How Sugar Affects The Brain


When you eat something loaded with sugar, your taste buds, your gut and your brain all take notice. This activation of your reward system is not unlike how bodies process addictive substances such as alcohol or nicotine — an overload of sugar spikes dopamine levels and leaves you craving more. Nicole Avena explains why sweets and treats should be enjoyed in moderation.

Still curious? Here are some additional resources to explore.

Sugar Cravings: How sugar cravings sabotage your health, hormone balance & weight loss, by Dr. Nicole Avena and Dr. Sara Gottfried.

Why We Get Fat: Gary Taubes lays out a coherent argument against calories in calories out.

The Science of Addictive Food: how food manufacturers tweak products to increase their addictive nature.

Coevolution and Artificial Selection: “For a great many species today, “fitness” means the ability to get along in a world in which humankind has become the most powerful evolutionary force.”

America’s Food Crisis: The Omnivore’s Dilemma — perhaps the best food politics book ever written, certainly the best one I’ve ever read. Two good places to follow up are: food as culture and the politics of food.

Ancient Wisdom For Lifelong Health — the most interesting part of this for me was the biological response to fasting and how that actually can help us fight infections.

Mindless Eating: “While most Americans stop eating when they’re full, those in leaner cultures stop eating when they’re no longer hungry.”

What Predicts a Healthy Diet: It turns out that the number one predictor of a healthy diet is whether it was cooked by a human.

​​(sources: TED)