Is Sugar an Addiction?

Sugar has become an overwhelming temptation that we feel powerless to resist.  Can it be said that sugar is an addiction?


1. How much sugar are you consuming?

The average American eats about 1 pound of sugar every day.  There are close to 600,000 processed food items in our environment and 80% of them contain added sugar. 90% of kids and 50% of adults in the U.S. drink soda once a day.  One can of soda a day increases a kid’s chance of obesity by 60%.


Let’s take a Sugar Addiction Quiz:  Write down True or False

  1. I eat refined sugar every day

  2. I can’t go a day without sugar

  3. I have cravings for one or more of the following:  Candy, Ice Cream, Alcohol, or Chocolate

  4. I drink soda on a regular basis

  5. I hide sweets in my house

  6.  I drink coffee, sweet rolls, bagels for breakfast

  7.  I can’t go an hour after exercising without eating

  8. I can’t stop eating sweets after a bite or two

  9. I need something sweet after a meal

  10. I can’t go 3 hours without eating and not get grumpy, shaky, or fatigued

  11. I usually always have any sweets in my house

If you answered 4 questions true you have a sugar addiction If you answered 1-3 questions true you may develop a sugar addiction later If you answered 0 questions true you don’t have a problem


2. How can Sugar Impact you Physically?

  1. Cancer, as the sugar feeds the carcinogenic cells

  2. Resistance to Insulin – Diabetes

  3. Inflammation in the Diet, which can lead to serious health problems

  4. Weight Gain and Obesity

  5. Hypertension

  6. Insomnia

  7. Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

  8. Decrease in HDL and increase in LDL

  9. Tooth decay

The list goes on and on…


3. Effects on Blood Sugar

Sugar can enter quickly into the bloodstream and wreak havoc on the body causing really high blood sugars – causing excitability, nervous tension, and hyperactivity and then dropping it extremely low – causing fatigue, depression, weariness, and fluctuations.


4. Healthy Sugar Alternatives

  1. Is best kept at a minimum

  2. There are a lot of natural sweeteners

  3. Look for naturally derived

  4. Minimally processed

  5. Not contaminated

  6. Contain some nutrients and antioxidants

5. Examples of 5 Natural Sugars

  1. Molasses

  2. Dates

  3. Honey

  4. Maple Syrup

  5. Stevia

6. Artificial Sweeteners

  1. Trick your body into storing fat and raise your risk of diabetes

  2. Food or beverages containing artificial sweeteners, such as diet soda promote weight gain

  3. Sweeteners worsen insulin sensitivity

  4. Sweeteners promote more serious health problems

  5. Sweeteners promote obesity and disease by disrupting your intestinal microflora

7. Sugar Addiction

  1. Detox from the drug-like foods and beverages you have been hooked on

  2. Big Foods hire craving experts to make sure you become addicted

  3. When we treat addicts for alcohol or cocaine we don’t say “practice moderation”

  4. Reprogram your biology

  5. Sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine

Sugar foods, processed foods filled with sweetness, and refined carbohydrates, such as bread, pasta, and chips, all turn into sugar in your body and spike your blood sugar levels.  Sugar lights up pleasure centers in your brain, just like cocaine and heroin do.


The primary culprit is an excessive intake of hidden sugar in the form of fructose, whether natural fructose such as agave syrup, 100 percent fruit juice, or in the form of high fructose corn syrup (which is the main ingredient in countless beverages and processed pre-packaged foods.

It is extremely easy to consume high amounts of fructose on a daily basis, especially if most of your foods are processed in any way or you drink sodas or other sweetened beverages.

  1. Reduce or eliminate caffeine

  2. Drink Water

  3. Eat Sweet Vegetables and Fruit

  4. Avoid chemicalized, artificial sweeteners and foods with added sugar

  5. Get physically active

  6. Get more sleep, rest, and relaxation

  7. Evaluate the amount of animal food you eat

  8. Eliminate fat-free or low-fat packaged snack food

  9. Experiment with spices

  10. Slow Down and find sweetness in non-food ways

Tips for Quitting Sugar

  1. Get Support

  2. Get it out of your house

  3. Look for Hidden Culprits

  4. Give it 30 days

  5. Drink a lot of water

  6. Treat Yourself

  7. Skip the Replacements

  8. Eating Out

  9. Involve your family

  10. Start a challenge or do a vision board

  11. It is a process

  12. Be gentle with yourself

  13. Stay Well Fed

There are a lot of myths about sugar-related to how it affects your health and wellbeing.  2B Well Integrative Nutrition Counselor, Brandy Hickman, CHHC, RYT, will dispel the rumors and provide accurate, relevant information that you can put to use immediately and begin to feel better.



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