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Health & Wellness |Break the Sugar Addiction| Dr. Tracey Marks

You can overcome addiction. “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well” (3 John 1:2). “The LORD will guide you continually, watering your life when you are dry and keeping you healthy, too. You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. Stay encouraged and be strong in the Lord.- Buttafleye Ministry Outreach

Break the sugar addiction

According to Dr. Tracey, Marks sugar withdrawal is like opioid withdrawal. Sugar withdrawal is real. Sugar withdrawal symptoms include headaches, muscle cramps, bloating, but the mental effect can include feeling depressed or anxious. Excessive sugar intake produces an increase in the endorphins that your body makes. Sugar also activates dopamine, which is the reward system in your brain. You'll need to pay close attention to the hidden sugars in processed foods to be able to stop eating sugar.

If you're "hooked" on sugar, don't try to eliminate all sugary foods at once. If you deny yourself even a single piece of candy or sliver of cake, you'll only crave sweets more. Instead, eat a healthy diet made up of more satisfying foods—whole grains, fruits, vegetables, healthy oils, and lean protein. "Steer yourself away from sugar and eat these foods, which are digested more slowly. They'll help to even out your blood sugar and you won't have spikes and crashes all the time," Dr. Tracey Marks says.

Here are a few suggestions to help you break the sugar habit:

Keep sugary foods away. Don't tempt yourself by stocking candy, cookies, and other high-sugar foods in your cupboards and fridge. "As a substitute for these things, keep fruit around," suggests Dr. Marks.

Sweeten foods yourself. Start with unsweetened iced tea, plain yogurt, and unflavored oatmeal. Then add your own sweetener. No matter how much sweetener you add, you probably won't put in as much as the manufacturer would have, according to Dr. Marks.

Watch for hidden sugars in foods. Be wary of foods where sugar tends to hide, including reduced-fat products. "When companies take out the fat, they add back almost all the calories in �sugar," Dr. Marks says. Read labels. Avoid products that list sugar as the first ingredient or that contain several different types of sugar (brown sugar, cane nectar, etc.)—it's one-way manufacturers avoid having sugar listed as the first ingredient.

Eat breakfast. Start out your day with a filling, nutritious meal, so you'll be less likely to give in to cravings. Steel-cut oatmeal, eggs, and fruit are all good breakfast choices.

"When you get used to eating fewer super-sweet things, you crave them less," Dr. Marks says. "You become more satisfied with less sweet things." You also won't feel guilty on those less-frequent occasions when you do splurge.

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