Mika Brzezinski reveals ‘lifelong struggle’ with sugar addiction

Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski is talking about her diet in her latest piece for NBC’s Know Your Value, and opening up about her addiction to sugar.

In the piece titled “My lifelong struggle with sugar,” the 51-year-old journalist and liberal political commentator got real about recognizing her disordered eating and the steps she’s taking to address it. As of now, she says that her most successful tactic thus far has been through mindfulness therapy.

Brzezinski said she was undergoing Dialectical Behavior Therapy with Dr. Gillian Galen from McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass.

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Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski arrive at the White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) annual dinner in Washington, DC, on April 25, 2015. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 25: (L-R) George Stephanopoulos, Alexandra Wentworth, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski attend the Yahoo News/ABC News White House Correspondents' dinner reception pre-party at the Washington Hilton on Saturday, April 25, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Yahoo)
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NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: TV personalities Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC attend the 2014 National Magazine Awards at The New York Marriott Marquis on May 1, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/WireImage)
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NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 11: 'Morning Joe' co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough attend the Hollywood Reporter celebrates 'The 35 Most Powerful People in Media' at the Four Season Grill Room on April 11, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic)
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“I was skeptical at first, because I have tried lots of different therapies and approaches to deal with my relationship with food,” she wrote. “But Dr. Galen has challenged me to think different about the very things that cause complications in my life.”

And although turning to therapy for her diet may seem extreme to some, the journalist was candid in explaining how she struggles with her relationship with food.

“If it has sugar in it, I love it. That includes candy like Butterfinger and Reese’s, icing, cookie dough, ice cream and Cocoa Krispies. I especially love chocolate and crave it after every meal,” Brzezinski revealed. “Alone in my car, I have even been known to eat the icing off six Hostess cupcakes.”

Brzezinski went on to say that the stress of co-hosting Morning Joe exacerbated her reliance on sugar to the point where she called it her “go-to binky.” Still, she noticed that its “negative impacts on my health and productivity.” She even recalled a moment during her current attempt to cut sugar out of her diet where the addiction impacted her relationship.

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10 breakfast cereals with more sugar than a doughnut
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10 breakfast cereals with more sugar than a doughnut

Cap'n Crunch

12g of sugar

Credit: Wal-Mart

Cap'n Crunch Berries

11g of sugar

Credit: Wal-Mart

Cocoa Krispies

12g of sugar

Credit: Wal-Mart

Frosted Krispies

12g of sugar

Credit: Wal-Mart

Frosted Flakes with Marshmallows

12g of sugar

Credit: Wal-Mart

Cinnabon Cereal

12g of sugar

Credit: Wal-Mart

Froot Loops

14g of sugar    

Credit: Wal-Mart

Golden Crisp

14 g of sugar

Credit: Wal-Mart

Honey Smacks

15 g of sugar

Credit: Wal-Mart

Raisin Bran

18 g of sugar

Credit: Wal-Mart

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“On day six, I got really grumpy, and Joe and I got into a huge fight. He went out and bought me a huge caramel sundae and begged me to eat it,” she said. “Half joking, half imploring, he said our marriage depended on that sundae!”

Although she indulged, Brzezinski said that she continues to try to cut sugar out of her diet while she works to understand her emotional reliance on it before healthily reincorporating it in the future.

Some people online have had a negative reaction to the piece and have even poked fun at Brzezinski for talking about the topic so seriously.

Many others, however, have praised her for her admission to a type of disordered eating that feels familiar to so many.

RELATED: Cut these foods from your diet

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Top 10 Sugar Foods (And 10 Secret Sugar Foods)
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Top 10 Sugar Foods (And 10 Secret Sugar Foods)

Sugar, so it seems, is everywhere! Usually, we can gage the products that have high sugar levels, however, are some foods sneakily carrying more sugar than we realized? Check out these 10 sugar foods and 10 secret sugar foods!

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Cola

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Sweetened Cereals

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White Bread

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Candy

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Granola Bar

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Juice

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Muffins

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Frozen Yogurt

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Canned Fruit

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Smoothies

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10 Surprising Sugar Foods

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Frozen Food Entrees

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Low-Fat or Fat-Free Dressing

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Crackers

Image Credit: Corbis

Ketchup

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Soy Milk

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Tomato Sauce

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Flavored Yogurt

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Fat-Free "Diet" Products

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Instant Oatmeal

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Specialty Coffee Drinks

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Whether you want to kick the habit completely or just modify your choices, here are a few tips to avoid the sugar high and beauty low.
Distract your taste buds

Using flavoring like cinnamon, nutmeg, or vanilla powder on your oatmeal or coffee, or lemon, grapefruit, or mint in your water, can make the sugar reduction process a little more exciting. Also, go to town on any and all roasted vegetables. The roasting process brings out their natural sweetness and will satisfy your need for sweet.

Just walk it off.

Got a sugar craving? Studies show that you’re much less likely to crave sweet foods after exercise. Even just a 30 minute brisk walk would suppress the craving and allow you burn calories to boot!

A girl has got to have standards.

Next time you’re grocery shopping, use the following as a reference point for your purchases:

  • Main dishes and desserts should contain no more than 4 grams of added sugar per serving
  • Side dishes should contain no more than 2 grams of added sugars per serving

In total, you want to keep you added sugar to less than 24 grams, or 6 teaspoons per day and going even lower than that will improve your health and beauty significantly more!

Keep it real. Using a sugar substitute might create a “bigger” problem.

Recent studies suggest that the use of calorie-free sweeteners may contribute to over-eating and inevitable weight gain. Slowly reduce your sugar intake and you will learn to appreciate sweetness, rather than using sweetener and “trying to get your lunch for free.”

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