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Fighting sugar addiction
BEAUMONT-By: Leslie Rangel
When you hear addiction, you probably think of drugs or alcohol or smoking, but a recent study shows sugar can be more addictive than heroin or cocaine.
One Southeast Texas woman says she battled a sugar addiction for years.
Aisle after aisle at the grocery store holds products that can quickly become you enemy, but not for Jaime Allen.
"I can look at the back of the box and I can see that this one has 4 grams of sugar versus this one with 8 grams of sugar, so I eliminated half of the sugar just by choosing this product and on the front of the box it says lower sugar," Allen says.
She's almost an expert in shopping for healthier foods, but it wasn't always that way.
She says she almost never visited the produce aisle. "I did but very little , just for your basics, apples bananas strawberries and that's about it, that's where I would stop, everything else seemed foreign a little bit," Allen said.
Allen suffered from a sugar addiction.
"Mine was sweet tea and when I came to the nutritionist she said it was a behavior pattern, I would wake up thinking about it was just a part of my day I established and didn't have a thought process to it and she said we have to break this cycle," Allen says.
In January she was dealing with what might sound like a made up addiction, but dietitians say it a huge problem.
"The addiction process comes when you can eat it so quickly that your brain doesn't have time to register that you ate and so they want more quickly, more more," Carolyn Bell, Allen's registered dietitian nutritionist says.
Bell cut out all of Allen's sugar intake in January, resulting in massive weight loss.
"When you do eat sugar, your body produces insulin to help that sugar get into the cells and because we can take in so much sugar in such a short period of time we may have quite a release of insulin and insulin will also create a fat storage," Allen said.
"I can't believe I've lost 30 pounds, everyday I say how did this happen?" Allen says.
The answer? Her motivation.
"You do it for the people around you, my parents, my kids, you do it for the long term effect of it, to live healthy," Allen said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about one of every three American adults is obese.
If you would like more information on how to start your nutrition plan check out Carolyn Bell's website here.