There's a reason.
There's a solution.
My name is Julie Clark. I help people who've had bariatric surgery determine whether carbohydrate addiction and/or post-op nutritional malabsorption are problems for them.
If so, I guide them through a structured recovery process to overcome those complex challenges.
For some of us, sugar and starch (carbohydrates) are literally every bit as addictive as cocaine or heroin. The self-destruction which results from excessive use often progresses quite gradually, but it can be equally devastating — and equally deadly.
Like all other addictions, it’s actually a disease of our brain’s reward system. I refer to this disease as Carbohydrate Addiction, although you may hear it referred to elsewhere by other names.
Why call it Carbohydrate Addiction? Pinpointing the true nature of the problem helps us more clearly see the true nature of the solution.
In my view, the name Sugar Addiction falls far short of the full implications of this disease. For many of us, this name equates to a “bait and switch” sales tactic. Sufferers are told, “Your problem is sugar, so just quit eating sugar.” “Oh, but by the way, you’ll probably need to eliminate flour of any kind, artificial sweeteners, and perhaps all grains as well.” If you find it easier to start down the road to recovery by focusing only on the worst aspect of the problem, then the name Sugar Addiction may be right for you. In that case, the other culprits will reveal themselves in due time. I, myself, would rather know what I’m dealing with up front.
As I see it, the name Food Addiction is too broad. Although I still occasionally refer to this disease as Food Addiction, I’ve come to understand that the problem centers primarily on one specific category of food – the sugars and starches known as carbohydrates. It’s true that some other types of foods (or ingredient combinations) can be triggering for addicts. However, the category of carbohydrates (encompassing both sugar and starches) includes most of the worst triggers: pizza, french fries, chips, bread, candy, crackers, cookies, doughnuts, pasta, ice cream, cakes, pies, cereals, pancakes, waffles, frappuccinos, popcorn, sweetened chocolate, the list is endless.
The name Processed Food Addiction is actually a fairly good characterization of the problem. However, as the disease progresses, even natural (unprocessed foods) can become triggering, such as honey, agave nectar, potatoes, rice, etc. In fact, over time, many of us even become addicted to "healthy" complex carbohydrates, and anything that tastes sweet, whether it contains calories or not.
Contrary to popular belief, adults don't actually don’t need to eat sugar or starch (carbohydrates) to be healthy. Our bodies can make all the glucose we need from healthy fats, proteins and non-starchy fiber sources. Learning more about Carbohydrate Addiction helps us understand that the category of foods which causes the most damage is also truly unnecessary for our health and nutrition.
Pinpointing this disease as Carbohydrate Addiction makes it easier to see and appreciate all the remaining types of nutritious foods (such as healthy fats, proteins and non-starchy fiber sources) that most addicts can eat, enjoy and thrive on.
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