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Breaking the Sugar Addiction

I thought this was worth passing on, especially during the Holiday season when there are so many sweets.

So, how do you break sugar addiction? Here are five tips to get you started.

1. Quit eating high-fructose corn syrup. Start checking nutrition labels and you'll notice that a huge swath of what we eat has high-fructose corn syrup in it, especially sweets and junk foods. But you might think you have a healthy diet and still have a sugar addiction because you regularly eat yogurt, ketchup, granola and meal-replacement bars, and salad dressings many of which contain high-fructose corn syrup. Despite piles of data explaining how dangerous this stuff is, profiteering food manufacturers continue to defend their use of it.

2. Eat natural sugars. Quit dumping white sugar into your recipes, coffee, tea, and cereal. If you must sweeten something, use honey or turbinado sugar (sold as Sugar in the Raw). Avoid brown sugar, as it's often just white sugar with molasses added. While your food might, at first, seem bland, after a few weeks you'll notice that lots of things are much sweeter than you knew, including grains, fruits, and milk. After a few months, you won't miss refined sugar at all, and you'll be able to tell that soda pop is nasty, syrupy goop.

3. Quit eating artificial sweeteners. At UC San Diego, researchers found that Splenda fires up the same neural pathways as sugar. Psychiatrist Guido Frank then told The Scientific American, "Splenda has less of a feedback mechanism to stop the craving to get satisfied." Which, to Frank, means it keeps you craving sugar. Again, if you really need to sweeten something, use natural sugars, and sparingly.

4. Eat plenty of fiber. Soluble fiber helps stabilize blood sugar preventing sugar crashes and the cravings that inevitably follow. Soluble fiber can be found in fiber-rich foods like oatmeal, beans, fruits, and vegetables. I've found that beating sugar crashes is its own health benefit, as you escape the hunger, depression, and lack of energy that come with them. It also breaks the sugar addict's cycle of refueling every couple hours with more sugar. Not to mention, fiber helps you feel full.

5. Wait out the cravings. Assuming you're eating healthy foods in healthy amounts on a regular basis throughout the day, you should be able to out-wait sugar cravings as they arise. Like any food cravings, sugar cravings pass pretty quickly. If you're starving yourself to lose weight, rather than eating properly, it'll be much harder not to cave to sugar cravings. Here are some healthier desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth.

  Tami Replied:

Thanks! This is a real issue for me...I'm printing this out!

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  Anonymous Replied:

Thanks, Debbie . . . nice article!
As to the artificial sweetners like Splenda, Nutrasweet, etc. I just learned from my doctor that for SOME people, these act as bladder irritants so if you sometimes feel as though you have to go (though not producing much) . . . you might want to cut back on these a little :o)

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  Anonymous Replied:

Also, if you are a sugar fan, you need to give your body a couple of days to get used to self regulating again, because sugar affects your seratonin and your insulin, so the first couple of days off the sugar feels like a smoker giving up the cancer sticks! It really is like withdrawal..... (speaking from experience here!)

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  Anonymous Replied:

Good point, Sarah :o)

  Sharon VA Replied:

Great info., thanks! I have found that for me, having some fruit each day calms my sugar cravings.

The opinions expressed on this forum may not represent the opinions of Please consult your physician to determine the weight, nutrition and exercise levels that are best for you.