Food Habits – A Hidden Cause of Addiction
Can what you eat contribute to addiction later in life? According to more and more health authorities – YES! Habitual use of cola drinks and sugary foods beginning in childhood may set the stage for addiction to other drugs later on in life.
What is a drug? Any substance that causes a temporary ‘high’ or feeling of well-being, followed by a ‘low’, will tend to be addictive. As the effect wears off, another dose is needed to regain the temporary high. Often, the addictive substance is one that weakens the body. When the ‘high’ wears off, the addict feels even worse than before. He or she is attracted back to the drug to feel good once again. This is the basic principle of all addiction.
How does eating sugar produce addiction? To begin with, the frequent rise and fall in blood sugar that occurs due to the use of sugary foods eventually weakens the adrenal glands and the insulin mechanism. When it malfunctions, low blood sugar, and later high blood sugar result. In either instance, inadequate glucose reaches the cells. This produces strong cravings for any substance that will enhance adrenal gland activity to help raise glucose levels. Coffee, colas, cigarettes, alcohol and cocaine will all fill the bill.
By weakening the adrenal glands, a person’s resolve is also weakened. The adrenals are called the fight-flight glands. Our ability to secrete cortisone and cortisol in larger manner determines our ability to handle stress. One function of cortisone is to raise sugar levels by converting fats and proteins to sugar. Many people today have low production of cortisone due to weak adrenal glands. The result is inadequate conversion of fats and proteins to sugar. Thus, they crave sweets in their diet.
Robert Atkins, M.D., a leading medical doctor, estimates that over half the American population has some degree of sugar/carbohydrate intolerance. Sweet cravings can be an attempt by the body to increase sugar in the cells by getting it directly from sugary foods that does not require digestion.
Methods to reduce sweet cravings include:
* Identify and correct biochemical causes such as mineral and vitamin deficiencies, adrenal weakness, or toxic metals.
* Follow a diet and lifestyle that supports a healthy nutritional program. This means keeping sweets out of the house.
* Realize that the upsetting effects of excessive sweets upon health far outweigh any temporary benefits they offer.
* If addicted to sweets, you may go through a period of withdrawal, as when quitting any drug. Nutritional support and proper diet can go a long way to minimizing withdrawal reactions.