An addiction is defined as a dependency to a substance or a thing. An addiction is a bad habit, where some are more obvious than others, but detrimental just the same. Anything that’s bad for you, anything that damages health, something as common as sugar is an addiction.
We as children are targeted and victimized as we’re introduced and fed the seductive taste of sugar as a reward, if we behave.
Susan you have been a good girl this week, so here is a cookie, unbeknownst to mom it’s playing havoc on the brain.
Candy becomes the drug of choice for 9 year old’s, as they will beg borrow or steal a dollar to buy a lollipop.
We run to the local store down at the corner, to spend our allowance on candy, a chocolate bar or soda pop to get our fix.
We enjoy the sweet romance on our tongue and become addicted and want more. Sugar be damned.
We all then eventually become aware of its negative effects as we grow older, that it’s harmful for our heart, waistline, and we get those nasty cavities.
The Brain Effect
What most aren’t aware of is how damaging it is to the brain. What the brain needs however are small doses of sugar, for it to function properly.
The type of sweetness it needs however is glucose, which is naturally found in foods such as fruits and grains.
The type to avoid like poison is fructose, which is commonly found in processed foods such as cakes, cookies, soda and cheap chocolate bars, as consuming excess amounts has a damaging effect.
5. – Sugar Causes You To Overeat
What’s known for certain is the consumption of excess fructose, or empty sugar, does is leads to excess weight gain. When it comes to obesity, it’s always been known it’s “empty” sugar that’s the culprit.
What studies reveal, is the chronic consumption of fructose, what this “bad boy” sugar does is slows down the brain’s anorexigenic oxytocin system, which is the sensor that prevents overeating.
Once this critical sensor becomes disabled, what permanently results in most individuals, is the brain doesn’t release the needed hormones to signal the stomach is full.
What this results in is excessive overeating, usually more sweets, which perpetuates the obesity issue even further.
4. – Potentially Linked To Alzheimer’s Disease And Dementia
What excess consumption of fructose does, is causes the body to produce less BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor), which is a protein that helps the brain remember and form memories.
So it’s no surprise too much sugar, especially for the elderly, contributes to Alzheimer’s, dementia, and all of it’s related conditions.
It’s thought the brain producing less BDNF, is one of the key factors that causes “old age” related memory and cognitive diseases.
What’s known is it’s fructose that activates the shut off valve, and thus the culprit, which reduces the production of the much needed neurotrophics.
3. – Causes Crashes Moodiness And Depression
What constantly consuming excess empty sugar does is it directly sabotages mood, resulting in accelerating mental health issues.
One we’re all familiar with, is the daily “sugar crash” we experience mid-morning, once we munch on any type of bad sweets.
The body’s blood sugar level suddenly spikes skyward, once we consume any type of fructose based food or beverage in the morning, for that brain jolt we seek.
After experiencing this sugar high, the brain suddenly plummets downward, which causes feelings of anxiousness, moodiness, and even depression.
Along with this sugar crash, what excess empty sugar does is impairs our neurotransmitters, which is responsible for keeping our moods stable.
One of the key neurotransmitters is serotonin, which automatically boosts our mood, once consuming sugar.
What the body unfortunately has, is a limited supply of serotonin. The more frequently it’s released, the quicker the supply is depleted, which leads to symptoms associated with depression.
2. – Impairs Learning Skills Along With Memory
There are additional hazards for those who consume excess amounts of fructose, which is found in a variety of processed foods and beverages.
They are usually hidden, so we’re not even aware we’re consuming them, which as a result produces less neurotrophics in the brain, such as BDNF.
What the chemical BDNF does, is helps the brain learn new processes while retaining them, as well as forming new memories which the brain stores.
Once the BCNF becomes deficient, our short and long term memory begins to fail, as we can’t remember much of anything.
We then begin having those “senior” moments, which is originally activated by too much empty sugar.
What research also shows is that a diet that’s high in fructose, does is slows down the thinking process in the brain.
In lab studies, those who consumed excess sugar compared to those who didn’t, damaged their synaptic activity in the brain, which is impairment of the communication between brain cells.
1. – Activates Cravings and Addiction
Having an addiction to sugar is a very real issue, similar to having an addiction to tobacco, alcohol or recreational drugs.
It’s become a growing concern for many, because of the modern “instant” and hectic world and lifestyle we lead.
The reason why this happens, is once we decide to consume even small amounts of sugar, the taste buds instantly becomes activated and sends “happy” signals to the brain.
What sweetness on the tongue does is releases the feel good hormones in the brain, such as dopamine.
Although it’s perfectly okay to reward the pathways leading to the brain, with these sugary treats from time to time, but like any other addiction what’s needed is regulation.
What over activating these hormones on a continuous basis does, is leads to constantly craving for more sweets, as well as developing an increased tolerance to it.