Do you have a sweet tooth?

Sometimes there’s nothing like a good piece of chocolate or a cupcake to take the edge off of a long day. Or, after a good meal, a bowl of ice cream with hot fudge sauce can complete your dining experience.

If you indulge in sweets, then you know what I’m talking about. A euphoric state of satisfaction comes almost immediately after that first bite. There’s a very good reason for that.

It’s because sugar and foods that taste sweet stimulate our brains. They activate endorphin receptors, which are protein molecules located in your brain and nerve endings, to excrete feel-good hormones that act as a natural analgesic to relive pain. In short, they make us feel better by blocking pain produced by your nervous system.

Endorphin release is the reason thrill seekers bungee jump from a bridge, providing a “high” from vigorous exercise.

Endorphins are also natural opiates and can give you feelings of pleasure similar to heroin or morphine. Since sweets stimulate these receptors – just like drugs – you feel relaxed and calm.

So, whether it’s sugar or heroin, your brain simply can’t tell the difference.

See where I’m going with this?

These receptors are the Central Command Center for Addiction.

Because that feeling is pleasurable…you’re going to want it again and again.

Not into sweets that much? Do you prefer a juicy burger or steak instead? Then you’re safe from food addiction and the health hazards it can bring, right?

Think again.

Fatty foods provide the same stimuli to endorphin receptors as sweets, bringing the same feeling of pleasure.

Ever crave a good cheeseburger? How about a delectable plate of southern fried chicken?

I rest my case.

To drive the point home, laboratory rats were studied after being given a solution of sugar water.

Now, there are 3 stages of addiction:

  1. Subject increases substance use.
  2. Subject goes through withdrawals when substance is taken away.
  3. Subject relapses or has strong cravings to use again.

The lab rats went through each step in classic textbook behavior.

When the rats were denied the sugar solution for 12 hours and then reintroduced, they binged until they worked their way up to double their previous intake.

When the solution was taken away, the rats went through withdrawal and got the shakes. Once “off the stuff,” the rats kept on pounding the lever that used to give them the goods – clear signs of relapse behavior.

You may think I’m off my rocker comparing sugar and fatty food cravings to drug addiction. After all, drugs are more dangerous than sweets and fats, right?

Wrong. Heart disease was the number 1 cause of death in the United States in 2010. But isn’t it true that there are a lot more people addicted to unhealthy foods than drugs?

Good news is you can kick this habit and start living a healthier, safer life.

The first step is detoxifying your liver.

Like drugs, sugary and fatty foods are bad for your liver. They build up toxins that must be eliminated to begin the healing process. When your liver is toxic, it cannot metabolize properly and your body suffers with fatigue, irritability and restlessness.

Dr. Mehmet Oz knows a thing or 2 about this. He suggests eating broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, chives and leeks for a week to naturally cleanse the liver and nurse it back to health. You need to detox the liver so it can start to metabolize fats properly. Here are 3 steps to follow:

  1. For those nasty withdrawals, take vitamin B complex and 1000 mgs chromium picolinate a day. The B complex helps balance your mood by jump-starting and directing serotonin production while the chromium helps regulate insulin until you kick the sugar habit. It’s advised to stop taking chromium once you’ve beaten the cravings.
  2. Limit red meat to ¼ of your protein intake. Get the rest from beans, nuts, lean poultry, and fish. Eat green leafy veggies like spinach and kale, plus citrus fruits.
  3. Watch your emotional eating. Running for a candy bar or succumbing to a sudden craving is an emotional response. Try an apple when you have this experience to resist the urge.

It’s also important to eat plenty of fruit. It satisfies your sweet tooth and has plenty of healthy antioxidants to get you back on track. Look for deep, brightly colored fruits:

  1. Reds (lycopene) – tomatoes, red peppers, red apples, guava
  2. Orange/yellows (beta carotene) – carrots, pears, bananas, mango
  3. Green (lutein) – broccoli, peas, beans, green apples, kiwi)
  4. Blue/violet (anthocyanins) – grapes, plums, figs, blueberries

One more thing…make sure you drink plenty of water to help flush your system. Some moderate exercise doesn’t hurt either.

Eating the right foods will not only help you kick a potentially dangerous food addiction or habit, it will also keep your weight in check, give you more energy to do the things you love, and knock out inflammation, which is another health hazard that can naturally be controlled by eating well.

Diabetes Reversal ReportRemember, your brain sees sugar and fatty foods the same as it does heroin or morphine. Increasing endorphin production unnaturally is just like forcing a high with drugs. The health problems that come from this type of diet lead to the number 1 cause of death in the U.S. – heart disease.

So, the next time you feel the need to be “satisfied,” don’t indulge your sweet tooth and reach for a Snicker’s…reach for an apple instead. Your life just might depend on it.