One thing I will never claim to be is an expert. I am constantly learning, growing and changing my perspectives. It’s important to remember that we are allowed to change our minds, even if we once strongly held a belief we disagree with now. It’s all good in the hood.
A belief that I have had for a very long time is that of sugar addiction. I grew up in a household that rarely had sugar. We really only ever had honey on special occasions. So, I grew up kinda thinking that sugar is pretty bad for us and have believed that my whole life. It wasn’t until recently that I heard there actually isn’t such a thing as sugar addiction. I decided to start looking into sugar addiction facts because I have never truly looked into it.
My Experience with “Sugar Addiction”
When I was little, I LOVED sweets. The only time I ever got them was when I was over at my grandparents’ or at a friend’s house. Let me tell you, I would go ham on some sugar. Funny story, I had just eaten my first Little Debbie and I vowed that when I was an adult my house would always be fully stocked with Little Debbies. Always.
Here’s the thing, as an adult, the Little Debbies are never fully stocked because I eat them all pretty much within the first 24 hours. No joke. When I start, I can’t stop, even if I am already sick. Sounds kinda like an addict, huh?
When I was in college I literally woke up to eating Oreos. I was eating them in my sleep. I can’t make this stuff up. To say I have a sugar problem is an understatement. Sugar has been a stronghold for me for as long as I can remember. It feels easy to say, “I struggle with sugar addiction,” at least there’s a “reason” for my sugar binges. However, research may have something else to say about that.
Sugar Addiction, Fact or Fiction?
We’ve all heard about how sugar fires the reward part of our brains and releases happy hormones (again, not an expert…obviously, happy hormones?) You might have even heard the comparison between sugar and cocaine saying it’s equally addictive. Cocaine, people! I used to buy it (not drugs… the sugar/cocaine theory) but I am not sure I do anymore.
I mean, lets be real, I wouldn’t compare my sugar withdrawal to someone who is coming off of actual hard drugs. That’s why there are rehabs for that. I haven’t heard of a sugar rehab, yet.
Disclaimer: I do understand that people struggling from disordered eating may need rehab/professional help. That is beyond the scope of this post, I am purely speaking about the average human being with “sugar addiction.”
It allows us to feel a lot better to equate sugar to cocaine. Then, we have many more excuses as to why coming off sugar is so hard. Can you imagine telling a recovering cocaine addict, “yeah… I totally know what you’re going through, I have been coming off of sugar myself…” My point exactly.
I’ve read a couple articles covering sugar addiction and they all point back to one thing. Evolution. You don’t have to believe we came from monkeys but I think we can all agree that times used to be different for us humans.
As a society we have advanced at an alarmingly fast rate. However, there are still parts of our brain that might still be catching up. For example, if we found some honey back thousands of years ago we would have felt like we found the jackpot and devoured it as quickly as we could. Not much has changed, we find sugar and devour it.
In short, to me, I don’t think we are addicted to sugar. I don’t believe the propaganda that people are putting sugar in our foods to drug us and make us dependent. I DO think that we are really bad at managing a desire to consume sugary foods because its still in the survival part of our brains.
In my opinion, as a “recovering sugar addict,” I call, fiction.
Sugar Addiction Support
You might be saying, “but Savannah… sugar consumption is a major problem in our society these days!” I couldn’t agree more. The over consumption of sugar isn’t healthy, it can lead to weight gain and a plethora of other issues.
In the past, I have completely cut out sugar in my diet for long periods of time (we’re talking no fruit) and found that it didn’t “cure” me. I would still binge on sweets whenever I did allow them in my diet.
Truth be told, I am still learning how to manage my sweet tooth. It’s a challenge for me.
What are your thoughts? Til then… where’s my Reeses?