Sugar and why do we crave it

According to the article in US News & World Report, Researchers have been doing studies on why humans crave sugar. I’ve had that moment where I’m wanting something sweet to eat, and the craving gets stronger as I sit pondering the thought.  Why do we have sugar cravings?

“Data from experiments and controlled studies show that our brains respond to sugar much in the same way as they respond to drugs of abuse”, says research neuroscientist Nicole Avena, assistant professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.  Sugar spikes the “feel good dopamine” levels.  Sugar makes you feel good, but then you crash later.  So, to get that “feel good” feeling you eat more sugar, which leads to a dependency on sugar.

Around 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon our cortisol levels decrease leaving us a little tired.  Our natural tendency is to reach for a sugar or carb that will make us feel more alert.

What can you do to break this sugar dependency cycle.

Take a look at the sugary foods you go to first for a boost.  For example, if it is a soda, then start the process of eliminating the soda.  You do not want to stop consuming sugar at one time, or you will go through withdrawals – headache, tremors, and extreme fatigue.  Look at this as changing your behavior.  You are simply fazing out the soda, and replacing it with a much healthier choice, like tea with lemon, flavored sugar-free mineral waters. (Don’t replace sugar sodas with diet free sodas that contain synthetic sweeteners – that is a whole other set of problems.)

You’ll notice once you decrease your sugar intake, when you do eat or drink something sweet it will taste too sweet.  Which will help you avoid those foods all together.

I eat an apple or pear in the afternoon, when I’m feeling the afternoon doldrums. The natural sugars in the fruit give me a lift, and the fiber makes me feel satisfied.

Read food labels at the grocery store.  So many foods have sugar that you wouldn’t suspect.  Be aware of the other names for sugar, such as anhydrous dextrose, cane crystals, corn sweetener, corn syrup, crystal dextrose, evaporated cane juice, fructose sweetener, fruit juice concentrates, high-fructose sweetener, fruit juice concentrates, high-fructose corn syrup, malt syrup and molasses.

It usually takes 21 days to break a habit.  Eliminate sugar from most of your diet, and you will start to feel better and more energetic before you know it!

Here’s to your Health!

Kim Lowrey, Certified Colon Hydrotherapist

Colon Hydrotherapy Center, Fayetteville, AR

479-571-2656

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