We all know about the negatives of consuming too much sugar: weight gain, behavior and attention issues, decreased immunity, the list goes on and on. Why is it that something that we know is so bad for us in so many ways is so hard to say no to?!
The truth is that sugar has the same effect on our brains as drugs. As soon as we put sugar in our mouth, it activates the sweet taste receptors on the tongue, which then send signals to our brain. Once sent to the brain, the chemical dopamine is released, leading to feelings of reward and pleasure. This is much like the brain’s response to drug use, and why sugar can be just as addictive for some as cocaine might be for others. The release of dopamine is what keeps us coming back for more…the crazy thing is, sugar will never stop facilitating this chemical response!
Many try to avoid it so they cut out sodas and sweets. The problem doesn’t end there. So many pre-packaged foods contain some form of sugar or sweetener, it takes true effort and commitment to be able to choose foods that are free of such things.
It helps to know how these ingredients might be disguised, as they are not just listed as ‘sugar’ in the ingredients. There are over 50 different names for sugar and/or sweeteners that are used to make food more desirable and keep you coming back for more.
Let’s not be one of the average Americans that consumes over 150 pounds of added sugars each year. Let’s change our shopping and dietary habits to reflect a goal of overall health, longevity, and happiness. There are so many great food choices that do not contain added sugars! Open your mind and try new things, find new foods that you enjoy, and get off of the deadly sugar cycle!