Ever crave that can of soda so badly that you start to shake a little? It’s because sugar can be quite addictive, and you’re most likely experiencing what’s known as withdrawal syndrome. Neural pathways deep in the brain become rutted with consistent, repeated use, and when these pathways are traveled too often we experience a dopamine release – the chemical in our brain that makes us feel good, and is often associated with reward-motivated behavior. Over time this can lead to addiction.
Sugar addiction is dangerous because it’s been linked to high-risk symptoms like hypertension, high blood pressure, headaches, fatigue, obesity, and even depression. It also provides little to no nutritional value at all, and for the average American is being responsible for an entire fourth of a daily 2000 caloric intake.
Because sugar contributes nothing positive to our overall health, we recommend you cut down on your consumption drastically. An easy way to do that is by substituting healthier sugar alternatives into your diet wherever possible. Here’s a list of great alternative for a wide list of uses:
Sweetleaf and Truvia – Great for use in coffee or tea, or sprinkled over fruit
Xylitol – Used as a sugar substitute in baking
Agave Nectar – Not great for baking, but fine for tea and black coffee
Splenda – Ideal for baking
Stevia – can be used in just about anything!
As for soda, it’s time to cut it out of your life completely.