It's the holiday season and I encourage everyone to enjoy traditional foods and time with friends and family, but I read an article today that got me so worked up that I need to do a blog post. The article is about the addictive qualities of sugar. Keep in mind that sugar includes any carbohydrate that turns to glucose (blood sugar) in our body and that white bread causes more of a blood sugar spike than table sugar. Physiologically, this was created to protect us and prolong our survival. When food was not in abundance we needed to eat natural, seasonal sweets to help build our fat stores for times when food was scare. Today, food is all around us and overindulgence is more of an issue.
What really upsets me is that food manufacturers have scientists that work to create unhealthy foods that will be more addictive for us, to help increase sales of those foods. Unfortunately, this comes at a cost with our health.
How many of you start January feeling sluggish, down, bloated and upset over holiday indulgences? I know how that feels because I used to be that way. It would only be a few pounds on the scale, but I felt puffy and uncomfortable. And then there were the sugar cravings. January seemed to be all about will power.
It doesn't have to be this way. I don't have these issues any longer. I still indulge, but I do things differently. I make sure my body can clear any toxins I put in (yes, I like wine and typically have more during the holidays). I make treats that have healthy fats and no refined sugar. I feel satiated with less, my blood sugar is stable and I'm not firing up all the opioid receptors in my brain. I also make sure I'm consistent with exercise to keep my body in shape, alleviate any holiday stress and raise my spirits. I start January feeling much better than I used to and I'm ready to take on the new year.
Sugar is definitely addictive. I see it with clients that go through withdrawal, but they do break through and the cravings subside. They can immediately sense a difference in their body when they have sugar again and, if the cravings return, they are not as strong and my clients know how to cope. If you are struggling with sugar or bread cravings you are not alone and there are ways to deal with it. It doesn't happen overnight but your body will help you out and start to crave foods in their natural form.
I have posted a number of alternatives to holiday treats without any refined sugar (links below). Try one today!
More information on sugar addiction: