We all love a sugary treat every now and then, but not many people realise just how much damage a sugar addiction can do to our bodies and how cutting down on sugar can give us a healthier, more balanced life.
The UK and US are consuming up to 16 times their recommended limit of sugar which is resulting in everything from obesity to heart disease. Research has even suggested that sugar is worse for pushing up blood pressure than salt!
The benefits of cutting down on sugar are never ending, but why is it so hard?
A study by ScienceDaily.com on rats has shown that sugar made them lose their appetite for a balanced diet.
The part of the brain that is directly linked to decision-making is thought to be the same part of the brain that causes behavioural changes as a result of eating junk food. So sugar can be seen as an addiction.
The science behind sugar addiction:
We eat something sugary and we like it. It makes us happy! Dopamine (which causes addictions) is then released in the brain as blood sugar levels spike. Our body then naturally releases insulin to counteract this, which makes our blood sugar levels drop rapidly. Obviously, our body then craves the lost sugar high, which results in us wanting more sugary foods - and the process is repeated.
This never ending cycle could be your diet downfall as low blood sugar levels cause an increase in appetite. This means you are hungry more often and you are specifically craving more sugar – which is detrimental to both your diet and your health!
So swap your sugary cereal for plain porridge, your biscuits for oatcakes and your sweets for dried fruit and you could be cutting out hundreds of calories in sugar. You can change a habit in just 21 days, so cutting down on sugar can easily become part of your normal diet!
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