Sweetie, I am addicted to you!
- By Team TDO
Research shows sugar can be more addictive than heroin.
What was the last thing you ate or drank before reading this? Bread? Banana? Chocolate? Cake? Fries? Wafers? Doughnut? Biscuits? Soda? Juice? Wine? Vodka? Coffee? Tea?
They are all sugars ultimately. Some taste sweet, some don’t. The first thing we taste as babies is milk. It is naturally sweet. From that young age, we learn that sugar is what we like and what we want.
You may be a sugar addict, if:
- You need ‘something sweet’ after every meal.
- You cannot have tea or coffee without that second pinch of sugar.
- Dessert is a must every time you eat out.
- You go hunting to the refrigerator looking for cake leftovers.
- A little bite of that chocolate bar is all you need to be happy.
- You are the one who finishes off the last piece of laddu in the house.
- You want ketchup with everything – fries, noodles, pizza, burger, samosa, kachori.
- You want all the above listed items because you just read their names.
- When out in the hot sun, water is not sufficient for you, you want flavored sweetened chilled drinks.
- A mocktail or a soda drink makes your dinner complete. And many more such things.
So, you see, almost all of us are sugar addicts. Studies show every person in countries like, USA, UK and Australia, may be a sugar addict.
The reasons behind the sugar addiction are manifold. First, beyond doubt sugar tastes awesome. Taste factor cannot be debated with. But do you know, the taste is conditioned? Cravings are not always and entirely natural. They are a result of what you give the body and teach your taste buds.
Second, businesses heavily exploit this weakness for sugar. Wherever you go there is unimaginable variety of sugar products. A café, a restaurant, a general store, a superstore, a street cart - they all have several options for you to indulge in. How much can one resist and how much can on filter the menu!
Third, sugar creates instant gratification. That does work for it and that does add to our trouble. A sad day at work and some chocolate perks you up. Feeling dull and bored, let’s go out for an ice cream. This happens too often.
Why sugar isn’t that sweet?
We feel what harm can little sweet do, being happy is more important.
However, sugar is worse than many other food vices. As an experiment, check the contents of everything in your kitchen and count how many of them have sugar, in any amounts. Try skipping everything that has sugar in it for the next three days. You will be shocked. The options to eat cut down to several degrees if you skip sugar.
The problem with sugar is it makes you want more. A bit does not satisfy you. Sugar increases the desire for sugar – immediate and long term, likewise. The moment you have a bite of something sweet, you cannot stop there, you need to eat another bite, and another, and another. In the long run, your taste buds are getting deeply conditioned for sugar cravings. Your body learns that every time the mind is feeling low, it should ask for sugar. That is how it has been taught to feel better. You are entering a vicious cycle when you entertain these cravings.
Sugar is often defamed as a white poison. It is not an exaggeration. Sugar has no nutritive value, apart from generating energy in the body. It simply increases the risk of numerous health complications. Sugar is a known culprit for diabetes mellitus, obesity, heart disease, hormonal imbalance, sexual dysfunctions, and others.
Sugar addiction is the most common addiction of all. It is difficult to leave sugar completely out, but one can always cut the portions.
How to beat that addiction?
Time for some action?
All this information must be making you want to cut down on your sugar intake. Hold on. Alcohol, smoking, drugs – they are understood and accepted as addictions. So, there are support groups, people around us will motivate and help us to de-addict. Getting rid of our sugar addiction is even tougher. It will require tremendous amount of will power and determination. Are you ready for the challenge?
Let us see some simple ways to de-addict from sugars:
- Cut down on all the artificially sweetened drinks – colas, orange, iced teas, flavored canned drinks, sodas. They have zero health benefit. The only reason why you have them is because of the taste factor. Remember the taste is momentary. Once inside the body, these drinks are creating havoc for your system.
- One spoon less – Tea or coffee? What do you need to start your day? Whatever it is, try reducing the sugar portions. If you take two spoons, try one. If you take one spoon, try half. It will be difficult in the beginning but eventually you will get used to it and you will even like it.
- Have whole fruits instead of juices.
- Anything drinkable in the cans contains sugar. Say no to cans.
- Give the ketchup bottles some rest.
- Decide your weekly chocolate quota. Don’t let the moods overpower your decision.
- Bakery items are loaded with sugar, forget they exist. Turn a blind eye to that shelf when you go grocery shopping.
- A fan of breakfast cereal? Check the packets for sugar content. The ones that are flavoured have more sugar. Pick the plain ones. You can add your own choice of fruit and dry fruits for nutrition.
- Desserts should be a onetime thing, only when the occasion calls for it. You don’t need them daily.
Let the sweetness be in your words, not on your plate.