Does amere mention of something sweet tingles your tongue?It may feel as if the brain is hardwired to eat candy, ice cream, cookies, and drink sugar liquids because not only do they taste great, but they also make you happy.But, it’s all ok! Our ancestors used sugary foods as a source of energy and linked bitter and sour foods to poison.Hence, humans have an innate brain system that makes them like sweet foods since evolution. The issue arises when the mesolimbic dopamine system is artificially activated due to sweet foods, causing a release of dopamine in the brain that correlates eating sweets as a positive experience.
On this note, a new research by Michael Winterdahl, associate professor at the Department of Clinical Medicine at Aarhus University in Denmark and his colleagues, has found that sugar intake alters brain chemistry after only 12 days. The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports. When the reward system fires, it reinforces behaviours, creating a vicious circle of wanting more and more sugar, similar to how the brain reacts to addictive drugs.
“After just 12 days of sugar intake, we could see major changes in the brain’s dopamine and opioid systems,” reports Winterdahl. This study inferred the fact that humans are continually craving the rush from dopamine, and getting that from widely available sugar is a trap that many fall into.
How to Control Sugar Intake?
It is never too late to bring a habit under control. All you need is focus and dedication for doing the same. Here are some ways you can stop yourself from consuming excessive sugar.
- Find alternative to processed/refined sugar.Jaggery, honey, maple syrup, cinnamon or even sugarcane can be good alternatives.
- Cut down on the amount of sugar intake wherever possible. You may start with your cup of tea.
- Eat fruits, whenever you crave for sugar.
- Cut down on hidden sugar consumption; and by hidden sugar we mean sweeteners, ketchups, mayonnaise, et al.
It is time for you to re-think about your sugar-addiction and how you want to control it.