Sugar could be as addictive as cocaine: 13 tips to break the habit

Sugar could be as addictive as cocaine: 13 tips to break the habit

Sugar could be as addictive as cocaine: 13 tips to break the habit

We might joke that we’re addicted to sugar as we reach for yet another jelly bean, but a group of scientists is now saying we might be right.

A review published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine argues that sugar is as addictive as cocaine.

Co-author of the paper and cardiovascular research scientist James J DiNicolantonio, told the Guardian that sugar is dangerously addictive: “In animals, it is actually more addictive than even cocaine, so sugar is pretty much probably the most consumed addictive substance around the world, and it is wreaking havoc on our health.”

While the scientific world squabbles over the truth of cocaine versus sugar, it’s difficult to dispute that, between rising childhood obesity levels and type 2 diabetes rates, we have a sugar problem.

But how can you fight your sugar cravings? Here are a few ways to cut your intake without going cold turkey…

1. Switch sugary breakfast cereals and granola for porridge oats topped with banana slices- and leave off the sprinkling of brown sugar.

2. Make your own pasta sauces. Jarred sauces can be really high in sugar, but a simple tin of chopped tomatoes, simmered with garlic and basil for 15 minutes on the hob, will do the same job, just cheaper, tastier and healthier.

Food GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

3. Homemade soup is surprisingly easy to whip up and contains far less sugar than store-bought versions. All you need is some leftover veggies, a panful of stock, some fresh herbs and a hand mixer to whizz it together.

4. Swap out your usual bag of crisps for a handful of unsalted nuts, or some plain homemade popcorn.

5. Replace your milk chocolate bar with a square or two of bitter dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) – it’ll give you an iron boost and hit that sweet spot, without the major sugar rush.

Eating GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

6. Instead of reaching for the choccie biccies, try oat cakes or crackers with a square of cheese instead.

7. White bread can be full of sugar – pick up brown, wholemeal or granary for a healthier change.

8. 4pm slump? Reach for a piece of fruit or a slice of malt loaf rather than a wedge of cake.

9. Like sugar in your tea or coffee? Wean yourself off.

Coffee GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

10. Fizzy drinks have no nutritional value and it’s not unusual for them to contain 13 teaspoons of sugar per can; opt for sugar-free versions or just go classic and stick with water (you can always jazz it up with a slice of lemon or cucumber).

11. Be sparing with the condiments – ketchup and barbecue sauces are laced with sugar.

12. Reserve dessert for special occasions and as weekend treats, rather than have one every day.

13. And if you have to have that takeout, order less sugar-laden dishes. For instance, replace your sweet and sour chicken balls with dumplings and steamed veg.

More in this Section

Israel exit poll suggests Netanyahu has failed to win majorityIsrael exit poll suggests Netanyahu has failed to win majority

Trump’s former campaign manager rebuffs questions at ‘impeachment hearing’Trump’s former campaign manager rebuffs questions at ‘impeachment hearing’

US government files lawsuit against Edward Snowden over new bookUS government files lawsuit against Edward Snowden over new book

Man with stage four cancer completes Britain’s ‘hardest walk’Man with stage four cancer completes Britain’s ‘hardest walk’


Lifestyle

Angela’s Ashes: The Musical at Cork Opera House brings some belly-laughs to Frank McCourt's tale, writes Marjorie Brennan.Perfect blend of belly laughs and emotion at Angela's Ashes: The Musical

In Currabinny, there is a large house right at the cliff’s edge, overlooking the whole of Cork Harbour.The Currabinny chefs cook with pears

It’s normal for children to occasionally worry but anxiety in a young person can develop into a crippling daily occurrence if it is not properly managed, writes Karen Murray.'Anxiety is a normal part of life': Understanding is key to helping children manage anxiety

This season textiles trend large, full of colour and exotic pattern, and applied in new ways to make a personal design statement from the living room to the bedroom, writes Carol O’CallaghanTextile trends that can help you make a personal design statement

More From The Irish Examiner