What you need to know about sugar!

Uncategorized Feb 14, 2021

Overcome the sugar habit!

Why is sugar so addictive but yet taste so good?

  • Sugar stimulates the dopamine reward center in the brain. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that makes us feel pleasure. When we eat something very sweet, our brain really likes that and want us to continue doing so. With a repeated pattern of this habit, our own natural dopamine receptors begin to diminish leaving you to rely on sugar and other modes of ‘pleasure’. (hence the addictive quality). We are all born with 5 dopamine receptors with their modes focusing on impulse control, mood, attention, regulation of renal function and locomotion. When we consume copious amounts of sugar, our brain senses that as pleasure because it tastes so good, and the more that we consume, the less natural dopamine we have and then our body has to solely rely on external sources of dopamine to keep getting that ‘pleasure/fix’; aka the sugar. Similarly, to alcoholism, the body starts to rely on sugar and you’re mentally going to want to keep fulfilling that addiction. 
  • The addictiveness of sugar leads to overconsumption of these foods and even weight gain overtime. With over consuming a lot of sugary foods, that can lead to increased blood sugar in the body and then insulin resistance. We want to prevent insulin resistance from occurring as well as we can. 
  • Insulin resistance occurs when our body isn’t able to use the glucose for energy, and the pancreas winds up releasing MORE insulin which = higher blood sugar and even diabetes if it gets bad enough. There are ways to combat insulin resistance, especially if you haven’t been diagnosed with diabetes. Ways to do this are to watch the amount of simple carbohydrates you’re consuming (candy, refined foods, processed foods), exercise, get enough sleep (which is way overlooked), and add more fruits and vegetables into your diet. If someone isn’t getting enough sleep they can wake up with higher blood glucose levels due to a decrease in fat metabolism while they are sleeping. This is exactly what we don’t want so its important to monitor these things each day.
  • Food manufacturers develop food this way on purpose so that they keep us coming back for more. It’s crazy but it makes sense coming from their perspective. It’s really all about the money for them. This is why it’s important for us to be aware of these tactics while consuming said food. The food is purposefully highly palatable and in turn we buy and consume more. Do you want to be a victim of this? 

My guess is hopefully not. So, while you’re grocery shopping, try and limit the amount of time you are in the middle aisles, since that is typically where the processed and sugary foods are.  The great news is there are many foods that have been sweetened with healthier alternatives to refined sugar that we can enjoy just the same without the negative consequences!

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