What is it like to be addicted to sugar? The sugar addict craves sugar in the same way an alcoholic desires alcohol. They want it whether they are hungry or not. They want it at inappropriate times, in the morning and late at night. They have physical and psychological responses to sugar when it is ingested. They may be nicer to be around after having sugar. Visions of sugary foods and drinks invade their thoughts. And in many ways, sugar has negatively affected their health.
Medical Daily provides a solid overview of where the desire and propensity for sugar addiction comes from:
In moderation, sugar is essential for a healthy body. Millions of years ago our ancestors relied on sugar-rich fruit for survival. Not only did the nutrient give them enormous amounts of energy, but it also helped in the storage of fat — something which could be the difference between life and death during hard times. Those who didn’t consume enough sugar had neither the energy nor physical capabilities to reproduce and therefore were unable to pass on their genes.
As a result, the human brain evolved an interesting survival mechanism: a near-insatiable desire for sweetness. Sadly, in modern days this evolutionary edge often does more harm than help. Many, especially in the United States, consume far more sugar than is needed for survival. While weight gain and teeth decay may be the most obvious consequences of excessive sugar consumption, there are many other “hidden” effects of consuming too much of the sweet stuff.
But it isn’t just bad teeth or obesity that are issues for those who overconsume or are addicted to sugar. The heart, brain, kidneys, sex organs, joints, skin, and liver are just some of the parts of the body affected by sugar. Sugar overconsumption leads to chronic, life-long and life-threatening diseases such as heart disease and diabetes and recent studies suggest that high sugar diets may either cause or worsen diseases such as depression and dementia.
We think so often that addictions to substances like sugar or caffeine are benign because they don’t usually tear families apart the way addiction to alcohol or other drugs can. But that doesn’t mean that sugar addiction doesn’t have major negative implications for health.
Seek help for sugar addiction. Your health is worth it.