We’ve all heard of addictions. People can be addicted to alcohol or drugs, but what about sugar? Is that a real thing? It is, and more and more people are finding themselves addicted to sugar. The first step to overcoming an addiction, whatever the culprit is, is to recognize that you have one. If you don’t know you need help, then you can’t seek out help or fix yourself. Once you realize you’re addicted to sugar, you can begin taking steps to overcome it. It won’t be easy, but it is possible and with dedication you can become one of the many people who have beat their addiction to sugar.

Why is Sugar So Addictive?

One of the reasons sugar is so addictive is because consuming it actually stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain. When you try to get off sugar, your feel-good brain chemical, dopamine, will drop and you can get anxiety and even the shakes. You may experience other symptoms, such as headaches or irritability, as well. Since sugar is in virtually everything that we eat, it can be a real challenge to avoid. You just need to make the right choices when it comes to what you eat. You can take steps to trick your brain into thinking you are getting sweets, such as eating smart “sweet” choices, like fruit.

Reset Your Palate

Once you “reset” your palate, you won’t be needing as much sugar to feel satisfied. In order to do this, you need to first be aware of how much sugar you are consuming in a day. According to the American Heart Association, the recommended amount of sugar per day for men is nine teaspoons, while the recommended amount for women is six teaspoons per day. Don’t assume that artificial sweeteners are your way out, because they will actually make you crave sugar even more. Get rid of your sweet stash-the last thing you want is to have temptations lurking around every corner of your home. As with any bad habit, you need to replace it with something else. You need to form a brand new, healthy habit. Try exercising, listening to music, or reading. Exercising is especially great, since it will help boost those feel good hormones, and you’ll be less likely to undue all of your hard work. Try chewing gum, or just keeping your hands busy. It’s hard to eat when you’re trying to knit or crochet.

Why Break the Habit?

Why is it so important to break the sugar habit? Well, consuming too much sugar can cause you to be over-energetic. You might not think that’s so bad until you hit the slump afterwards. Consuming too much sugar can also lead to weight gain, sleep problems, and issues with blood-sugar levels. It is also bad for your skin, causes tooth decay, and can increase your risk of getting diabetes over time.

Find Your Balance

If you make the effort to kick the habit of sugar, you will enjoy a much healthier life, and all of the benefits that come with it. You don’t need to give it up completely, but you do need to be aware of how much you consume and stay within the recommended daily limits.

If you have concerns or questions about your dental health and hygiene, or if you’d like to schedule an appointment, contact the San Marcos Dental Office of Dr. Larry Molenda.