There is no need to pen down the negative effects of sugar and the cravings for it. Although a majority of people really want to overcome their sugar addiction, it often proves to be a challenging feat. Because they don’t have a better understanding of the real culprit behind the sugar craving. Rather than stamping out the cause, they simply attempt to control the feelings and emotions they build around sugar. Sugar craving is, indeed, another addiction. Forcing oneself to quit any kind of addiction could end up in frustration. It needs science-based theory and deeper understanding to kick the cravings out of the mind.
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Your Brain Is Hardwired To Sugar:
When you engage in positive habits like exercise, meditation, and listening to music, your brain activates the reward system to induce ‘dopamine’ – one of the happy hormones that elevate the mood. This enhanced dopamine production greatly influences the horseshoe-shaped hypothalamus – a region in your brain responsible for reward-seeking behaviors. This encourages you to be more involved in such behaviors and habits in the future.
Sugar consumption also has the same effect on your reward system. Inducing the dopamine rush in your brain creates a temporary sense of pleasure and reward. This leads to a desire for more and more sugar.
The More Hardwired, The Harder It Is To Break The Habit:
In neurology, there is a process called neuroplasticity – meaning your brain rewires itself to the change in mindset, mood, behaviors, or even some social situations, says ThreeBestRated® Neurologists. This occurs in your reward system, meaning frequent activation of this system leads to major remodeling and rewiring.
Consuming sugar triggers the reward system, intensifying your desire for sugary treats. As a result, your brain rewires itself to this newly adapted habit – i.e., the frequent stimulation of the rewarding system. Thus this adaptation ultimately results in the development of a sugar addiction.
Protein Can Be Put To Blame:
Surprisingly, the protein in your diet plays a vital role in triggering your sugar cravings. Do you know how?
As you might know, your body cells are fueled by glucose obtained from the food you consume. Once the glucose is released into your bloodstream, the pancreas produces insulin hormone to prompt the cells to absorb the energy from the blood.
Well, in this vital process, protein facilitates the release of glucose into the bloodstream to be absorbed by the cells. Running low on protein level slows down the glucose release into the blood and cuts down the energy supply to the cells. This prompts the brain to look up for quick access to energy. The comfortable delicacies available for you could be candies, chocolates, pastries, and other treats. Aren’t they?
Stress As A Leading Factor:
It may sound barbaric to you! But if you are able to see the behind-the-scenes, you could understand. Stress increases cortisol levels (stress hormones) drastically. Increased levels of stress hormones alter the distribution of glucose and energy throughout the body. Therefore, your body cells won’t get sufficient energy. And, the result? Sense of hunger and sugar cravings.
At times of acute stress, your body ends up utilizing the stored energy and then looks for some more energy to replenish what has been used. This leads to an inclination towards consuming sugary foods and beverages.
Minerals Are In On It As Well:
With the above-mentioned factors, mineral imbalance also joins the party. The craving for any kind of food, not limited to just sugar, indicates a deficiency in that particular mineral component. For instance, people coping with low sodium levels might experience a craving for salty treats.
Similarly, deficiency in calcium, zinc, chromium, iron, and magnesium also contribute much to your sugar addiction. Because these minerals have a crucial role in almost all bodily functions ranging from regulating metabolism to hormone regulation. When mineral levels drop down, you will feel fatigue and a reduced energy supply. So your body and brain will seek instant energy by inducing you to eat more sugar and carbs even at inappropriate times.
Dehydration On The Top:
Dehydration causes a mineral imbalance in the body. Water is essential to restore and supply vital minerals throughout the body. That’s why an adult is recommended to drink 2-3 liters of water every day. When dehydration strikes, there won’t be a sufficient supply of minerals and nutrients in your body. This also triggers increased food consumption to compensate for the mineral loss.
Lack Of Sleep:
Some researchers have proven that inadequate sleep can decrease the upper brain function of the cerebrum part – which is responsible for decision-making, thinking, reasoning, problem-solving, and learning. Inadequate sleep can disturb this part of the brain which leads to food cravings the following day.
Similarly, the lack of sleep disturbs the natural circadian rhythm – an internal clock that manages the sleep and wake cycle. As the circadian rhythm controls the ghrelin and leptin – which are hunger hormones, poor sleep can either suppress appetite or intensify it by increasing the sense of hunger.
Bodily indications and signs are your body’s language. So next time, when you have a temptation to eat sugar, look for these signs from your body. So that you take steps towards a healthier and balanced relationship with sugar.