Sugarless: Break Free from Sugar Addiction with Dr. Nicole Avena (Episode #87)

Dr. Nicole AvenaDr. Lynn Hellerstein of Vision Beyond Sight speaks with Dr. Nicole Avena, Associate Professor of Neuroscience, Visiting Professor of Health Psychology in Princeton University, author and expert in nutrition, diet and addiction, to talk about the dangers of added sugars, how sugar addiction looks like, and Dr. Avena’s new book Sugarless. She also touched on the link of sugar to diseases like type 2 diabetes, eye health and Alzheimer’s, and provided guidance in identifying hidden sugars in food, and sugar substitutes and snacks.

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  • The link of sugar, type 2 diabetes, undiagnosed type I diabetes and vision/eye health and all other aspects of health
  • The clinical and medical reality of sugar addiction 
  • Behavioral and physical changes that people have when they have sugar addiction
  • Sugar withdrawal vs. low blood sugar
  • How to identify sugar in food and make changes in sugar consumption
  • Identifying the recommended daily value of sugar intake
  • Other ingredients to check like fiber
  • Making the change sustainable and the relationship with food and the way people think to make people stay healthy
  • Demographics of people affected by sugar addiction
  • How to get the medical field on board to make changes
  • Research on type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s
  • Guidance on sugar substitutes and snacks
  • Dr. Avena’s new book Sugarless

About Dr. Nicole Avena:

Dr. Nicole Avena is an Associate Professor of Neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and a Visiting Professor of Health Psychology at Princeton University. She is a research neuroscientist and expert in the fields of nutrition, diet and addiction, with a special focus on nutrition during early life and pregnancy, and women’s health. She has done groundbreaking work developing models to characterize food addition and the dangers of excess sugar intake. Her research achievements have been honored by awards from several groups including the New York Academy of Sci-ences, the American Psychological Association, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

In addition to over 100 peer-reviewed scholarly publications, Dr. Avena has written several popular books, including Why Diets Fail: Because You’re Addicted to Sugar, What to Eat When You’re Pregnant, What to Feed Your Baby and Toddler and What to Eat When You Want to Get Pregnant. He latest book, Sugarless, will be released in December, 2023. She frequently appears as a science expert in the media, including regular appearances on Good Day NY, The Doctors, and the former Dr. Oz Show as well as many news programs. Her work has been featured in Time Magazine, Bloomberg Business Week, The New York Times, and many other periodicals. Dr. Avena is a member of the Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau. She has the #2 most watched TED-ED Health talk, How Sugar Affects Your Brain, with over 16 million views and counting.

Connect with Dr. Nicole Avena:

Website | Facebook | LinkedIn | Instagram

Dr. Avena's new book Sugarless (order here) 

"One of the first steps is taking stock of what you got. A lot of times, people don’t realize how much sugar they’re consuming because it’s hidden in a lot of the different foods that we eat especially those that are marketed toward children." - Dr. Nicole Avena

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Dr. Lynn Hellerstein, Developmental Optometrist, co-owner of Hellerstein & Brenner Vision Center, P.C., award-winning author and international speaker, holds powerful and inspiring conversations with her guests in the areas of health, wellness, education, sports and psychology. They share their inspirational stories of healing and transformation through their vision expansion. Vision Beyond Sight Podcast will help you see with clarity, gain courage and confidence. Welcome to Vision Beyond Sight!

Dr. Lynn’s books are available at and

Dr. Lynn is available for speaking engagements and consulting. For more information, visit

To learn more about vision therapy or to find a doctor providing vision therapy in your area, visit

To learn more about vision and the impact in concussion/brain injury, visit Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association.

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About Dr. Lynn

A pioneer in vision therapy and developmental optometry, for more than 30 years, Dr. Lynn Hellerstein has helped thousands of children and adults improve their vision and transform their lives — at home, in the classroom, and most recently on the playing field. Her breakthrough methods unlock barriers to learning and “rewire” around brain injuries, and vision perception or processing deficits. But you don’t have to have a vision problem to benefit: her brain training strategies may be the missing magic if you’re an athlete trying to nail a tricky shot or stay cool in competition. If it’s a skill you can visualize, Dr. Hellerstein can help train your eyes — and mind’s eye — on success.

Award-winning and #1 bestselling author, Dr. Lynn has published numerous professional peer reviewed articles, chapters and four books.

See It. Say It. Do It! (2009) - How to see/recognize your goal, declare your intention, and taking action to achieve your vision.

See It. Say It. Do It! Organize It! (2011) - How to create a step by step process to make achieving your goal a reality.

50 Tips To Improve Your Sports Performance (2013) - How to improve your sports performance today by enhancing eye-mind-body coordination skills, achieving the mental edge, and preventing injuries.

Expand Your Vision (2021) - Discover the power of the seeing brain…the creator of your true vision. Gain Clarity, Courage, and Confidence. In this #1 Amazon best-selling innovative newest book, the power of visualizing and believing in the process to break through internal barriers and create new possibilities for achieving your goal is explored. Visualization can be used to increase creativity, to reduce stress and anxiety, and to build confidence in all of the things that they do.