Research shows that sugar is as addictive as heroin and alcohol

If your sweet tooth is going crazy this time of year - you're not alone. Americans crave and consume huge amounts of sugar. In fact, data from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta show adults consume 13% of their total daily calories from added sugars.

The latest research shows that sugar is addictive. "More and more studies these days have shown that sugar affects our brain centers much the same way that heroin and cocaine and alcohol and other addicting drugs do", said Dr. Tanya Edwards, a wellness expert at Cleveland Clinic

A good diet history taken by your doctor can usually uncover a sugar addiction. The warning signs of sugar addiction include a need for sugar when you wake up, irritability if you don't have it, going out of your way to get it, or hiding and secretly eating sugary snacks.

Dr. Edwards advises her patients, who eat large amounts of sugar and have related health problems, to completely cut sugar from their diets. "If I've got patients who are really struggling with end stages and end stage sugar addiction, someone who has problems with significant overweight or obesity issues, someone who has diabetes or heart disease where you know, if they're really eating a significant amount of sugar, I have them abstain from sugar. Just as I would have an alcoholic abstain from alcohol"

Sugars are added to many processed and prepared foods so Dr. Edwards says a good place to start cutting sugar, is by cutting out foods like ice cream, candy and baked goods.