Hooked From The First Bite
From the first bite sugar sends a message to the brain, activating the its reward system. That’s right; sugar has a similar effect on your brain to hanging out with friends, sex, and even drugs. This reward system is a series of electrical and chemical path systems across several different regions of the brain, Dr. Nicole Avena, a researcher in the department of psychiatry at the University Of Florida College Of Medicine explained in a recent TED talk.
While every individual is unique—meaning that the reason for your cravings may have to do with biological factors that are different than the person’s sitting next to you—cravings for sweets follow a pretty basic formula, which goes like this:
- You eat something high in refined sugar, and your blood glucose levels skyrocket.
- Soon after, your blood glucose levels come down from the high, and they crash.
- Your body, which is irritated at having low blood sugar, craves more sugar to boost your blood glucose levels back up.
- You give in to the craving and eat more sugar, which starts the process all over again.
How Sugar Affects the Brain