Sugar–addiction and depression

sugar addiction, indulging in cake

I couldn’t resist borrowing this picture–I’m sure this is exactly how I look when I get over taken by a sugar craving. Except I’ve got a little more of an olive complexion. (To give credit where credit is due, you can see the online magazine it comes from here.)

There’s way too much info about the evils of sugar, more than anyone would want to read here. But I’m going to share just a little bit about why reducing the amount of sugar our family consumes (especially myself) is one of my goals.

Though as a kid I never noticed any ill effects from sugar consumption (no surprise there), I’ve found as an adult, my sugar consumption follows a pattern of addiction and depression. If I have a little something sugary, no big deal, but a little more would sure be nice. The next day, I have a bit more, and I find I’m now on the hunt for something sweet. And soon, I’ve noticed, I’m having more and more depressing thoughts. And life starts looking pretty rotten–though a brownie sundae might temporarily help.

Not only does cutting out sugar (after the withdrawal and binge recovery) help me feel better physically, it helps me feel better emotionally. And you certainly can’t beat the financial advantage you can save in health care and therapy. Yet most of us, even realizing this, still return to sugar. Clearly addictive.

Even though scientifically, other sweeteners, such as honey and agave, are sugars as well, I don’t feel as if they have the same addictive craving effect on me. Clearly not scientific, but you may want to pay attention to the difference in yourself. Perhaps it’s just that they aren’t as available in everything like refined white sugar and corn syrup is. Stevia actually isn’t a sugar–I’ve been experimenting with it a little, but really, I need to get off the sugar addict notion that sweet is the ultimate dietary pleasure. (Right up there with salty snacks, but that’s not where I’m going right now.)

I found the following video informative and also entertaining–my kids voluntarily watched it.

Challenge yourself. See if you can go a week avoiding sugar. I know carbs also have a bad rap these days, but if the option is a donut or a store bought muffin (which we all know is just cake without frosting), try baking some of your own muffins and substitute a reduced amount of honey, agave, or stevia for the sugar. Use whole grains and a healthy oil and you’ll feel even better about your snack (white flour also turns into sugar quickly once you eat it). I’ll have to post the triple berry pie I made, after I make it a few more times and get the recipe down–it tasted great and left me feeling happy the next day, too.

And for me, exercising is a huge help in combating the sugar blues, too. Of course, snitching the cookies intended for the kids’ lunch box is a lot faster way to handle that low blood sugar. Quite a bit of discipline involved here.

What have you done to fight your sugar addiction? It is a recurring battle for me, and I’m way open to suggestions! What are some of your favorite snacks that don’t include sugar and are possibly low carb too?

P.S. Here’s some more excellent information when you have the time and desire to know more.

This video is good. It’s 10 minutes long, just to warn you, but it’s not selling something and has good, practical advice.

The Merritt Wellness Center has a lot of good information about blood sugar level and how it affects us. A little time now can add years to your life and improve their quality and lower their cost.

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About Sunny

My name is Sunny, and my husband and I have five "children" ages 19 to 4. I love learning. I have a M.F.A. in Humanities and dream about going back to school some day. I run around doing "mom" stuff, try to put a nutritious dinner on the table for whomever shows up, and I thrive on creative projects when possible. Mostly I strive to just keep up with the mountains and mole hills of day to day life.
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3 Responses to Sugar–addiction and depression

  1. Great article. I am a recovering sugar addict and like to see others perspectives. 😉

  2. Heidi says:

    Love it! Ironically, just the other night I was saying, what’s the big deal about sugar and white flour? Now I am informed. Thanks, Sunny!

  3. Pheobe says:

    I’ve been feeling this lately as well. Thanks for the additional boost in motivation.

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