SUGAR LIGHTS UP THE SAME PART OF THE BRAIN AS COCAINE
When we eat sugar, dopamine overwhelms and overstimulates the brain and pleasure areas. If sugar is given constantly over long periods of time, a person can become addicted and the addicted brain then needs even more sugar to produce dopamine. This can lead to extreme cravings and behavioral symptoms, like states of depression and weight gain. Similarly, we read how cocaine floods the brain with dopamine which makes the brain want and need more of the substance.
We both ate so much sugar and candy growing up. We wish our parents had known. Who can blame them? Sugar is a staple in the American diet. It’s in clear sight in breakfast cereals, snacks and soda and is hidden in sauces, juices and health bars.
We remember watching a documentary that spoke about the countries where there is no access to sugary foods and drinks. It explained that people who grew up not eating sugar had much better teeth throughout their lives compared to those who grew up eating sugar regularly. We imagine the body wasn’t designed to eat overly processed foods and such high doses of refined sugar, so it’s probably smarter to stick to a plant-based, whole food diet.
Unfortunately, just like drug addiction, people eat the junk even though they know it’s not good for them. We did, until we were motivated to change our ways.
The two of us experimented by saying goodbye to refined sugar and it wasn’t long until we started to feel the withdrawl. We substituted our sugary snacks for natural sugars like fruit, organic cane sugar and natural rock candy. After a few weeks it became clear to us how much better our minds felt with little to no refined sugar in our diet. It allowed us to experience a different kind of high, so we continued to steer clear of refined sugar, especially now that we know how powerful it is.
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