Sugar Is As Addictive As Cocaine—And The Withdrawal Is Just As Real. A Doctor Explains Exactly How To Deal With It
Today there is sugar hidden in literally everything. It surrounds us from almost every single direction, junk food or not.
We should all be well aware that sugar is really bad for us. It causes a world of health issues for us and it is awful for basically every part of our body. However, new studies show that it is extremely addictive too; just as much as cocaine to be specific. Dr. Nicole Avena of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai tells the Huffington post that pizza is the most addictive food by far because of the hidden sugar you’ll find in just a single slice.
Dr. Avena found that sugar in Oreo’s, pizza, chips, and other cookies is just as addictive as cocaine. She found that behaviors and attitudes toward some foods closely mirror addiction patterns. The most addictive foods are the ones that are high on the glycemic index. “Several studies really do suggest that highly-palatable, highly-processed foods can produce behaviors and changes in the brain that one would use to diagnose an addiction, like drugs and alcohol,” Avena says.
Cardiologist Dr. James O’Keefe says sugar contributes to cardiovascular disease, as well as liver disease, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer’s disease.
“When we eat wheat flour and sugar in processed foods, spikes our sugar, then insulin. Those are the hormonal disturbances that make you store belly fat, and then you are hungry for more sweets and starchy junk food,” O’Keefe told KCTV. According to him, it can take six weeks to kick a sugar addiction and you can experience strong cravings almost like a drug withdrawal.
According to O’Keefe, we should be eating as many fruits and vegetables as possible. He recommends a back to basics diet, “Lots of vegetables, lots of fruits and nuts, berries and fish, chicken breast and water and sparkling water,” O’Keefe said. “I’ll tell you they are not happy. Had to get rid of cereal, Pop Tarts, and crackers.”
One of the most effective ways to deal with sugar withdrawals is using almond butter and coconut oil to keep your blood sugar stable. You can keep packets of almond butter with you in your bag or wallet. Feed yourself a spoonful of almond butter every few hours while you’re awake. Take some before bed, and if you wake up with sugar cravings, take some more!