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Although there are several forms of food addiction, sugar addiction is by far the most common. To make matters worse, sugar is found in almost everything we eat.
The sad reality is that we are often unwittingly consuming high amounts of sugar every single day. This is because food manufacturers are using it as part of their ingredients, even infoods we don’t consider sweet.
Why? Sugar is extremely palatable and addictive so it’s used to increase the amount of pleasure we experience when eating certain things, so we keep going back for more.
The result is that food manufacturers fill their pockets as consumers unknowingly fuel their addiction.
Firstly, we must understand what addiction is. When someone is addicted to something, they have an uncontrollable desire to consume a substance or engage in an activity, regardless of the negative effects which may result from such behaviour.
The motive for such behaviour? Reward. When indulging in whatever the person is addicted to, he or she feels good, even if its for just a few minutes.
Sugar has similar effects of the brain as nicotine and cocaine. These 3 substances activate the brain’s reward centre and stimulate the release of dopamine. The release of dopamine leads us to becoming emotionally attached, leading us into an addictive trap.
There is also a great degree of physical addiction to sugar which leads to cravings, binge eating and withdrawal symptoms should we attempt to stop consuming it.
For something to be considered an addiction, it must tick at least three of the following boxes:
Illicit drugs and alcohol addiction are capable of meeting each one of these criteria. Sugar is not excluded from this equation.
We often make excuses for why we need sugar. More often than not, this is because we may not be aware that we are in fact addicted to sugar, or we are simply in denial.
However, there are symptoms which are indicative of sugar addiction. They include:
The consequences of long-term sugar addiction are severe:
Although we do not have a recovery programme for sugar addiction, we continue to recognise it as a serious addiction which needs attention.
For more information about our alcohol and drug addiction treatment, contact us.
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