There is a major addiction problem occurring throughout the world, and specifically our country. It isn’t drugs, though it can be equally addictive. It isn’t alcohol, though it can be equally as dangerous. This addiction often goes unspoken… but deserves quite a bit of attention. We are talking about sugar addiction!
Americans consume 130 lbs of sugar each and every year… no, not as a whole, but on an individual basis. This is comparable to 17 cans of soda every 5 days, or 15 gallons of soda each year. That is enough sugar to fill an entire dumpster per person, per year.
In the average American’s diet, sugar comprises 500 calories each day. The scariest part is that these numbers are rising each year. Sugar consumption has been linked to obesity, hypertension, depression, fatigue, diabetes, headaches, acne, and anxiety.
Why is sugar such an issue? Consuming sugar sends “feel good” hormones to the brain, much like many drugs, making this a very addictive substance. Unlike many drugs, it can be difficult to go “cold turkey”. Though sugar is not something we have to consume on a daily basis, it can be hard to avoid. It’s not only found in soda, candy, and sweets, but can be hiding in a variety of foods in a variety of forms.
Many people reach for sugar when they are in a slump, either an energy slump or an emotional slump. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate, meaning it gives you an almost immediate “rush” which is shortly followed by a crash. This often leads to a sugar binge to sustain the wanted energy. So what’s a better option? Opt for complex carbs, they are more slowly digested by the body leading to a more even and long lasting effect.
You do not need to completely cut sugar from your diet, though some studies show that a sugar detox can be extremely helpful to retrain your brain, and your taste buds to not crave sugar. If you are craving something sweet, reach for sugar in it’s natural form… such as fruit. We should be consuming no more than 9.5 teaspoons per day. Though it is not necessary to drive yourself crazy counting calories and sugar grams, you will more than likely find it beneficial to cut back. Your body (and your skin) will thank you!