Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageOp-Ed: Can you become addicted to sugar?

By Walt Crocker     Dec 13, 2011 in Food
Some of us have more of a "sweet tooth" than others. If you just have to have that doughnut in the morning, you might be addicted to sugar.
Most of us enjoy eating certain kinds of food. Like sex, if it wasn't pleasurable then most of us wouldn't do it. This would not bode well for the survival of our species if we stopped eating and reproducing.
If you believe our actions are mostly governed by the chemicals in our brains, as most scientists do, then you'll realize that eating food and reproducing trigger the release of the same "pleasure" chemicals, dopamine and serotonin, that illicit drugs do. Some people achieve the same effect from exercising, the so-called "runner's high."
Like heroin and other addictive drugs, if you do any activity that releases these chemicals long enough, you will become addicted. This can even trigger some physical changes in the brain itself. One theory that is sort of in vogue right now, is that certain foods that correspond to our basic sense of taste like sweet, salty, sour, and bitter can be addictive if you eat enough.
Two of them that have pretty much been proven is sweet and salty. People have cravings for these two kinds of taste more than any other. And eating too much of either of them can be harmful to your health.
One of the big questions on the diet front right now is whether sugar is addictive. Wikipedia I saw evidence of the effects of sugar just the other day when I was out with a friend of mine and his two small children. They are three and five.
Normally the kids are extremely well-behaved, especially when they are around daddy. After about an hour we passed an ice cream shop. I decided to buy them an ice cream. As an adult, sugar doesn't really bother me that much and I certainly don't eat a lot of it, but after about 15 minutes, the kids were "wired." No behavior was off limits to them.
Whether or not sugar is addictive or not is still being questioned by scientists, but several new diets are
designed to break you of the sugar habit. Whether or not excessive sugar consumption is an addiction or just a bad habit, how do you know if you are "abusing" sugar?
According to WebMD Withdrawal from sugar produces the same changes in the brain that withdrawal from drugs does. You may feel that you need that doughnut every day or you may eat more sugary food than you planned and then feel guilty, just like the guy who goes in the bar to have a beer with his buddies and ends up polishing off ten of them.
Do sugar detox diets work? Fit and healthy. Not if they are drastic. Try reducing your sugar intake by one sugary food or drink per day until you feel that you are at a comfortable level. Try substituting protein or fiber for a sugary treat.
Eating too much sugar can cause low blood sugar? Sugar triggers release of insulin from the pancreas. If too much is released then your blood sugar can get too low. This sets up a vicious cycle that over time may cause you to become overweight and increase your chances of getting diabetes.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Diet, Dieting, sugar addition, Addiction, Sweets