Sugar addiction is something that won’t get you imprisoned or ending up in an inpatient rehabilitation center. Many people make light of their predilection for tasty, sweet treats. Sure, they taste good, but so do many other food items which don’t seem to invoke such a continual, compulsive need to consume them. So, why is it that many people get hooked on baked sweet cookies and other sugary foods?
How Sugar Affects Your Eating Behavior
Dr. Louis Aronne, a director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Center in New York, said that eating sugar is much like ingesting cocaine. People who habitually have a high consumption of sweets have that very strong urge to consume these foods. The reason is they gain highly elevated moods while they’re eating the sweets and after they have eaten them.
However, when they are deprived of these sugary foods they can experience very strong negative responses consistent with withdrawal symptoms. According to Dr. Aronne, if a person consumes sugary foods in the morning, they will set up a bad pattern for the whole day. Initially, they come down off their sugar high. However, soon they will tend to unconsciously crave more sugar-based food throughout the day, a typical symptom of sugar addiction.
Sugar Stimulates Your Brain The Same Way Cocaine Does
Joseph Schroeder of Connecticut College is a neuroscientist at Connecticut College. He led research that proved that sugary foods stimulate a person’s brain the same way that drugs such as morphine and cocaine do. This helps explain why so many people find it hard to resist foods that contain tons of sugar. Even if they are aware of its adverse effects on health. This finding is part of research that hopes to find out more regarding the link between food motivations and human behavior.
The researchers chose Oreos cookies in the study. The selection of these cookies was deliberate. They are not only highly palatable to humans and laboratory rats but also because they have been heavily marketed in so many countries that are considered to have lower socioeconomic statuses.
Sugar as An Addictive Substance
A study of the highly addictive quality of high fructose corn syrup was led by Dr. Francesco Leri of the University of Guelph Ontario, Canada. This study showed that consumption of high fructose corn syrup can cause behavioral reactions among laboratory rats. These behavioral reactions are quite similar to the effects of using addictive drugs.
The same study showed that laboratory animals and humans have the same kind of vulnerability when it comes to developing a preference for high-sugar foods and any other addictive substance. Dr. Leri said that this finding explains why people’s addiction to unhealthy foods has led to a global obesity epidemic.
These products both contain substances that are highly pleasurable but will only provide momentary bliss. Substances such as sugar provide a highly hedonic effect. They are so strong that they dominate thinking about immediate consumption. If this is not sugar addiction, what is it?
How Sugar Affects Dopamine Production
In yet another study, the researchers fed rats with sugar. The results showed that ingested sugar worked in the laboratory rats like a human bingeing on sweet foods. This sugar binge stimulated the brain to produce dopamine before and after sugar consumption and the effect was said to be similar to individuals taking heroin.
Experts also confirmed that high consumption of sugary foods can lead to changes in the level of production as well as the availability of dopamine in the brain’s receptors.
What it really means for you? In consuming sugar you experience a feeling of “high”. Next, you need to consume more sugar or more drugs the next time around. That is the definition of addiction. Sugar addiction. Beat it!