Sugar, white flour, and refined carbohydrates are addictive substances that have similar effects on brain neurotransmitters as alcohol. They can produce a temporary high through an increase in dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Contains a set of questions on pp 7-8 to help identify whether or not you are a sugarholic. (Appleton, Nancy, PhD. Lick the Sugar Habit, pp 114-118NY: Avery Penguin Putnam, 1996.)

Sugar is high on the list for being addictive. To avoid sugar cravings, keep the blood sugar fairly even. Eating a good, well-balanced diet helps eliminate sugar craving. Exercise and B vitamins can help, as can eating a few nuts. (Padus, Emrika, et al. The Complete Guide to Your Emotions & Your Health, pp 369-375.PA: Rodale Press, 1986.)

Sugar craving can trigger a vicious cycle. To avoid sugar pangs keep the blood sugar fairly even. Try eating a few nuts when the urge for sugar gets strong. (Padus, Emrika, et al. The Complete Guide to Your Emotions & Your Health. p 542-544. PA: Rodale Press, 1992.)

Sugar can act like a drug. As you decrease the amount you consume you may experience withdrawal symptoms (e.g., headaches, irritability, nausea, and anxiety). Eliminate processed sugar from your diet in “cold turkey” fashion. The symptoms will last for a few days and then you will begin to feel much better. (Kaiser, Jon D., MD. Immune Power. p 30. NY: St. Martin’s Press, 1993.)

Satisfy cravings for sweets with fruit, which has a different type of sugar (fructose) that less readily causes the release of insulin. (Pert, Candace, PhD.Molecules of Emotion. p 322-323. NY: Scribner, 1997.)

Sugar is a drug that can become addictive. The body produces sugar in the form of glucose, the only fuel the brain requires to function. Using sugar (an artificial form of glucose) for a quick pick-me-up is analogous to shooting heroin. Sugar floods and desensitizes receptors and interferes with feedback loops that regulate the availability of instant energy (e.g., glycogen release from the liver). (Pert, Candace, PhD. Molecules of Emotion. p 298-300. NY: Scribner, 1997.)

Sugar and alcohol, both of which could be considered drugs (at least technically), cause the body to be depleted of “B” vitamins. (Dychtwald, Ken, PhD., ed.Wellness and Health Promotion for the Elderly, p 191. MD: Aspen Publication, 1986.)

In its pure form most alcohol (except cordials or after-dinner drinks) has little sugar but it takes the same pathway in the body as sugar. Alcohol has such a simple chemistry that it passes directly into the bloodstream, much like a simple sugar. A study by Dr. Ruth Adams has shown a correlation between sugar addiction and addiction to alcohol. (Appleton, Nancy, PhD. Lick the Sugar Habit, pp 21, 112-118NY: Avery Penguin Putnam, 1996.)

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