Warning:The Sugar Sensation


There is no way to eat sugar in a way that isn’t contrary to healthy eating. At least, not as far as the brain is concerned. A fascinating study done by MIT managed to isolate two separate brain circuits, one that controlled sugar cravings, and one that helped with healthy food regulation and response.

In other words, it doesn’t matter if you are hungry or full, dedicated to health or a loyal junk food lover, sugar’s impact on the brain is a force all its own.

The Sweet Stuff

See if this sounds familiar to you. All day you have been doing well. You got up in the morning and had a jog, ate a good breakfast, got plenty of water through the day, kept your meals healthy, and you are feeling pretty great. Your body is happy, your choices were positive, and you are going to be going to bed in an hour.

All the sudden, it hits: the Sugar Monkey. The little, persistent craving has jumped onto your back and refuses to get off. You suddenly remember that ice cream in the back of the fridge you have been avoiding because of the 30 grams of sugar per serving it boasts. Or you think of the convenience store a mere five minutes away that sells the leftover pastries of the day for half off.

That right there is your body yearning for a little pick me up. Sugar is an impressive form of energy, one that works quick and is highly satisfying. When you’re feeling tired, your body and brain start sparking off signals: you’re hungry, you need a boost. What better than glucose?

Even those who don’t have much of a sweet tooth can experience this crash.

More Than A Craving

You may not be surprised to find that MIT is not the first organization to look into the effects of sugar on the brain. We already know that for some people, the sweet stuff is a full on addiction that is ruining lives.

Obesity is running rampant on a global scale, and many experts are pointing to the increase in sugar consumption following the low-fat fad. Panic over a belief that dietary fad led to heart disease and gaining weight, neither of which were ever substantiated, led to the ironic switch to sugars in products to make up for the lost taste when fat was removed.

But it goes beyond just the epidemic of expanding waistlines. Sugar may have an actual addictive nature. Studies have shown a neurochemical reaction and series of responses in both the brain and body that align with the responses in drug abusers.

So alarming are these findings, and the increasing health problems around the world, that some health professionals are suggesting we start treating sugar addiction with the same medications that curb drug and tobacco use.

Why Kicking The Habit Is Good For Your Health

Cutting out sugar is becoming the number one recommended move towards health by professionals in every corner of the medical profession. Reduce your risks of cancer? Kick sugar. Lose weight? Kick sugar. Improve chronic dental conditions? Kick sugar. Reverse Type II Diabetes and stop insulin use? Kick sugar.

Again and again this mantra is being repeated by doctors, dentists and nutritionists who have woken up to the harm of these innocuous white granules.

A study published in Obesity: A Research Journal found that in just ten days, obese children who eliminated most sources of sugar in their diet saw a marked improvement in their health. Just ten days! That is an incredible result.

Your sweet tooth may be leading to a loss of teeth, as well. Dental caries (also known as tooth decay) is linked strongly with the amount of sugar consumed on a daily basis. Soft drinks, candies, desserts and even chewing gum could be breaking down your choppers over time.

It is clear to see that reducing your sugar intake is going to have a marked impact on your overall health.

What To Do Instead Of Eating Donuts

Alright, so you have seen what sugar does to your brain, your body, and your teeth. How do you stop eating it? As has been stated, it might not be as easy as just giving it up. The body will crave it, and with every slip back into bad habits you will have to start over. After all, each new hit of glucose is another chance for your body to want more.

Your best bet is to push past the initial discomforts and cravings, and use a few tricks to distract yourself. Some options are:

  • Eat fruits with lower sugar content when you feel a craving, such as kiwi, blueberries, or papaya.
  • Brush and floss your teeth, so you won’t want to dirty them again.
  • Drink water infused with citrus, like a bit of lemon, lime or orange. Maybe add a sprig of basil.
  • Have a hot drink, such as tea, that fills the stomach.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Read a book.
  • Spend some time with a friend.
  • Get some kissing time in with your significant other.
  • Play a video game.
  • Take your kids to the park.
  • Go for a run with your dog.
  • Draw a picture, paint, or color in a coloring book.
  • Make a phone call.
  • Go on a texting binge.
  • Surf the web.
  • Watch a movie.

You will notice that all of these suggestions are similar to distraction tactics you might use to, say, avoid smoking when you first quit. The process is similar, and treating it that way could help you be successful.

Break The Hold Sugar Has On You!

Sugar is fine, once in awhile. But we live in a world where it is placed in just about everything. The consumption of the sweet stuff has become an addiction, and one we have to break for our own good. With just a little time, effort, and dedication you can break the hold it has on you, and improve your health as a result.

Find out more at Bridge Creek Dental.

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