Eating sugar stimulates the feel good chemicals in your body. When you eat sugar you get a surge of dopamine and serotonin that make you feel good. No wonder why so many of us turn to sugary treats when we are feeling down.
It’s important that we understand why we crave sugary treats and what it does to our body in order to become mindful eaters.
Mismatch between our lifestyle and environment
Millions of years ago, early humans lived in an environment where food was scarce and sweet things were hard to come by. The taste for sweet things developed early on as a mutation because it helped store body fat. And storing fat in an unstable living environment was vital to survival.
A mismatch between today’s environment and our sugar craving poses a fundamental problem for us. While high caloric, sugary, fatty, salty items were scarce millions of years ago, it is available in abundance today. Sugary treats can be found on every street corner but our cravings have continued to persist.
Short and long term effects
Eating excess amount of sugar results in that initial high experience- commonly coined the term “Sugar high” from excess glucose in your bloodstream.
Naturally our body produces insulin to absorb glucose from our bloodstream. And when it does, your body experiences drop in blood sugar, or sugar crash. You feel tired and drained.
Refined sugar is packed with calories, without any other nutrients.
“We need to realize that our bodies are not adapted to the amount of sugar that we are pouring into them and it’s making us sick” said Daniel Lieberman, a biologist at Harvard University.
The liver stores any excess glucose in the form of glycogen for later use. However, it can only store a fixed amount, and the rest gradually accumulates as fat in the organ.
Excess sugar diet is also responsible for obesity epidemic in both U.S. and Canada. Over time, the poor eating habits can lead to weight gain. And consistently being overworked to produce more insulin, your body can develop insulin resistance.
When cells are no longer able to absorb the glucose, the blood sugar goes well above the normal level – prediabetes. Unchecked, high sugar diet and sedentary lifestyle can lead to type 2 diabetes.
A large source of sugar in our diet comes from processed and artificial food. So, avoiding these items can help you reduce sugary from your diet. Starting small today can help you live healthier lifestyle. You can check out the next article on 10 easy ways to cut back on sugar.