We have compiled Five Top Tips on How to Beat A Sugar Addiction by Addictions Expert Chris Hill
Refined sugar is a highly addictive substance which produces an immediate release of the pleasure hormone in the brain called dopamine. Over time, your mind and body get used to it and therefore you need ever increasing quantities to achieve the same level of satisfaction. Soon enough, you have a sugar addiction. Regardless of whether you believe you have a ‘sweet tooth’ or not – your mind and body will be seeking that dopamine rush and your appetite for all foods will increase in search of it.
Chris Hill is an Addiction Expert at Carbon Retreat, the UK’s first addiction curing wellness retreat. Here are his top tips to help you substantially reduce your sugar intake:
Learn to recognise sugar
Sugar has around 65 different names which you’ll find on packets and within ingredients of different foods. In order to reduce your consumption of sugar you should familiarise yourself with the different names to be able to look out for them in the foods that you buy. Some of the most common examples are ‘high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)’, agave nectar, carob syrup, dextrin, maltrose and dextrose.
Learn some sugar basics
The NHS recommends no more than 30 grams of sugar per day for adults* (this has recently dropped from 50 grams). That’s around seven teaspoons a day. As sugar is added to around 80 per cent of all food and drink available to us in the supermarket today, start reading food packaging and looking out for hidden sugars to know exactly what you’re buying.
Cook simple meals from scratch
Ready made meals and sauces in jars can contain excessive amounts of sugar. Wherever possible and especially for simple sauces such as pasta sauce, make this from scratch or using passata or chopped tomatoes. Make sure you’re buying them with no added sugar though, as sugar is often added to these seemingly ‘natural’ foods.
Be drink aware
Alcohol contains a huge amount of added sugar. For example, there are 13.5 grams of sugar (just over three teaspoons) in a pint of lager, with wine ranging from 0.9 grams for some red wines up to 7.5 grams per 175 ml glass for Rosé and sweeter wines. It’s not just alcohol you have to look out for though, as fruit juices, both concentrate and not from concentrate, contain huge amounts of sugar, as do a lot of ‘healthy’ looking drinks such as flavoured waters. We all know that fizzy drinks aren’t great, but did you know that a 330ml can of Coke or Pepsi contains around 35 grams of sugar? That means a single can is more than the recommended daily sugar intake for adults.
Watch your five a day
Fruit is good for you in many ways as it delivers valuable nutrients and vitamins to your body. But it’s important to be aware of the sugar content of different fruits, keeping consumption of the high sugar varieties to a reasonable level. Fruits that contain little sugar are strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, avocado, watermelon, grapefruit, kiwis and oranges, so there’s a lot to choose from.