Avoiding Sugar is Not Just a Matter of Willpower
An Unlikely Addiction: Sugar
Are you one of the millions of people that call themselves a sugar addict? If so, you likely know that it [when consumed in excess, as it almost always is] is TOXIC, and yet avoiding sugar seems to be the one thing you either 1) have decided you can’t do or 2) have decided you don’t want to do.
This past weekend I was spending time with a friend who fell into the second category. She began telling me about her addiction to sugar, emphasizing the breadth of her addiction by her tone of seriousness, and then, almost in a rhetorical fashion she wondered aloud if there was something she could take that would help her quell her sugar cravings and be more successful at avoiding sugar. In a momentary lapse in her stream of thought, I got in a quick “YES! There is something you can take!” hoping we could begin a conversation around sugar addiction and how it can be resolved. But before I could go any further, she had (in the same breath she had muttered the question) resolved that the sweet treats she craved each day were her only vice thus effectively determining it was an addiction she didn’t need to worry about, or end.
Perhaps this sounds like you. Or maybe you’re like so many others who have tried to quit sugar and just can’t seem to avoid the temptation. It’s everywhere isn’t it?
I grew up thinking dessert after every meal and fresh baked cookies as afternoon snacks and candy at the movies and regular trips to the local ice cream shop were normal behaviors of the American family. While in many cases that is a true statement, at some point I also began to realize that my mom’s addiction to sugar drove the family to consume sweet treats at every possible turn. I eventually adopted this habit and my sister followed suit. I grew up thinking that my sugar addiction, which seemed to be beyond even what my peers experienced, was just something that ran in my family and could not be avoided.
And then I came to work for Timothy at Long Natural Health. I learned a few things, thankfully. Perhaps the biggest lesson for me was around sugar addiction. When we crave sugar, there is something much greater at work in our bodies and in order to successfully end your cravings, you must address this root cause of the addiction.
Avoiding Sugar & Understanding Cravings
There are many reasons why someone may become addicted to sugar. Cravings for sweet treats or carbohydrates may be emotionally related (stress, sadness, loneliness) or related to adrenal fatigue. In other cases, it may be that the body is depleted of the very important enzymes that break down food, therefore contributing to a situation in which the body needs sugar for energy.
Our focus today is on this truth: poor digestion can lead to sugar addiction. This article explains the process well:
Sugar, in the form of a substance called glucose, is the basic fuel of the body. Other sugars such as fruit sugar (fructose), milk sugar (lactose) and others can also be broken down in the body to glucose.
Normally, our bodies do not require sweets, however, for food. We eat starches such as rice or bread, potatoes or carrots. We may also eat fats such as butter, eggs, and meats, and even protein foods. All these should be decomposed or broken down if needed into glucose in the digestive system and the liver. The name of this process is glucogenesis.
When a person must eat simple sugars, or even honey or fruit juices on a regular basis, it implies that one cannot breakdown complex foods into sugars.
In other words, the craving arises due to the body’s inability to properly digest and utilize other, more complex carbohydrate foods, or fats in amounts sufficient to fuel the body. Therefore, one wants to eat the end product – sugar. This is the mechanism of sugar addiction at the most basic level.
In essence, your cravings for sugar may be avoided if you begin to heal and balance your digestive system. In most cases, this means introducing plant enzymes like Loomis Pan at the start of your meals. If you missed this blog on the role of plant enzymes in the digestive process, please be sure to read.
Whatever the reason for your particular sugar addiction, it’s important to get to the root cause of your sugar cravings. Sugar speeds the aging process, suppresses the immune system, leads to weight gain and obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, can disturb the mineral balance in the body, contributes to candida or yeast overgrowth and much more. Consulting with a natural health practitioner can help you understand your body and it’s messages, and can ultimately give you options for bringing your body into balance and successfully avoiding sugar.
With questions about today’s post, please Contact Us!
One easy way to get started resolving sugar, eating and weight issues, is to take Dr. Loomis’ 24-Hour Urinalysis with an optional 15 minute consultation with Timothy. It will tell you if you have a sugar or carbohydrate digestive problem and much more about your health.