Sugar and Addiction Recovery

donuts on a plate

Almost every event is celebrated with a sugary treat — birthdays, Halloween, the holidays, and Thanksgiving are all marked by the consumption of sugar. But is this readily available and omnipresent food wreaking havoc on our bodies and minds? Let’s dive into some of the side effects of sweets and how sugar can affect addiction recovery and mental health.

Side Effects of Sugar

We’ve all heard of the “sugar high” when we eat too much Halloween candy and the crash that follows. Excess sugar consumption can take us on a roller coaster, as it contains concentrated amounts of fructose, which causes blood sugar levels to spike and drop dramatically. Excess sugar consumption can lead to obesity, diabetes, weight gain, tooth decay, and acne. It may also increase your risk of depression, cancer, and cognitive decline. In general, sugar has no nutritional benefits and can leave you feeling drained and irritable.

Sugar Addiction

Sugar is widely available, so we don’t often consider it an addictive substance. However, studies are showing that it’s incredibly addictive. When we consume our favorite sugary treats, dopamine is released in the brain, which is what makes sugar so addictive. Every time we eat sugar, we reinforce the reward circuit in the brain, causing us to want more and more of it.

Sugar and Addiction Recovery

For individuals in addiction recovery, sugar can pose additional challenges. Many people turn to sugar as a substitute for their previous substance of choice. This can lead to a cycle of addiction transfer, where one addictive behavior is replaced by another. Moreover, excess sugar consumption can disrupt the delicate balance of neurotransmitters in the brain, potentially affecting mood and mental well-being.

Sugar and Mental Health

The link between sugar and mental health is becoming increasingly clear. Consuming too much sugar can increase inflammation in the body, leading to a host of negative effects on mental health. Some studies have linked excess sugar consumption to an increased risk of depression and anxiety. Additionally, consuming too much sugar can lead to blood sugar imbalances, which can cause mood swings, irritability, and fatigue.

Everything in Moderation

Sugar can be found in most packaged sweets, granola bars, breakfast cereals, sports drinks, and protein bars. Be on the lookout for hidden sugars in your snacks. The World Health Organization suggests reducing sugar intake to 5% of daily calories, or about six teaspoons of table sugar. If you’re craving something sweet, opt for fruit, which contains natural sugars and will satisfy your sweet tooth. Concentrated sugars from high fructose corn syrup, table sugar, and even agave and maple syrup are the more insidious forms of glucose. Even so, consuming sugar in moderation is probably okay as long as it’s not impacting your recovery or mental and physical health.

While sugar may be a ubiquitous part of our diets, it’s important to recognize its potential negative effects on our bodies and minds. For individuals in addiction recovery or struggling with mental health concerns, reducing sugar intake may be an important step toward overall wellness. Remember to read labels carefully and opt for natural sources of sweetness when possible. By being mindful of our sugar intake, we can take control of our health and well-being.



Call today!

We are ready to help your family begin its journey to recovery. Please call anytime at 866-856-0801 .

Windhaven House - Dallas Sober Living for Women - Extended Care Services - Extended Care Program - Best Sober Living in Dallas for Women - 12 step immersion - fun in sobriety - transitional sober living dallas texasContact us for more information about how Windhaven House can help you achieve and maintain lasting sobriety. Call 866-856-0801 or send us a message now.


Related Posts

Do You Have Questions?

Send Us A Message