CARBOHYDRATE ADDICTION DEFINED:
What is it? Where does it come from?


Car-bo-hy-drate Ad-dic-tion:

  • A compelling hunger, craving, or desire for carbohydrate-rich foods;
    an escalating, recurring need or drive for starches, snack foods, junk food, or sweets.

  • Carbohydrate-rich foods include, but are not limited to: breads, bagels, cakes, cereal, chocolate, cookies, crackers, danish, fruit and fruit juice, ice cream, potato chips, pasta, potatoes, pretzels, rice, pie, popcorn, and sugar-sweetened beverages.

  • In addition, carbohydrate act-alikes (sugar substitutes, alcoholic beverages, and monosodium glutamate) may trigger intense or recurring carbohydrate cravings and/or weight gain.

As many as seventy-five percent of those who are overweight, and many normal-weight individuals as well, are carbohydrate addicted. Though many people may suspect there is a physical imbalance that makes them crave carbohydrates and put weight on easily, the underlying cause of their cravings and weight struggles often goes undiagnosed and untreated.

Carbohydrate addiction is caused by an imbalance - an over release of the hormone, insulin, when carbohydrate-rich foods are eaten. Among its many jobs, insulin signals the body to take in food (it has been called the "hunger hormone") and, once the food is consumed, signals the body to store the food energy in the form of fat.

Too much insulin results in too strong an impulse to eat, too often, and a body that too readily stores food in the form of fat.

The scientific term for this condition is post-prandial reactive hyperinsulinemia which means too much insulin is released after eating. Over time, people who are hyperinsulinemic become insulin resistant, that is, the cells in their muscles, nervous systems, and organs start to close down to the high levels of insulin in their blood. Insulin is no longer able to open the doors to these cells and allow food energy (blood sugar or glucose) to enter. At this point, one may experience symptoms of low-blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) including irritability, shakiness, tiredness, intense cravings, confusion, and headaches. Since the blood sugar cannot easily enter the muscles, nervous system, or organs, much of the food energy gets channeled into the fat cells and weight gain comes easily. Over time, however, as high insulin levels continue, even the fat cells can shut down and the blood glucose gets trapped in the blood stream bringing on the condition known as adult-onset diabetes.

At this time, there is no accepted blood test to definitively determine whether or not your are carbohydrate addiction. Fasting insulin levels do not necessarily predict how your body will react after eating carbohydrate-rich foods and glucose tolerance tests use highly sweetened drinks that are not the equivalent of typical carbohydrate-rich meals. If you are carbohydrate addicted, however, chances are you know that something different about the way in which your body responds to starches, snack foods, junk food, and sweets.

We have found that the best way to determine if you (or someone you love) is carbohydrate addicted (that is, if you are hyperinsulinemic) is to take the test in The Carbohydrate Addict's LifeSpan Program or Carbohydrate Addicted Kids. Any of these tests will also help determine if you are likely to be successful on one of our carbohydrate-balancing programs. The higher the score, the more likely it is that cravings and weight struggles are caused by an excess of insulin. If you do not yet have any of our books, you might want to take the Carbohydrate Addicts Quick Quiz for adults at http://www.carbohydrateaddicts.com/caquiz.html and for parents of kids at http://www.carbohydrateaddicts.com/kidquiz.html. These short quizes are not as detailed as the tests you will find in our books, but they can give you a good idea as to whether or not an actual addiction to carbohydrates appears to be present.



Remember:
Carbohydrate addiction is real...and it hurts.


Carbohydrate addiction is NOT a matter of will power -
it is simply a matter of biology.

We know what causes it, and best of all, we know how to correct it -
without sacrifice and without deprivation - for life.





 

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