Have you experienced the symptoms of sugar addiction?
I was attending a conference in Amsterdam this week and had some weird feelings and cravings for foods that I would usually avoid. I could not work out what was going on.
At first, I wondered if I was just hungry. I’m one of those people who is often hungry all the time, although since I have been following a WFPB diet, this has happened a lot less as I find that due to the calorie density of the foods my stomach is full plus the water content of vegetables means that I usually feel nice and satisfied.
Imagine my surprise to find me reaching for the “empty calories” of biscuits at break times and eating sugary deserts at lunch and at dinner. I’d have eaten the leg of my room desk had it been covered in chocolate at night when I retired to my room. I also noticed my mood was altered and i experienced some extreme swings in feelings. .
What on earth was going on? Why did I feel like this? Am I just a greedy piggy?
So yesterday morning, I think I found one of the main culprits. I was getting my breakfast. In hotels I usually have some kind of oat based cereal like a granola or dry museli with some fruit and then have either soy milk if available or apple juice instead of milk.
Imagine my surprise to find that the cereal that looked like it had raisins in it as part of the oat based granola were not raisins at all. They were in fact pieces of milk chocolate. I rarely wear my glasses at breakfast but maybe I would have noticed had I had them on. That’s a lesson for sure. for a moment I felt smug, as I had not selected the particular cereal as the colour of the oats looked as if they had something added to them. Cocoa I now guess. I had chosen the cereal where the oats looked a natural colour and they were combined with slivers of almonds.
Almonds? Oh really? On further investigation, the almonds were not almonds at all. No, they were in fact white chocolate! Every day for my “healthy start to the day”, I had in fact been filling my body with sugar and fat. In fact that sugar had probably been the cause that I was then craving the chocolates and mints that the hotel put alongside the notepads in the conference room that I devoured eagerly morning and afternoon.
I find that when I eat sugary foods made with refined sugars rather than natural sugars contained in fruits or maple syrup, date paste or agave, once my body processes it, it just seems to want more. I know that there is a lot of science behind this which you can find more about here: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/are-sugary-foods-addictive/
So what has your experience been? How does refined sugar affect you?
If you see me gnawing away on a chocolate covered desk leg – then just walk on by!