You may be surprised to learn that sugar consumption has been steadily declining since 2008. This can be due to a variety of reasons...
I love sweets. However, adding too much sugar to your diet can lead to weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and tooth decay. We know that you shouldn't eat sweets, ice cream, cookies, cakes, or sweet soda, but it can be difficult to resist.
It's as if our brains are designed to crave this food.
Research from neuroscientists focuses on how modern "obesity" or obesity-enhancing diets can change the brain. We want to understand how food changes our behavior and how changes in the brain are mitigated by other lifestyle factors.
Your body is working with sugar (glucose to be exact). Glucose comes from the Greek glucose, which means sweetness. Glucose nourishes the cells that make up our body, including brain cells (neurons).
Why & how sugar affects our dopamine - the feel-good hormone.
Through evolution, our first ancestors were carnivores. Sweet foods are an excellent source of energy, which is why we have evolved to find sweet foods very tasty. Unpleasant, bitter, and sour-tasting foods can be unripe, poisonous, or spoiled and cause illness.
To maximize our survival as a species, we have an innate brain system that makes us love sweet foods, as they are a great source of energy to fuel our bodies.
When we eat sugary foods, the brain's reward system called the mesolimbic dopaminergic system is activated. Dopamine is a brain chemical released by nerve cells that can indicate that an event is positive. When the reward system is activated, it reinforces the behavior and increases the likelihood of repeating the behavior.
The dopamine “hit” from sugar intake encourages rapid learning in favor of finding more of these kinds of foods.
Our environment today is full of sweet and energy-rich foods. We no longer need to look for these special sweet foods. They are everywhere. Unfortunately, our brains are still very functionally similar to our ancestors, and we love sugar. So what happens when you get too much sugar in your brain?
Can sugar rewire the brain?
The brain is constantly trying to reconfigure and wire itself through a process called neuroplasticity. This renewal can occur in the reward system. Frequent activation of the reward pathway by medications or eating large amounts of sugary foods causes the brain to adapt to repetitive stimuli, resulting in a kind of tolerance.
In the case of sweet foods, this means that we have to eat more to feel the same reward, which is a classic feature of addiction. Finding food is a controversial topic among scientists and clinicians. While it is true that you become physically dependent on certain drugs, it is controversial whether you can rely on a livelihood if necessary to survive.
The brain wants sugar, and then more sugar.
Even though our bodies need food to fuel, many people eat out. I go to the coffee shop, especially when I'm stressed or hungry, or in front of an interesting cake stand.
To resist cravings, you must limit your natural response to these delicious foods. Networks of inhibitory neurons are important for controlling behavior. These neurons are concentrated in the prefrontal cortex, a key area of the brain involved in making decisions, controlling impulses, and delaying satisfaction.
Inhibitory neurons are like brakes in the brain that release the chemical GABA. A study in mice showed that a high-sugar diet could alter inhibitory neurons. Sugar-fed mice also had the ability to reduce behavior and decision-making.
Most importantly, it shows that what we eat can affect our ability to resist temptation and may make it difficult for people to make dietary changes.
A recent study asked people when they last ate and how much they wanted to eat a high-calorie snack when they were hungry. Those who regularly ate a high-fat, high-sugar diet were more likely to crave snacks, even when they were not hungry.
This suggests that eating sugary foods regularly can boost cravings and create a vicious cycle of cravings for more and more of those foods.
How to protect your brain from sugar?
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends limiting your sugar intake to 25g (6 teaspoons), or 5% of your daily caloric intake.
Considering the average Canadian adult eats 85 grams (20 teaspoons) of sugar per day, this is a huge change for many people.
Importantly, neuroplasticity allows for some recurrence after dietary glucose reduction, and physical activity can exacerbate these processes. Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish oils, nuts, and seeds) are also immune-boosting and can trigger the brain's chemical need to produce new neurons. Breaking the habit of eating dessert or double-coating isn't easy, but your brain will thank you for taking a good step.
