host of chronic medical conditions. As the study has tracked the biomarkers for inflammation in blood samples they have found added sugar is the great destroyer when it comes to health. Researchers at Duke University found cancer cells actually grow faster in the presence of higher levels of blood glucose.
Not All Sugar Is Bad
Refined sugar is the enemy whereas natural sugars in fruits and sweeter vegetables such as sweet potatoes and winter squash are actually helpful for correcting the damaging effects of refined sugar because of the high level of inflammation busting antioxidants. Eating whole foods heal the body from a lifetime of damage from refined sugar consumption.
Breaking The Addiction
The good news is for most people breaking up with refined sugar is not as difficult as detoxing from the opiates it mimics. For many people, simply swapping natural whole food is all that is needed to retrain the brain and heal the body. Simple swaps like fruit topped waffles or honey sweetened lemonade still provide sweetness but with the added benefits of the food value of fruit and/or honey.
The simple mantra of “Eat helpful and healthful foods,” is a good reminder to ditch the refined sugars which are devoid of any redeeming qualities. However, some people may need more intensive intervention to kick the refined sugar habit.
Interestingly enough, exercise also activates those same pleasure centers of the brain as sugar. While you are stepping off sugar, step on your treadmill or take up some other activity to help trick your brain. Those brain chemicals are good but when activated by refined sugar it traps you in a cycle of thinking you need that sugar fix.
Use treadmill walking or other exercise to help you beat the habit. It also follows the mantra “Eat helpful and healthful foods” because exercise is helpful and healthful for your body. Just remember to do good things for your body as you break free from refined sugar.