Friday, May 30, 2014
Break The Sugar Cycle!!
A trendy sugar detox is a three-week diet said to rid you of your craving for sweets. The goal: to lose weight at last. But can eating masses of veggies really get the sugar monkey off your back for good? Here's the truth about sugar cravings and how to tame a wild sweet tooth.
Can You Really Be Hooked on Sugar?
You say you can't live without your daily donut. But are you really "addicted" to sugar? The answer is complex. A pattern of avoiding and binging -- not sugar itself -- may lead to addict-like effects. Sugar even affects the same "feel-good" brain hormones as street drugs. Nobody would say sugar is the same as heroin, but it can still mess with your brain and body.
You may have an eating disorder or a plain bad habit. Anyone can use sugary foods in ways that aren't healthy. Some signs: You may lose control and eat more than you planned. You may feel bad when you skip your daily cookie "fix." These low blood sugar symptoms include feeling a little nervous, shaky, or even having a cold sweat.
Your Brain on Sugar
Sugar fuels every cell in the brain. When you overload on sugary foods, it may alter the parts of the brain that control how much you eat. In lab studies, rats that binged on sugar had brain changes like those of getting off drugs. In humans, just seeing pictures of milkshakes triggered brain effects like those seen in drug addicts. It was strongest in women whose answers showed they were more hooked on eating.
Quick Sugar Highs...
Why do you get a rush when you eat a midday candy bar? The sugar in it -- called a simple carbohydrate -- is quickly turned into glucose in your bloodstream. Your blood sugar levels spike. Simple carbs are also found in fruits, veggies, and dairy products. But these have fiber and protein that slow the process. Syrup, soda, candy, and table sugar don't.
…And Sugar Lows
Your body needs to move glucose out of the bloodstream and into your cells for energy. To do this, your pancreas makes insulin, a hormone. As a result, your blood sugar level may have a sudden drop. Low blood sugar leaves you feeling shaky, dizzy, and searching for more sweets to regain that sugar "high." So that midday candy bar has set you up for more bad eating.
Starch Can Equal Sugar
Think you don't have a sweet tooth, but crave bagels, chips, or French fries? These starchy foods are complex carbs that the body breaks down into simple sugars. Eaten without better foods, starches can make blood sugar surge and crash like sugar. White rice, white flour, and potatoes do this. Highly refined starches like white bread, pretzels, crackers, and pasta are worst.
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