The first step is usually the most difficult. These dietary changes often make the task easier.
You may be surprised to learn that sugar consumption has been steadily declining since 2008. This can be due to a variety of reasons, including changes in taste and lifestyle, as the popularity of low-carb diets such as keto has increased over the past decade. A better understanding of the health risks of consuming too much sugar can also lead to this reduction.
Reducing sugar intake has obvious health benefits, including reducing calorie intake, which can help you lose weight and improve dental health. But sometimes people report side effects such as headaches, fatigue, or mood swings when trying to reduce their sugar intake, which are usually temporary. The reason for these side effects is unknown. However, it is likely that these symptoms respond to the food and biology of the "compensation" carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates contain saccharides in multiple forms that can naturally be fruits such as fructose and milk lactose. Tischzucker, known as sucrose, is on sugar cane and sugar beetroot, maple syrup and even honey.
Since the mass production of food is a standard, sucrose and other sugars are currently added to dinner and make them cheaper. In addition to improving the taste and taste of foods rich in sugar, sugar has profound biological effects on the brain. These effects are so important that they have sparked debate about whether an individual can be 'addicted' to sugar - although this is still being studied.
Sucrose activates sweet taste receptors in the mouth, which eventually causes the release of a chemical called dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, which means it is a chemical that transmits messages between nerves in the brain.
When we are exposed to a reward stimulus, the brain responds by releasing dopamine - which is why it is often called the "reward chemical." The effect of dopamine compensation is mainly seen in the brain involved in joy and compensation. We manage the remuneration of our promotions. We have led to repeated behavior that dopamine caused. Dopamine can drive food (for example, undesirable food) to look for food.
The examination of all animals and individuals showed how deep sugar these compensation paths were activated. Extreme sweetness prevents cocaine from internal compensation. Interestingly, whether tasted in the mouth or injected into the bloodstream, sugar is able to activate these reward pathways in the brain, as shown in rat studies. This means that its effects are independent of the sweet taste.
In mice, there is strong evidence that consuming sucrose can actually alter dopamine-activated structures in the brain, as well as emotional processing and behavior in both animals and humans.
Leaving the sugar
It is clear that sugar can have a powerful effect on us. Therefore, it is not surprising that when you eat less sugar or eliminate sugar completely from your diet, it will have an adverse effect on you. In the early stages of this "sugar cracking," all mental and physical symptoms such as depression, anxiety, fog, thirst, headache, fatigue, and dizziness have been reported. This means that breaking down sugar can be both emotionally and physically unpleasant.
The basis of these symptoms has not been extensively studied, but may also be related to compensation pathways in the brain. The idea of "sugar addiction" is controversial, but there is some evidence in rats that sugar, like other addictive substances, can trigger hunger, thirst, and withdrawal symptoms.
Other animal studies have shown that the effects of sugar addiction, withdrawal, and relapse are similar to those of drugs. However, most of the research in this area relates to animals, so it's hard to say that applies to humans these days.
The human brain's compensation pathways remain unchanged throughout evolution. Many other organisms have similar compensation pathways in the brain. This means that because our brains have a similar compensatory pathway, the biological effects of sugar withdrawal found in animals can also occur in humans to some degree.
Changes in cerebral chemical balance are more reliable than those reported to people to remove or reduce nutritional sugars. In addition to prizes, dopamine controls the hormone, nausea, vomiting, and fear. Since sugar is removed from the diet, the rapid decrease in the effects of dopamine in the brain with the normal rendering of many different brain paths is interpreted and explains why people report these symptoms.
Although researchers are limited to people in humans, a study provides tests for sugar desire after testing license signs and sugar is removed from obese and obese.
As with the change of food, they are there. It is therefore important to master the difficulties of the first few weeks if you want to reduce sugar from your diet in the long term. However, it's important to realize that sugar is not "bad" in and of itself and should be consumed in moderation, along with a healthy diet and exercise.