I've been loosely following a paleo diet for a while, because that's what my brain tells me to eat. Mostly meat, vegetables, and very little fruit. However, my brain craves sugar when I'm in a low mood. So I tend to go with my instinct and have sugary treats to lift up my spirits.
I feel much better after a small binge, which happens around once a month if ever. Considering health as the primary concern, are infrequent sugar binges bad for your health?
You're convincing yourself that your "brain" is craving sugar. It's not.
How do you know that it's not the yeast in your body dying off and craving sustenance to keep a hold over your body?
I'd ask what sugary treats are you bingeing on? Fruit? Chocolate? Ice Cream? Candy bars?
Fruit is not bad for your health. Some would say chocolate is good for you, quality high cacao chocolate that is... But if you are eating candy bars or Skittles or something I'd say, yeah that's not good for your health, IMO.
people here are often quick to claim sugar addiction any time someone craves anything that has sugar in it. here's the reality, glucose (aka blood sugar) is a necessary nutrient in the body. anyone who tells you different is a liar. if you go low carb for long enough your body will start to tell you that it would like some sugar. if you are always fighting this craving it will continue to grow stronger and stronger until you give in and feel like shit because you think that you don't need glucose because of all the propaganda spread around here. the smart approach to this is to choose your glucose wisely. i promise you, tubers and fruits will not kill you or make you fat. they will satisfy your cravings and it will make your body happy and healthy.
A binge that occurred once a month would not worry me at all, although maybe I don't know what you mean by "small binge" -- you said pudding or a cheesecake, but do you just mean one serving, or some huge amount?
Whatever it is, if the quantities aren't unreasonable and it isn't otherwise affecting your food goals (weight or otherwise), I wouldn't worry about it. But I would try to eat the healthiest version of that food, be it pudding or cheesecake, that I could find.
Don't fool yourself into thinking that because you crave it, you are listening to your body and therefore it's good. We crave lots of things that are bad for us. Sugar is addictive and you can crave just like any addict.
Now, eating some sugar once a month is fine, assuming you're not diabetic or have some other contra-indication. But don't pretend that your brain "knows", that you're actually doing yourself a favor. You might be doing yourself a favor psychologically, in terms of having a treat once in a while and not living an ascetic life. But, physiologically, you'd be better off without it.
That said, you're fine binging once a month. Just don't use the same logic to justify twice weekly binges. Look at all the fat people around you. I'm not sure their cravings are healthy and their body knows best.
I think people were designed to binge on fruit and honey once in a while. Notice: fruit and honey. I did not mention sugar for a reason. You feel a binge coming up? Fruit and honey. Organic fruit (not dried, berries are the best) and raw organic honey.