Skip to main content

Food Trends: Addicted to sugar? Blame it on the brain.

I have worked with hundreds of clients, some who come right into my office and tell me they are addicted to sugar.   It’s a common theme that is explored individually.  After reviewing patterns and lifestyles, recommendations are made to change the makeup of meals as well as the timing and almost always we are able to decrease the intensity of the cravings once we fuel the body correctly. 
I was intrigued to read the study led by Yale University and the University of Southern California who reviewed the relationship between glucose drops and responses by the brain.  The study was published September 19th in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.  The Yale scientists manipulated glucose levels intravenously and monitored blood glucose levels while subjects were shown pictures of high calorie foods, low calorie food, and non food items.  Each subject underwent MRI scans which showed that when glucose levels dropped, the hypothalamus sensed the change. The insula and striatum, other parts of the brain associated with rewards, were also activated stimulating a need to eat.  The prefrontal cortex also proved to lose its ability to curb signals to eat and this was the most significant when subjects were shown high calorie foods.
When results of the study were reviewed, researches from the University of Southern California hypothesize that “obese individuals may have a limited ability to inhibit the impulsiveness drive to eat, especially when glucose levels drop below normal.”
In my opinion and experience it is not just the obese population who is at risk of glucose levels dropping.  Any individual who does not eat consistently and healthy is at risk to a low glucose reaction.  Do you feel you crave sweets more than the norm?  Why not talk it over with a dietitian.  You may be able to make some changes including timings of meals and the makeup of your meals to decrease the cravings to a point where they are bearable and not sabotaging. 

Comments

I totally agree! We usually don't eat sugar, but when we do, it's tough to stop. Great post.

Popular posts from this blog

The Truth Behind Clean Eating

A quick trip to the grocery store or chain restaurant and you will likely be bombarded with the concept of “clean eating” foods that claim to be “organic”, “natural”, “non GMO”, and “gluten free”. There is also the laundry list of foods you should avoid such as high fructose corn syrup, processed foods, and various toxins or chemicals. As a consumer it can be very overwhelming and intimidating to choose which foods are best for you.
While clean eating is not a new sensation, it has become increasingly popular in part due to misinformation on social media. Fear mongering is the latest marketing strategy in which companies are deliberately arousing fear in consumers to help sell their product. For example, products claim to be non-GMO when in fact it is not produced as a GMO food in the first place. There are only 8 genetically modified crops commercially prepared in the U.S. Products that have never contained gluten have a “Gluten free” label on them. Then there is the irrational conce…

A Note to Self before "Bathing Suit Season"

We are coming up on Memorial Day Weekend. The pools will open, beach season begins, and everyone is scurrying around to buy new bathing suits or cover ups. Although I LOVE summer there's an aspect of this time of year that I very much dislike.  I absolutely cannot stand the insecurity bathing suits bring to the mind. How many of your friends' Facebook and Instagram posts read "Gotta get bikini ready" or "I'm not ready for bathing suit season?" It's on everyone's minds and we have much better things to worry about people.

The fact of the matter is that MOST people feel vulnerable in a bathing suit. Think about it you are practically naked and I'm pretty sure the woman whose body modeled your final product may have had longer legs or is 15 years old.

Is it really worth allowing yourself to feel vulnerable and insecure over something that realistically isn't even created to showcase your body's strengths?  What in the world does how yo…

Interesting read about OCD & #EatingDisorders

Interesting read about OCD & #EatingDisorders