Can’t keep off the sweet stuff? You might be addicted. According to a recent study, sugar is nearly as addictive as cocaine. Consuming big amounts of sugar causes a euphoric effect that triggers dopamine, a chemical that controls the pleasure receptors in your brain. Such an effect, when recorded on a scanner, shows that sugar stimulates the brain in the same way as cocaine does.
The Sweet Truth
While one may assume that consuming two to three teaspoons of sugar per day can’t do much harm, Americans are said to be consuming a lot more sugar than that. Added sugar is everywhere, including bread, peanut butter, sauces and so-called diet yogurt.
An average American eats about a third of a pound of sugar every day.
The Science Behind Sugar
Scientists studying the effects of artificial sweeteners on humans project that its intake might increase the risk of developing glucose intolerance, a risk factor for diabetes. This raises questions over whether artificial sweeteners, widely seen as “healthier” than sugar, should be reassessed. The researchers have said that the substances alter the balance of microbes in the gut, increasing the risk of metabolic diseases like diabetes.
After coming under fire from health experts, artificial sweeteners are being replaced by better (and healthier) alternatives such as stevia, agave nectar, honey and turbinado, to name a few. These low-calorie sweeteners are derived from natural sources, which is why they are getting increasingly popular. Not only do they have fewer side effects, they also come with added health benefits such as regulating blood pressure, fighting tooth decay and aiding weight loss.
To get a better idea of the shocking truth about sugar, watch this illuminating video: