Whenever we feel sad or bored, we seek solace in sweet treats, when sugar enters our bodies, it triggers the release of chemicals affecting the pleasure center in our brain.
Some of us can proudly beat our chest and say we have a ‘sweet tooth’. Our spec is anything sugary, it could be cakes, chocolates, cookies, ice cream or soft drinks, our world is filled with intensely pleasurable sweet treats. Sometimes eating these foods is just too hard to resist and we’ll tell you why. It is because sugar is addictive!
According to Mark Hyman ‘ Sugar is 8 times as addictive as cocaine, and what’s interesting is that while cocaine and heroin activate only one spot for pleasure in the brain, sugar lights up the brain like a pinball machine’
Many scientists suggest that we are primed to desire sugary food at an instinctive level as it plays such a vital role in our survival. Our sense of taste has evolved to covet the molecules vital to life like salt, fat, and sugar.
When we eat food, the simple sugar glucose is absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream and distributed to all cells of the body.
All sugars are broken down by the body into glucose and fructose and are processed in the liver. Sugars are converted into glycogen or fat for storage or kept as glucose in the blood for use in the body’s cells. So it’s the quantity you consume that makes the difference to your health.
According to the NHS, added sugars shouldn’t make up more than 10% of the energy you get from food and drink each day. This is whether it comes from honey, fruit juice and jam, or soft drinks, processed foods or table sugar.
Eating too much sugary food can negatively affect your immune system for up to 5 hours after you eat it, according to AskDrSears.com. Excess sugar blocks your immune system from functioning properly and diminishes the ability of white blood cells to fight bacteria.
We are not genetically designed to consume the amount of sugar that we are currently eating. For that reason, our brains get that ‘high feeling’ and it can override the “I’ve had enough” mechanism.
Consuming excess sugar leads to increased risk of obesity, cardiovascular or pancreatic disorders, suppression of human growth hormone and raises insulin levels.
So if you are craving something sweet, treat yourself to yummy vegetables and fruits!