Sugary foods can help those in recovery because they affect the brain like addictive drugs. During the early days of addiction recovery, people often battle intense drug cravings and may be calorically deficient. Moreover, excessive alcohol intake can damage the liver’s ability to regulate blood glucose levels by reducing insulin sensitivity.
On the topic of mood, both sugar and alcohol are known to affect serotonin, one of the body’s main “feel-good” hormones. This is why having a drink, or eating something sweet, can take the edge off feelings of stress or depression. Sweets are a decent snack occasionally, but recovering addicts should be more focused on combating their nutritional deficiencies with healthy snacks, meals, and drinks. So no, sugar cravings aren’t bad on their own, but they can lead to negative consequences, and other snacking options provide more benefits while recovering.
“And it looks for what it has in its environment, which is so often sugar.” By Lauren Panoff, MPH, RD
Lauren Panoff, MPH, RD, is a plant-based dietitian, writer, and speaker who specializes in helping people bring more plants to their plate. She’s a highly respected writer in the health and nutrition space and loves talking about the power of diet.
Reducing your sugar intake can be a positive step toward improving your overall health. It can help with digestive issues like irritable bowel and acid reflux, but that’s not all. Eating less sugar can also improve anxiety and stress, reduce fatigue, ease joint pain, and cut down on headaches and migraines. According to the American Heart Association, 8 out of 10 adults are trying to reduce the amount of sugar they eat, but it’s not easy. For people who’ve become chemically dependent on sugar, it’s even harder. In fact, researchers have found that sugar lowers both opioid and dopamine receptor availability in our brains.
Sugar Cravings after Quitting Alcohol: 10 Dietitian-Approved Tips
If you or someone you know needs rehabilitation for alcoholism, a treatment facility like Steps to Recovery should be the first place you call. Many alcoholics why do alcoholics crave sugar experience intense sugar cravings, but have you ever wondered why? As it turns out, there is a scientific explanation behind this phenomenon.
Research has also shown that some foods tend to be more “addictive” than others, including highly processed foods with a high glycemic load. A food craving is defined as an intense desire for a specific food. Most people experience cravings at one time or another, and there are many factors that determine their frequency and intensity. Finally, alcohol addiction manifests in behavioral addiction as well.