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Friday, March 10, 2017

The Scary Effects of Sugar

Sugar is sneaky and it can be addictive in the same way as drugs like nicotine, cocaine and heroin. This is because when you eat sugar, the brain lights up and causes dopamine (the so-called reward chemical) to spike and increase your desire to have more. Like drug addiction, sugar addiction can lead to tolerance (needing more to attain the same “sugar high) and withdrawal.

An addiction to sugar can happen fairly easy, especially if you tend to reach for sweets to quell any cravings for your former drug of abuse. And giving up the sweet stuff isn’t always easy – added sugars are everywhere in processed and prepared foods for flavor and preservation. In fact, experts recommended that Americans limit their intake of added sugars to 10 percent of daily calories.

CNN recently ran an article, “What Happens to Your Brain When You Give up Sugar,” and the results are pretty astounding. While the piece is directed at those who decide to give up the white stuff for Lent, the takeaway message sure can help you if you’re simply looking to clean up your diet as part of your new sober lifestyle. 

Perhaps the most surprising part of the article was that, according to several studies of sugar-treated rats, giving up sugar resulted in a slew of physical and mental withdrawal signs, including: 
  • Cravings
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Teeth chattering
  • Paw tremors
  • Head shaking
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Feelings of helplessness
The good news: Experts also say that swearing off the sweet stuff can result in boundless energy and newfound happiness, according to the article. How long it will take to reap the positive effects, however, is different for everyone. 

Our Food Philosophy at Red Oak Recovery
Our nutritional therapy program, as part of our drug and alcohol treatment, approaches food and eating holistically.The food we prepare is designed to heal the body from the malnutrition and dehydration that substance abuse can cause. To learn more, call: 866-831-9107.

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