Wednesday, October 5, 2016

How Sugar Hijacks Your Brain And Makes You Addicted Causing Health Problems and Hindering Future Generations

Image Source.
(Stillness in the Storm Editor) Addiction is one of the things that most of us either have direct experience with or know someone who has. 

What if the number one addiction on Earth wasn't drugs, but sugar?

Sugar is added to almost all foods, especially processed ones. And it hides in seemingly innocuous places, like cereal, bread, rice, and even fruit. 

Almost all our food has a significant amount of sugar and through selective horticultural techniques in place since the dawn of the modern human age, many of the crops we raise for consumption also contain a lot of sugar. 



The toll that this has on the body and mind is astounding. And because over-consumption of sugar is so pandemic we lack the perspective to see just how much this addiction has ravaged our health as individuals and as a civilization. 

High sugar diets feed bacteria that take over beneficial microbes, which are essential for proper immune function and overall health. This leads to all manner of disease, from acne to cancer, from mental illness to chronic digestive problems. And what's worse, the genetic expression (epigenetics) of the body literally changes and is passed on to future generations—called transgenerational epigenetic inheritance.

What this means is that for generations high sugar diets have been slowly transforming the human organism, making us sick, diseased, and unhealthy as time goes on. And the advent of the industrial age has only magnified the problem. 

But many who want to be healthy are beginning to understand what past generations seem to have forgotten, which is that sugar is highly addictive and destructive, as the following article details with scientific precision. 

The solution is to begin the long and often hard process of arresting a high sugar diet. It means having to deal with addictive cravings that are arguably just as powerful as any drug dependency. 

As I wrote about in the below article, while there are many forms of addiction, substances we consume in order to boost our mood, mimic the body's natural systems for making us feel good. 

Related Kratom and Addiction Recovery | After Massive Public Outcry, DEA Suspends Ban on Plant that Can Cure Opioid Addiction — For Now

A restoration technique often involves a holistic mind/body process, fueled by education and motivated by an ideal clearly envisioned within the mind. Once we know what true health looks like, we can come to understand how sick we are, and probably have been all our lives. And with this much-needed contrast, we can motivate ourselves to become healthy—developing a greater appreciation for what the body and mind can do when it isn't ravaged by sugar addiction.

Consider that the highly-popular baby formula Similac is loaded with sugar, all but guaranteeing children start off life addicted to sugar, and as a result they develop immune systems that are out of balance—ripe for sickness and poor health. 

Fortunately, there are ways to eat better and restore the balance, but since most of us have never experienced what this feels like, it will take a lot of motivation to climb the mountain ahead of us. 

On a personal note, I started limiting my sugar intake last year after realizing the connections mentioned above. I didn't do it all at once. It was a slow and careful process. In this case, moderation really is something that can help us. I had to start appreciating what my body felt like when it wasn't flooded with sugar. One of the things I noticed is that I stopped getting sick, I could think more clearly, and my energy levels were more consistent on a low sugar diet. Instead of chasing one sugar high after the next, I could actually eat low sugar foods, feel energized and not be as distracted by what used to be an ever-present feeling of tiredness and lack of motivation. 

So while getting off of sugar might just be one of the hardest things we do—especially given all the temptations in our modern-day world, it's within our grasp and well worth the effort. If not for ourselves, then our children, who will have a much healthier epigenetic compliment when we pass down our genes to future generations. 

Related Health, Like Everything Else is Holistic - Not Allopathic | Like any ecosystem, our bodies host trillions of bacterial cells that affect our everyday health
- Justin

Source - Authority Nutrition

by Kris Gunnars, BSc, 2015

“No one can exert cognitive inhibition, willpower, over a biochemical drive that goes on every minute, of every day, of every year.” – Dr. Robert H. Lustig
If you’ve ever tried to cut back on sugar, you may have realized how incredibly difficult it is. In some cases it may seem downright impossible.
It seems clear that when it comes to foods like sugar and other junk foods, that something in the brain does not function like it’s supposed to.
The system in our brain that is supposed regulate our food intake and prevent us from gaining weight malfunctions. The question is: Why?
To understand why this happens, Dr. Robert H. Lustig, pediatric endocrinologist andDr. Elissa S. Epel, psychologist, explain in the video above how sugar and other junk foods can “hijack” the brain chemistry to make us want more and more.

Overstimulation of The Reward Centers of The Brain Causes Addiction

Sugar is uniquely fattening, primarily due to its high content of fructose.
There are several ways that sugar causes us to overeat and gain weight and I will be covering all of these in the coming weeks.
Today I am going to talk about one of these mechanisms, the powerful impact sugar has on the reward centers of the brain.
When we eat foods that contain a lot of sugar, a massive amount of dopamine is released in an area of the brain called the Nucleus Accumbens.
When we eat these foods often and in large amounts, the dopamine receptors start to down-regulate. Now there are fewer receptors for the dopamine.
This means that the next time we eat these foods, their effect is blunted. We will need more junk food next time we eat in order to get the same level of reward.
Sugar and other junk foods, due to their powerful effect on the reward centers of the brain, function similarly to drugs of abuse like cocaine and nicotine (1).
The exact same brain centers are at play. People who have a certain predisposition to addiction become addicted to these foods and lose control over their consumption.
This is basically how sugar and other junk foods “hijack” the brain chemistry to make us crave more and eat more.

Sugar Has a Powerful Influence Over Our Behavior

For some people there will be anatomical changes in the brain when exposed to these sorts of foods. In many cases, this can end up in full-blown addiction (2).
I can support this idea with some personal experiences.
I am a recovering drug addict who has been to 6 rehabs. I was also a smoker for many years and it was a long battle for me to quit. You could say that I know addiction like the back of my hand.
I’m here to tell you that addiction to sugar and junk foods is exactly the same as addiction to abusive drugs like nicotine, amphetamine and cannabis.
There is no difference, except the substance of abuse is different and the consequences of relapse aren’t as severe.
Since learning about this, I’ve spoken to several other recovering addicts and all of them say that they experience cravings for junk foods in the exact same way as they used to crave drugs and alcohol.
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Stillness in the Storm Editor's note: Did you find a spelling error or grammar mistake? Do you think this article needs a correction or update? Or do you just have some feedback? Send us an email at sitsshow@gmail.comThank you for reading.
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Source:

https://authoritynutrition.com/how-sugar-makes-you-addicted/
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