Bittens Addiction | Sugar/carb addiction
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Sugar/carb addiction

Sugar/carbohydrate addiction is just one of many outlets of addiction

Researchers have been talking about sugar as the white poison for many years. Others claim it’s not harmful. Can they both be right? Yes absolutely! It depends on who and what they are studying.

Harmful use or addiction?

For some people, sugar is very dangerous and for others not quite so. Large amounts are harmful to anyone, but many people can have sweets in moderation without negative consequences.


This is very important to understand. In the same way, compare with alcohol – large amounts are harmful to anyone, but many people can drink moderately with positive effects. Others must refrain completely in order to survive.


Different impacts on different people

We have our unique body chemistry, just as we have unique fingerprints. ”One individual’s food is another’s poison”, a great thinker said a long time ago. What we eat affects our entire ways, but in different ways for different people.


Some become high or excited by caffeine, while others have no reaction. Some people can eat chocolate and stop after one piece, while others simply fail to quit – they lose control once they start. This has nothing to do with poor character.


On the other hand, we can influence how our genes express themselves through the lifestyle we choose. However, the basic conditions in the form of their own inherited biochemistry play the biggest role. Several researchers claim that we can influence 70% of the genes’ ways of expressing themselves.


Some examples

If you are born with a sensitivity to cardiovascular disease, you might trigger disease through your lifestyle. But if you know about the risks and live healthily, for example by reducing stress, eating well, and quitting smoking, you can minimize the risk of injury to your arteries and heart. Another example is type 2 diabetes, which is a  disease triggered by improper dietary habits. If you know there is sensitivity in your family tree, you can reduce the risk of diabetes or increase your health by learning a better lifestyle.


To be sugar sensitive is the same way. Today, we know that some of us have an unwanted reaction when eating sugar and starchy foods.  Sugar rapidly enters our blood and triggers an excessive insulin release. The more sugar/starch you eat, the more insulin your body has to make. The reaction is fast and strong and causes fluctuations in blood sugar and that will create cravings, and you’ll eat more. This rollercoaster is extremely unpleasant. Sugar also releases huge amounts of neurotransmitters, for example dopamine. That’s why we like it so much, but it will create havoc with our body chemistry. It’s like pouring jet fuel into a tractor – it will stop working. There’s a lot to learn about sugar sensitivity and sugar addiction. If you think you have a problem with this, please remember: IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT. Learn more about your brain and addiction and you will understand what I mean.

What is sugar then?

These days, the processed-food industry hides an enormous amount of sugar in everyday foods. And there are currently more than 100 names for sugar, which makes it extremely challenging to identify. (Click here for a partial list.) Take the time to read food labels. Be vigilant in protecting yourself. The best approach is to stick to foods that have only one ingredient. For example, the only ingredient in an egg is… egg. The only ingredient in broccoli is… broccoli.

Screening SUNCOPE©*

Test yourself by answering these screening questions about sugar and flour.

Sweets* can be any carbohydrate such as pasta, bread, desserts, cookies, soda, ice cream, pizza, cereal, potatoes, rice, sweeteners, with or without fat etc. Sweets*
Yes No
1. U = Unplanned use

In the past year, have you ever eaten more sweets* than you intended, or have you spent more time eating, using sweets* than you intended to?


2. N = Neglected

Have you ever neglected some of your usual daily responsibilities due to using sweets*/overeating?


3. C = Cut down

Have you felt that you wanted or needed to cut down on eating sweets* in the last year?


4. O = Objected

Has anyone objected to you overeating sweets*, has your family, a friend, or anyone else ever told you they objected to your eating habits?


5. P = Preoccupied

Have you ever found yourself preoccupied with wanting sweets* or found yourself thinking a lot about sweets*?


6. E = Emotional discomfort

Have you ever used sweets or food* to relieve emotional discomfort, such as fatigue, irritation, sadness, anger, tiredness, or boredom etc?


Number of yes answers ?  

Two or more yes answers indicates a problem and/or addiction. Recommendation is SUGAR®, contact Bitten®.

Bitten Jonsson, RN & David Avram Wolfe, MS, RD, CNSC, FAC

Process Addiction – the progress of sugar addiction

Brown, R.L., Leonard, T., Saunders, L.A. & Papasouliotis, O. (1997). A two-item screening test for alcohol and other drug problems. Journal of Family Practice, 44(2), 151-160.
Hoffmann, N.G. & Harrisson, P.A. (1995). SUDDS-IV; Substance Use Disorders Diagnostic Schedule. 
Hoffmann, N.G. (1995). TAAD: Triage Assessment for Addictive Disorders. St. Paul, MN: New Standards Inc.