Sugar, Fruit and Alcoholism

fruit-sugar-alcoholismAs you may know, the human body reacts to both sugar and alcohol in nearly the same way. In other words, the cravings of alcohol and sugar are so similar that it’s easy to confuse the two. The difference, of course, is that sugar is not intoxicating.

The similarity often causes some confusion when it comes to eating fruit. There are those who proclaim that because fruit contains fructose, it must be avoided by alcoholics at all cost. This could not be further from the truth, and actually does more harm than good.

The Truth about Fruit

Yes, fruit DOES contain a fair amount of sugar. However, fruit also contains fiber, which mitigates the negative effect on your body. This renders the fructose essentially harmless. Furthermore, fruit contains many of the essential vitamins and minerals that your body NEEDS to function at it’s best, as well as to repair the damage that alcohol has done.

Juicing is NOT the Same

Juicing, however, contains little or no fiber. Your body is receiving a big influx of fructose which helps reinforce your addiction to alcohol. Remember, your body reacts to sugar and alcohol in the same way. If you ARE juicing, please stop – and start eating whole fruit and vegetables, which contain the fiber you need.

Remove the Sugar, Not the Fruit

The good news is that getting rid of the sugar in your diet can HELP you quit drinking. But, it’s not as easy as you think. The sugar you intake isn’t just what you add to your coffee, or eat in a candy bar or drink in a soda. Beware of processed foods, too!

Look on the back of the label of some of the cans in your cabinet. That jar of spaghetti sauce? The jar of peanut butter? This is especially true of those “fat-free” or “low-fat foods” that you THOUGHT were healthy. Obviously, they removed the fat but added sugar to “fool” you into thinking it tastes the same.

One of the more important things you can do to reduce the DESIRE to drink alcohol is to stop eating processed foods. All of the added sugar in processed foods is helping your body stay addicted to the alcohol it craves.

  1. Fruit contains fructose, but it also contains a great deal of fiber which mitigates the negatives effects of sugar. Do not be afraid of adding plenty of fruit to your diet.
  2. Fruit also contains the vitamins and minerals your body needs to be healthy, and to repair the damage that alcohol has done.
  3. Juicing is NOT the same, and is NOT recommended for those who are struggling with an alcohol addiction. It introduces a great deal of fructose to the body without the necessary fiber to limit its damage. Do NOT juice your fruits and vegetables.
  4. Eliminating sugar from your diet can and will help you quit drinking. One area to watch out for is the “hidden ingredients” in processed foods. Look on the back label of the cans and jars in your food pantry, and you’ll know what I mean.
  5. Whole fruit and vegetables are your friend. Sugar is NOT, so avoid it whenever possible. This includes the processed foods in your pantry or refrigerator.

Remember, eating WHOLE fruit will deliver the necessary nutrition you need for your body, while the fiber limits the damage that fructose can cause. Stay away from processed foods and juicing fruits, and you will find the road to sobriety to be a bit easier than you would have thought. ♦