Sugar and emotions: The mood- food cycle
Sugar in small quantities is not a health risk, but we are simply eating too much of it. Excess sugar in the diet is bad for our waistline as well as heart we all know. But there is evidence now to prove that high levels of sugar consumption (or sugar addiction) have a serious negative effect on the mental health as well.
Research has proven that with high intake of sugar the communication among brain cells is impaired leading to learning difficulties and impaired memory. It may contribute to depression and anxiety.
Recent studies suggest that sugar and carb-rich foods can also mess with nerve signals and neurotransmitters, sugar stimulates the release of the mood-boosting neurotransmitter.
Experts explain the cycle and how much is your sugar addiction costing us and suggests ways to overcome it.
Sugar addiction – The vicious cycle
Sugar is as addictive as cocaine, and it stimulates the same pleasure centers in the brain as cocaine sometimes even more. The more sugar we eat, the more dopamine is released, and you experience that "high" and just like these drugs getting off sugar leads to symptoms of intense withdrawal, hunger and restlessness!
With time the dopamine receptors in the brain become less sensitive to the presence of sugar, your brain needs more sugar to generate the same "high" and your addiction to sugar
grows stronger. Over-consumption of sugar creates a chaos in the brain; it creates a perpetual cycle of intense cravings.
When a person consumes sugar, it activates tongue taste receptors signals to the brain. It lights up the reward pathway releasing the feel-good hormone – Dopamine, blood sugar level increases.
Mass insulin is secreted to drop the blood sugar levels. Insulin sores sugar as fat in the liver blood sugar levels drop rapidly. Body craves for sugar. It increases appetite and binge eating for more sugar. Hence, the cycle starts again.
What's scarier the consumption or the addiction? The addiction sets in without notice, with the multi-million food chains making sure that this addiction stays strong.
"Low fat" hides the fact of excess sugar in the item, adds to the empty calories, & we end up putting on extra kilos.
Overcoming the sugar addiction:
1: Get rid of all the processed foods and sugar from the house
2: Eat breakfast that is healthy and wholesome
3: Drink more water
4: Prepare healthy snacks and keep them handy
5: Be physically active, exercise more
6: Lower your stress levels.
7: Sleep well at night.