I have an excellent diet on a daily basis, no white offenders such as white flour, white sugar, white rice or white homogenized cows milk. However, over the last holiday season I ingested plenty of Christmas Cheer along with main course meals designed especially for the soul, a habit I could easily become accustomed to. But after the holidays were over, I found myself craving sweets and alcohol. Am I addicted?
To become addicted is to devote or surrender ones self to something habitually or obsessively. The word addiction is derived from the Latin verb addicere meaning to assign or give assent. When we think of an addict, we usually think of someone who gives in without restraint or who has lost self-control.
But addiction means more than just having a strong desire for something. Addiction is a negative thing. Initially, people become attracted to certain foods because they taste good and create a strong sensation of pleasure. But addiction is not pleasurable once the initial high has passed. Addicted people dont usually feel good when theyre straight and this negative state, coupled with continuous exposure to junk food and easy access, intensifies the craving for something to fix the problem. Since we have to eat to live, avoiding food isnt an option. Also, the foods we crave and cant live without are almost always the likely offenders, like bread (wheat) or coffee or cheese.
When you eat something made of white flour or sucrose (white table sugar) the carbohydrates from these foods enter the blood stream very quickly causing blood sugar and insulin to rise and then fall. When your blood sugar is high you feel good, youre high. But when your blood sugar starts to drop, you feel low. Thats when you start to crave more sugar or a stimulant to give you a boost, like coffee or tobacco.
The rate at which carbohydrates enter the blood and their effect on insulin is defined by something called a glycemic response. Choosing foods with a lower glycemic response or glycemic index (whole grains, lentils, beans, many fruits & vegetables) can help stabilize your blood sugar and prevent the highs and lows. Adding a portion of protein to every meal, complete with essential fatty acids, also makes a big difference. Read labels, watch for the white offenders and see if you can stop for one week. Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde behavior in children might be a clue to a food addiction/allergy/hypoglycemia problem.