The Dangers of Sugar and Why It’s So Addicting
Sugar seems like a harmless substance when you compare it to other substances. However, sugar, especially when consumed in excess, can have a number of negative effects on a person’s health.
Additionally, sugar also has the potential to turn into an addiction. A person might crave it and crave it as part of a physical and mental desire. Just as some people might need rehab facilities to address their alcohol or drug addiction, people can crave sugar and suffer ill effects from the substance.
Dangers of Sugar
Doctors sometimes advise a person to regulate his or her diet and reduce his or her sugar intake to combat health issues associated with sugar. If this person’s desire for sugar is an addiction, a person may need more than just a single doctor’s appointment.
First and foremost, a person needs to understand why sugar is harmful. One factor a person must consider is that sugar can lead to excess weight gain.
If an individual is eating foods that are high in sugar, the sugary foods often have no nutritional value.
Instead, the foods are high in empty calories and calories in general. If a person eats these foods and doesn’t burn off all their extra calories, they can convert them into fat and store them in the body.
A person also may gain weight from sugar because sugar affects a person’s insulin levels. If a person repeatedly exposes himself or herself to high-sugar foods, a person’s insulin may no longer regulate his or her blood sugar levels correctly. This issue is known as insulin resistance.
As a result, a person doesn’t process sugar adequately, which can lead to weight gain. Insulin resistance can cause excess fat to accumulate in a person’s stomach area. Moreover, one may also develop a resistance to leptin, a hormone that affects a person’s appetite. When someone develops resistance to this substance, his or her appetite may increase, which can increase his or her weight.
Sugary foods tend to be low in nutritional value, so people won’t feel as full from sugary items as they will with high-protein food, for example. Since people might not feel full for as long, they may eat sooner because they’ll be hungry sooner. Ultimately, this means that if people are eating high-sugar foods, they may eat more.
In other bad news, a high-sugar diet may also increase a person’s risk for heart disease because consuming high amounts of sugar can lead to obesity and increase inflammation in a person’s body. Some people may have acne if they consume high amounts of sugar.
These are all just some of the issues that sugar can cause.
Sugar and Addiction
Since there aren’t sugar addiction clinics like there are drug or alcohol treatment centers, a person may not realize that sugar can be an addictive substance, just like drugs and alcohol. In fact, sugar might be just as addictive as a street drug, and sugar is much easier to access, so it’s very easy for sugar to become a serious problem.
First and foremost, sugar intake can cause the release of excess dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that makes us feel good and plays a role in the reward center of a person’s brain. Therefore, every time a person consumes sugar, dopamine will flood that person’s system and he or she will feel a sense of reward or fulfillment.
People will continue to consume this substance to feel those rewarding sensations. A person’s brain eventually decreases the amount of dopamine that’s released, so a person may compensate by repeating the behavior frequently to feel the pleasure from the release of dopamine.
Additionally, a person should also know that sugar stimulates the opioid receptors in someone’s brain. It also affects the reward center of an individual’s brain, so it can become a compulsive behavior.
Unfortunately, when a person continues to use sugar compulsively because he or she has a sugar addiction, he or she may gain weight, which has its share of health problems, both acute and chronic. Excess weight gain puts a person at risk for various health conditions.
Fortunately, just like an alcoholic can go to an alcohol abuse treatment program, a person can get help for sugar addiction. A mental health specialist can treat sugar addiction using similar methods. The professionals can address the psychological aspects of the addiction that’s causing a person to regularly seek out sugar.
In general, a person addicted to sugar probably won’t have the option of an inpatient program like a person does with a rehab center for alcohol. Instead, a person would probably visit a specialist on a regular basis to address the underlying cause of the addiction and help this person learn to moderate their sugar intake.
Although people may not realize it, sugar can be addictive. A person can even require treatment for a sugar addiction problem since sugar can produce negative health effects.