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Sugar Addiction: Is Sugar The Silent Drug of Our Time?

Sugar addiction goes beyond the occasional sweet treat.  Being defined as a continual intake of the substance sugar with alluring thoughts that perceive it as a necessity, sugar addiction has shown to affect a significant amount of people in our society, both physically and mentally.  When a person has a sugar addiction, their body actually begins to regularly crave certain sweet foods, like chocolate, cake, cookies, sodas, and so on the list goes.  When you are addicted to sugar, you will feel compelled to have at least some kind of sweet fix and can usually not stop with just a small portion, as they will be lingering for more.  But how could something like sugar be so addictive?

Proof of Sugar Addiction

What do Oreos and cocaine have in common? Scientists claim that both are equally as addictive.  That’s right, an Oreo is said to be as addictive as the illegal substance, cocaine, because it contains sugar.  In a study done at Connecticut College in 2013, a group of lab rats were stated to have eaten the cookie just as often as they took cocaine and morphine.  When the research team took a look at the rats’ levels of a specific protein that affected their ability to experience pleasure, they noticed, surprisingly enough, that Oreos had more of an effect than both cocaine and morphine had.  This study acts as proof to showcase the intensity of sugar addiction in comparison to heavily addictive drugs. Despite knowing that excessive sugar intake from unnecessary foods can cause health problems, the sugar addict is unable to stop due to the physically addictive attributes.  Then of course there are comments from [former] CEOs of companies like Coca Cola revealing, “It’s more efficient to get my existing users to drink more.”  Not only does this put into perspective what companies are truly about — profit over health – but it also proves that these companies would rather deliberately make their products addictive, or at least seem more appealing, in order to get their customers to keep purchasing their product!

The Effects of Sugar on the Brain

Sugar addiction, as seen in pictures affects chemicals in the brain, like dopamine.  Dopamine plays a vital role in drive, mobility, and feeling pleasure.  This chemical can be released and create a high when you indulge in foods like chocolate or cookies, which just so happen to be loaded with sugar!  To many recovering from an addiction to alcohol, opiates and/or cocaine, this helps make sense of why they get an extra kick out of their sweet tooth, since alcohol has a lot of sugar, and dopamine is the main chemical affected when cocaine and opiates like heroin are administered.

What To Do About Sugar Addiction

If you feel you may be suffering from a sugar addiction, you may want to abstain from sugar intake for at least a recommended four days.  Dieticians say that in this amount of time, there will be noticeable relief from the dependency of sugar and cravings should no longer persist.  If you wish to return to adding some sugar into your food intake, then be sure to do so sparingly or on occasions, because moderation and balance are key when it comes to certain foods.  It is important to remember not to eat anything to relieve an emotional state you may be in, especially foods with chemically-altering ingredients like sugar, because this creates an unhealthy relationship with food where you eat to prevent yourself from feeling a certain way.  An unhealthy relationship with food can lead to fatal and severe eating disorders.

Not sure if you are addicted to sugar? Take this simple quiz now: Am I A Sugar Addict?

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