On the table is a bar of chocolate. A person is not hungry, but imagining how chocolate melts in his mouth, he feels his mouth fill with saliva – there is a craving for sweets and now his hand reaches for the dark brown tile. How does this indescribable craving for sweets arise? There are several reasons. First, a person can not do anything about it, because the preference for sweet is natural – even newly born babies respond to a sweet liquid with a smile.
Human ancestors knew that sugary foods are non-toxic, besides they give a large amount of energy. This knowledge is obviously lurking deep within human nature. Secondly, the sweet taste just can not like it. Thirdly, the breakdown of sugar is accompanied by certain reactions in the brain.
How does sugar affect the brain?
Sugar induces a reward system in the brain. The sweet substance causes the release of certain transmitters that contribute to a sense of well-being. Experiments show that this system is especially efficiently stimulated by a combination of sugar and fat. This may explain the preference for chocolate.
Since a person needs a reward in the form of mental well-being, the body is again and again tempted by sweets – or something comparable. This explains the addiction. Any dependence is also accompanied by a predilection for something specific.
Dependence on sugar and craving for sweets
Experiments on rats demonstrated that they got real withdrawal symptoms when the researchers refused them a previously administered sugar solution. Even in the brain of animals, typical changes were caused. Some scientists conclude: sugar is addictive.
But there are opponents of such an opinion. They believe that such studies, firstly, are not enough, and secondly, they are limited only to animals. A sweetener is only an excellent means of reward and can lead to abstinent-like behavior.
If a person wants chocolate, it does not mean that he will behave like a drug addict. There is nothing wrong with a little enjoyment after lunch or a cake on a Sunday afternoon. However, if there are too many sweets, it is difficult to stop. Under such circumstances, it is worth thinking about termination. Addiction means that a person understands the danger and wants to stop acting, but after several attempts, he cannot stop. In particular, in obese people, eating behavior is often violated. They can not stop eating. The feeling of satiety is noticeably reduced. At the same time, they understand that gluttony is harmful to health.
The harm of sugar to health
Sugar has few calories, but it turns into a real caloric bomb in combination with fat. Sugar very quickly enters the bloodstream and just as quickly contributes to the growth of insulin values. Further increased sugar intake may contribute to obesity. Especially a lot of calories provide sweet fizzy drinks. Obesity is considered an important threat to the development of diabetes and diseases of the vascular and heart systems.
The sweet taste of apple or watermelon also depends on the content of fruit sugar – fructose. But when compared with a piece of chocolate, a scoop of ice cream, or a cake, the fruit has little chance. Fruit does not activate the reward system in the brain – and that is the problem. In addition, the main role here is played by the consistency of the product: chocolate melts on the tongue and creates a pleasant sensation in the mouth. A hard apple cannot become its competitor.
Sweet alternatives can help in reducing the amount of sugar on the menu. Sweeteners, such as honey, molasses, and maple syrup, have a characteristic intense flavor. Perhaps, therefore, a smaller number is sufficient. After all, honey and syrups tend to have as many calories as white sugar. Cane sugar corresponds to white sugar, according to experts. Even the minimal differences associated with the type and degree of industrial processing do not change anything.
Sweeteners, by contrast, do not contain calories, and their sweetness is higher than that of sugar. Depending on this, sweeteners require a smaller amount.
Drink water or unsweetened tea to satisfy your thirst instead of cola, sports, and energy drinks or fruit juices, which are not really 100% fruit. Juices contain natural fruit sugar, so they should be enjoyed in moderation. About water: lemon juice or a few leaves of mint will give more benefit and flavor.
Want to reduce your sugar intake? Think where you can do without it. In addition, you need to know the limit and do not have too much. And it is necessary to distract the brain – physical exertion and sufficient sleep.
Their daily consumption is addictive to taste buds to an artificially sweet taste, which leads to an automatic search for other beverages or foods with an unnatural taste. And this leads to a real change in the perception of taste.
And finally, have you ever calculated how much you spend on buying these drinks? Reducing consumption will bring real benefits not only for your wallet but also for your health.